Best Wishes for the New Year – 2013!

Dear members, friends and colleagues,

We hope that during this time of holidays, rest and reflection you have experienced the joy of family and good times.

Thanks to each and every one of you for your support, your comments, suggestions – and yes – questions and criticisms, all of which are the foundation of our effectiveness. Rank and file participation is the basis for making the AFM the strongest union it can be. Read the rest of this entry »

Grammy-nominated Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier this month we shared the plight of the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra with our colleagues around North America (see article). In light of their current lockout, we salute these tremendous musicians on their 2013 Grammy nomination.

The Minnesota Orchestra was nominated for Category 72, Best Orchestral Performance, for their recording of Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5, with Osmo Vänskä, conductor (Minnesota Orchestra). The album is available on ITunes through the link below.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sibelius-symphonies-nos.-2-5/id496651393

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Dear Colleagues,

For over half a century, the Musicians of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra have served the Minneapolis and St. Paul communities as well as global audiences—inspiring, entertaining, and enlightening listeners with world-class, virtuosic performances of some of the most profound music ever written. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Holidays and the Minnesota Orchestra

Dear Colleagues,

The Minnesota Orchestra is one of the oldest and most prestigious symphony orchestras in the Americas, founded in 1903, and boasting such legendary music directors as Eugene Ormandy, Antal Dorati, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and, currently, Osmo Vänskä. Read the rest of this entry »

The 7 Year TV Itch

Dear Colleagues,

This past week Rank and File Representative Neil Stubenhaus and I attended the first round of negotiations between the American Federation of Musicians and representatives of ABC, CBS and NBC. The Television Videotape Agreement has languished for seven years without negotiated successor agreement. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Labor Day

Dear Colleagues,

We offer you, your families and friends, very best wishes as you celebrate Labor Day. We hope it is a great holiday for all. This is a great time to reflect on the contributions made to our own lives and those of our communities, contributions made by courageous men and women throughout the labor movement. We owe them so very much, even as struggles for social justice and worker rights continue.

Currently our friends and colleagues in the Indianapolis Symphony are facing an oppressive and very difficult time with their management and we ask that you stand with them by checking in at www.isomusicians.com. Please take a moment to support their petition for fairness.

Standing together. There is no greater way of honoring those who came before us in the spirit of Labor Day. There is also no greater way of our honoring ourselves; we are the musicians who enrich the world, educate the generations and create the profit streams. By standing together through thick and thin we protect our own dignity, protect our own livelihoods, and protect the music.

We stand together for the fair treatment of musicians in symphony orchestras when they are threatened by destructive management. We stand together with jazz artists working for decent treatment at major New York City clubs. @J4JA. We stand with musicians who are fighting against a fundamentally unfair practice, where film companies like Marvel Studios get tax subsidies – U.S. taxpayer money – and then fly overseas to record the music on foreign shores. And we stand with forward-looking musicians working to get fair treatment with Fair Trade Music @Fairtrademusic.

Musicians have long stood on the cutting edge of history, and none more than AFM musicians. From amalgamation of segregetated Locals in the 1950′s and 60′s, to union democracy movements both then and now, musicians have often been ahead of the historical curve. We are living in a worldwide cycle of adversity, but standing together we stand strong.

To all of the AFM’s Locals, to our fellow Player Conference members and to all of the AFM’s dedicated musicians, we wish you

HAPPY LABOR DAY

Marc Sazer

President RMA

 

SAG-AFTRA Breakthrough in Music Video Negotiations

Dancers and other music video performers have been fighting for a union contract to cover all their work on music videos and guarantee benefits, fair pay, safety, and other basic job protections. Read the rest of this entry »

The Musicians of the Louisville Orchestra Under Siege

Dear Colleagues,

The following is an urgent appeal for your participation in an online petition on behalf of fellow musicians. On this important holiday weekend, please take a moment to “click” and sign this petition.

http://www.change.org/petitions/get-behind-the-music-support-the-louisville-orchestra-musicians Read the rest of this entry »