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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Home » Articles » Orchestra News » Orchestra Players Honored with Ford Musicians Awards


Orchestra Players Honored with Ford Musicians Awards

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The League of American Orchestras has named the winners of its fourth annual Ford Musician Awards—and all five awardees are AFM members.

The awards, made possible through the Ford Motor Company Fund, celebrate professional orchestral musicians who provide exemplary service in their communities and make a significant impact through education and community engagement.

ford musicians awards
Victoria Griswold, Local 3 (Indianapolis, IN)

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra violinist Victoria Griswold of Local 3 (Indianapolis, IN) was recognized for writing the Teddy Bear Series programs, introducing young children to orchestral instruments through stories, live music, and movement.

ford musicians awards
Jeff Handley, Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL)

Chicago Sinfonietta Principal Percussion Jeff Handley of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) was recognized for creating Audience Matters and SEED, two in-school residency and instrumental programs for students from underserved communities.

ford musicians awards
Rebecca Patterson, Local 400 (Hartford-New Haven CT)

New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) Principal Cello Rebecca Patterson of Local 400 (Hartford-New Haven, CT) was recognized for her work with the NHSO Harmony Fellowship Quartet and Recording Composition Class. The program allows students from underrepresented communities to create new works that merge classical and hip-hop traditions, that are then recorded together with NHSO musicians.

ford musicians awards
Donna Parkes, Local 11-637 (Louisville, KY)

Louisville Orchestra Principal Trombone Donna Parkes of Local 11-637 (Louisville, KY) was recognized for her work with hearing- and speech-impaired children, teaching skills such as singing, clapping with rhythm, and dancing. 

ford musicians awards
Rebecca Young, Local 802 (New York City)

New York Philharmonic Associate Principal Viola Rebecca Young of Local 802 (New York City) was recognized for hosting the philharmonic’s Very Young People’s Concerts, chamber music performances where she does everything from tap dancing to riding a scooter around the stage, engaging toddlers and young children with music.







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