Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Orchestra News

Professional Development Course Coming on “Advancing an Anti-Racist Orchestra Model”

This fall, Alex Laing, principal clarinet for the Phoenix Symphony and member of Local 586 (Phoenix, AZ), will lead a five-week, online professional development course for professional musicians in The Juilliard School’s Evening Division. “Advancing an Anti-Racist Orchestra Model: A Course for Professional Musicians,” is a new offering aimed at helping professional musicians who want […]


San Diego Symphony Agrees to New Contract

In a CBA modified to address the financial challenges of COVID-19, musicians of the San Diego Symphony—represented by Local 325 (San Diego, CA)—have accepted a pay cut of approximately 33% for the 2020/21 season, with a reduction in working weeks from 42 to 24. Musicians will not receive cartage, seniority, or move up pay; and […]


Kansas City Symphony Takes Pay Cuts

Musicians of the Kansas City Symphony recently ratified a one-year agreement modifying the 2020-21 season. Musicians will take a 19% pay cut for the 2020-21 season—part of the organization’s goal to trim expenses overall by 25%. A hiring freeze will leave vacant positions unfilled. When the orchestra again begins holding ticketed performances at its concert […]


Utah Symphony Ratifies Modified One-Year Waiver

On August 16, the musicians of the Utah Symphony—members of Local 104 (Salt Lake City, UT)—ratified a COVID-19 Waiver Agreement modification to their four-year agreement that runs through August 31, 2022; the waiver agreement runs from August 31, 2020 through May 29, 2021. Utah musicians have been furloughed since the end of May and will […]


Jacksonville Symphony Ratifies Four-Year Agreement

On August 15, the musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony ratified a new four-year agreement that begins September 21, 2020; the current contract has been extended for an additional two years through September 3, 2024. The musicians and staff of the Jacksonville Symphony have agreed to 10% salary reductions in an effort to mitigate the damage […]


Buffalo Philharmonic Ratifies COVID Pandemic Agreement

The musicians of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) recently ratified a side letter to year five of their current six-year contract to help ease the burden of an expected significant financial loss for BPO’s 2020-21 season. The agreement sees the number of weeks change from 40 to 35 while still maintaining the previously negotiated weekly […]


LA Phil Returns to Stage Under COVID-19 Side Letter to IMA

On August 1, around 30 musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, members of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), returned to the outdoor stage of the Hollywood Bowl for the first time since the pandemic’s shutdowns, to rehearse for the capture of product to be released under the new COVID-19 side letter to the IMA. Even […]


New York Philharmonic Cancels Fall Season

The New York Philharmonic announced in June that it will not hold large-scale performances until at least January 6, 2021. Many orchestras across the US and Canada have made similar announcements, canceling or postponing events through 2020.  At the Philharmonic, the cancellations are expected to cost approximately $9 million in lost ticket revenue. The musicians, […]


Kennedy Center Launches Anti-Racism Commissioning Project

 The Kennedy Center—with its resident companies, the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and Washington National Opera (WNO)—will commission works by composers of color, responding to racial crimes and injustices across the US.  The initiative is called the Cartography Project—named for its intention to be a musical map, tracing events that have caused outrage and activism. The […]


Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Cuts Off Health Coverage

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) has furloughed its musicians without health coverage, making it the only major orchestra in the US to terminate musicians’ health care during the pandemic. ISO musicians, members of Local 3 (Indianapolis, IN), were furloughed for a second time on June 7. The orchestra was first furloughed in March and then […]








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