#WhyUnion? Joseph Stone

“Joining the Musicians Union is the moment when you become a professional musician. The Union is your support team that helps to manage the business side of music making leaving you more time and energy to pursue your artistic and career success. Wages, working conditions, health insurance, pension, dispute resolution, and Intellectual Property Rights protection… there is no practical way a musician can enjoy all those benefits without the being a member of the Musicians’ Union.”

– Joseph Stone, Oboist
Member since 1980

#WhyUnion? Alex Iles

The AFM represents the single most viable organization representing professional musicians of all genres and backgrounds to be treated fairly and to receive the benefits of collective bargaining.

The alternative is to essentially become pawns, each of us fending for ourselves, with nowhere to turn if we are hurt, treated unfairly on the job, or unpaid for our work. Continue reading

Final Note: Wally Holmes

Wally Holmes: Evangelist, Jazzman, Composer, Impresario, Great Human 

by Richard Simon & Cynthia Crosby

 “I should have gone in and pounded the table,” he said, “but that isn’t my style.”  

Wally Holmes didn’t need to pound tables; throughout his life, he commanded attention the old-fashioned way:  through talent, hard work, persistence – and an astonishing skill in the obscure art of solfeggio.

Continue reading

#WhyUnion? Marc Sazer

Whether our work is on stage, in a pit, on a scoring stage or a studio, whether we’re playing in a restaurant or a hotel ballroom, union coverage means we’re not alone. Getting the right money, health and safety protections, protections for the use of our music when others use it, access to health care and pension benefits are all important.

Perhaps the most important aspect of our union is that it is made up of us — musicians. We can vote on our contracts, work with our Local and the AFM for the help we need, have a voice in public policy in areas that affect our lives.

Imagine what our world would be without our contracts, without our union, musicians out there in the workplace alone. If we agree that we need a musicians union, our participation is what makes it happen.

– Marc Sazer, Violinist
Member since 1980

Final Note: Ernie Ehrhardt

Life Member. Cello
8/8/1946 – 8/17/2021

by Cecilia Tsan

Requiescat in Pace, dear Ernie Ehrhardt! So sad to see how this terrible disease took you so fast. You’ve been my caring stand partner as Assistant Principal with the Long Beach Symphony for 20 years and 20 more before I joined as Principal. We shared so many great memories together and you always tried your best during rehearsals and concerts. Thanks for your dedication to the Orchestra, your sense of humor and your passion for music. You will be missed.

#WhyUnion? Michael O’Daniel

Years before I joined Local 47, I was already well aware of the power of the Musicians Union. At the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where I was assistant manager, I tended to side with the musicians on labor issues, which did not make me very popular with management. Much longer story here but that’s for another time. Some of the members of Local 1 actually asked me to run for president. Honored, but not something I could take on at the time. Continue reading

Final Note: Kevin Hiatt

Life Member. Composer
7/7/1947 – 8/8/2021

by Carl Rigoli

Kevin was a great musician, composer and friend. I had known him since 1970. I played drums and percussion in his rehearsal band and recording sessions that he composed and arranged for his musical projects.

Kevin was always considered one of the best big band jazz composers in Los Angeles. Many great jazz and studio players played his compositions. He was also a masterful copyist and proofreader for some of the top film composers.

Kevin was a kind and respectful gentleman. Goodbye old friend, and Rest In Peace.