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Home » Officer Columns » Executive Board Members » The Year Leading up to TMA’s 20th Anniversary Conference

The Year Leading up to TMA’s 20th Anniversary Conference


Tom Mendalby Tom Mendel, TMA President and Member of AFM Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL)

Theatre Musicians Association (TMA) has been quite busy in the past year. I can think of no better way to demonstrate this than by writing about what the Executive Board and volunteer committees have been up to in the TMA’s year review.

Restructuring and Updating TMA Bylaws

The TMA Executive Board asked our Legislative Committee (chaired by Local 802 Vice President Walter Usiatynski) to review the bylaws and make recommendations. Our parliamentarian, Paul Castillo, (also on the Legislative Committee) felt that the bylaws were due for a restructure after many years of amendments. Castillo and Usiatynski led the charge with the committee. They submitted an amazing document. The Executive Board approved it and the restructure was passed unanimously at the 2014 conference. (I feel this document is truly a work of art, similar to a great composition or solo.)

National and Chapter Officer Assistance and Training

As with any organization, it is very important to have materials that assist and train current and future officers. Our board is focusing on this. Among the aids that we have developed:

TMA Officers Toolbox—This is in a password-protected section of our website. It is available to, not only the TMA Executive Board, but to all chapter officers as well. Included in the TMA Officers Toolbox are:

  • TMA Executive Board Policy & Recommendations Handbook. The handbook was designed to house all policies and recommendations that have been passed by the TMA Executive Board from its inception to today and will be updated whenever a new policy or recommendation is passed by the executive board.
  • Chapter Reports for TMA Conference PowerPoint template
  • TMA Academic Presentations PowerPoint template
  • TMA recruitment letter (soon to be included in the Membership Recruitment Handbook)

We are considering creating video training tools and have recently formed the TMA Officers and Members Video Training Committee.

Expanding and Assisting TMA Membership

Chapter & Membership Recruitment Committee—TMA has added four new chapters in the past four years. This committee is charged with identifying and assisting the formation of future chapters.

  • TMA is a voluntary organization and we are working hard to grow our membership. Even in AFM locals where we do not currently have a chapter, TMA has begun publishing articles in local AFM newsletters. This helps us to increase our profile beyond our membership, and share our successes and challenges with the wider musician community. If you are a theater musician or a local officer who has theater work in his/her jurisdiction, please check out our website at: and  Facebook page: “Theatre Musicians Association – TMA.”

Membership-at-Large Organizing Committee—All TMA members have direct representation with the exception of the members-at-large. This is because they have no internal chapter structure with which to hold elections. TMA is currently in the process of assisting these members in electing a director and is encouraging them to form a chapter, should they so choose.

TMA Marketing and PR Committee—This committee is working towards increasing awareness of the Theatre Musicians Association. Check out our Facebook page: “Theatre Musicians Association – TMA” and “Like” us. We update this page regularly with interesting articles and photos.

We’ve also put up a Facebook page for traveling musicians: “TMA Traveler’s Forum.” It is a closed page for traveling musicians only. This format enables them to talk freely among themselves and discuss such things as lodging, great restaurants, etc.

Future of TMA Committee—This committee is tasked with establishing a vision for TMA going forward.

Theatrical Orchestrations Committee—TMA has been an advocate to keep original orchestrations available for theaters that would like to produce shows with them. This committee was recently formed to research, explore, and make recommendations to the TMA Executive Board regarding current practices and trends in theatrical orchestration editions that are available for rental.

Pamphlet B Committee—The Pamphlet B Committee is already interviewing traveling musicians and preparing for the upcoming negotiations. The current contract expires March 2016.

Assisting AFM and TMA Officers

TMA’s Theatre Contract Data Repository became “active” on the TMA website last year. It is a collection of data formatted to compare important aspects of theatre CBA’s from many locals in the AFM. We feel that this is an invaluable tool to assist preparation for contract negotiations. In addition to TMA officers, it is also available to AFM officers.

We encourage all AFM locals with CBAs for theatre to send their contract information to TMA Secretary-Treasurer Mark Pinto. He will update the Theatre Contract Data Repository as new contracts come in.


As with last year, we are making a concerted effort to have TMA representatives attend all AFM Conferences this year, including local and player conferences.

Speaking of conferences, TMA will hold its 20th Annual Conference in San Francisco, August 17-18. Among the guest speakers for this historic event will be members of the original Steering Committee that helped form the TMA. Full TMA Conference details will be released in the Pit Bulletin and on the TMA

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