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.
August 1, 2023
by Steve Wade, ROPA President and member of Local 400 (Hartford-New Haven, CT) It’s that most wonderful time of the year: conference season for all of the AFM’s player conferences. By the time you’re reading this article, the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) will have concluded its 40th Conference, held July 25-27 at the Courtland […]
April 1, 2023
by Steve Wade, Regional Orchestra Players’ Association President The year 2023 offers several interesting and important anniversaries. We are all aware, for instance, that this year is the 150th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s birth. But did you know that 2023 is the 250th year since the Boston Tea Party? Did you know that it has […]
October 1, 2022
by Steve Wade, ROPA President, Hartford Symphony and Member of Local 400 (Hartford-New Haven, CT) and Karen Sandene, ROPA Secretary, Omaha Symphony and Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, and Member of Locals 70-558 (Omaha, NE) and 463 (Lincoln, NE) The 2022 Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA) Conference was held in Orange County, California, July 26-28. This event […]
April 1, 2022
Most of our Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA) orchestras have gotten back to work over the past several months. There are lots of side letter agreements, contract extensions, and COVID protocols to deal with. I expect the next year will be full of negotiations and rollbacks of COVID protocols as we continue to return to live performing. There will likely be a new “normal” for our concerts and way of doing business, having been affected by two years of the pandemic, Zoom, streaming, and the many other adjustments that had to be made to keep the music going. There will need to be a great deal of patience and understanding for everyone as the playing field for many of our orchestras may well have changed.
October 1, 2021
Earlier this spring it became apparent that the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) conference would be held virtually for a second year. We considered the impact of the COVID crisis on our orchestras and the resulting financial hits our musicians and locals had taken, as well as the hesitancy of many of our members to […]
July 1, 2021
by John Michael Smith, ROPA President and Member of Local 30-73 (St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN) After surveying our Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) orchestra delegates and local officers, the ROPA Executive Board made the decision that we were not ready for an in-person annual conference this summer. As a result, the 38th annual ROPA Conference will […]
March 30, 2020
The ROPA Executive Board members are making personal contact with our delegates a priority during this time. Personal online contact and live phone or online conversation is so important at this time of social distancing.
October 9, 2019
The ROPA Conference is an opportunity for representatives from dozens of AFM union orchestras to network with colleagues and learn from experts.
July 11, 2019
The Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA) will hold its 36th Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, July 28-30.
October 8, 2018
At the 2018 ROPA Conference, held July 31-August 2, delegates gained knowledge from peers and experts in our industry, covering the topics of negotiating, union organizing, interpersonal relationships, musician self-care, financial health, and the overall state of our profession.