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


Orchestra News

ROPA Conference to be Held Online

The 37th Annual ROPA Conference, originally scheduled to meet July 28-30 in Orange County at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa will be held online this summer, due to COVID-19. The ROPA Board and Conference Committee are in the process of planning the new conference and should have more information and registration up on the website […]

Grand Rapids Symphony Ratifies One-Year Contract

In mid-May, members of the Grand Rapids Symphony ratified a one-year contract, which extends the wages and other economic provisions of the previous agreement while updating some work rules. Covering the orchestra’s 50 full-time musicians, the contract takes effect September 1, 2020, the day after the expiration of the previous contract. Prior to the pandemic, […]

Orchestras Cancel Summer Festivals

Classical music’s most established summer seasons and festivals have been canceled from coast to coast due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The disappointing, though not unexpected, news has come from the Tanglewood Music Festival, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which spends its summers at the Hollywood Bowl; Chicago’s Grant Park […]

LA Opera Cancels Remainder of Season, Reaches Agreements with Unions

The LA Opera has canceled its remaining performances, events, and in-person community outreach programs for the rest of the 2019-2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissions in the Time of COVID-19

Unique orchestral works are emerging as a result of commissions in response to the pandemic and in tune with social distancing.

Pacific Symphony Reaches Settlement with Musicians Union on Compensation

Pacific Symphony musicians, management, and the Orange County Musicians Union, Local 7 (Orange County, CA), have ratified a short-term agreement to last until early September, providing the musicians financial support due to concerts the organization was forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vancouver Symphony Rescinds Layoffs

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, which announced the layoffs of its musicians on April 1, was able to rescind those layoffs just two weeks later.

Musicians Make Concessions to Help Organizations Bridge Challenges

Musicians at many orchestras continue to make sacrifices amid the pandemic to assist their organizations in weathering this difficult time.

Cleveland Jazz Orchestra Voluntarily Recognizes Union

After Cleveland Jazz Orchestra musicians unanimously signed cards stating they are joining together in union, the orchestra’s board of trustees unanimously voted to voluntarily recognize the Cleveland Federation of Musicians, Local 4 (Cleveland, OH), as the musicians’ exclusive bargaining agent.

Baltimore Symphony Has Bright Future

On March 17, 2020 a bill that will provide additional funding for the Baltimore Symphony was passed by the Maryland General Assembly and awaits Governor Hogan’s signature to become law.