A Truly Grand Opening

(Linda A. Rapka)

Close to 300 musicians, dignitaries and friends turned out on the evening of May 21, 2018 for the official Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony to commemorate the new home of American Federation of Musicians Local 47 at 3220 Winona Ave. in Burbank.

This past summer, our union began our relocation from Hollywood to a beautifully renovated building in Burbank. With Phase 1 of construction recently completed, we were ready to celebrate in style!

(Tom Pease)

Guests filtered in to a giant tent set up on the parking lot in front of the main entrance of the new building. Students from the Burbank Unified High School Marching Band kicked things off with a rousing drumline. Among the many VIPs in attendance were the building’s architect, John Cambianica of CBA Architects, and general contractor, Mike McCormick of McCormick Construction, and representatives from labor unions and organizations including SAG-AFTRA, Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund, Musicians At Play, The Actors Fund, AFM Local 6 San Francisco, NABET-CWA Local 53, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, California Jazz Foundation, Los Angeles Jazz Society, Formosa Group, Burbank Cultural Arts Commission, Los Angeles Community College District, and many more.

AFM Local 47 President John Acosta and Vice President Rick Baptist served as masters of ceremony. “As we begin a new chapter here in Burbank, we will continue to advocate for professional musicians,” Acosta said. “Whether it be for film and television tax incentives to bring jobs back to the state of California, to advocate for more funding for our orchestras through the National Endowment of the Arts, or for fair pay for musicians performing in nightclubs, Local 47 will continue to be the voice of the professional musician in our new home for many, many years to come.”

The impressive lineup of special guest speakers included:

  • Gema Sanchez, President, Burbank Chamber of Commerce; and several Chamber Ambassadors for the official Ribbon Cutting
  • Emily Gabel-Luddy, Mayor, City of Burbank
  • Jason Maruca, office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, 5th District
  • Pamela Marcello, District Representative for Congressman Adam Schiff, 28th District
  • Victoria Dochoghlian, Field Representative for Assemblymember Laura Friedman, 43rd District
  • Arda Tchakian, District Representative for Senator Anthony J. Portantino, 25th District
  • Jay Blumenthal, Secretary/Treasurer, American Federation of Musicians of the United States & Canada
  • Serena Kay Williams, Secretary/Treasurer Emeritus, AFM Local 47

(Tom Pease)

(Linda A. Rapka)

During the ceremony, the three titled officers unveiled a bronze plaque dedicating the building to “our talented membership and hard-working staff who stand committed to the advancement of music and musicians.”

(Tom Pease)

No party at AFM Local 47 would be complete without live music, and guests were treated to a quartet comprising members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Mike Barone closed out the evening with a rousing set from his award-winning Big Band, featuring smoking hot tenor sax from Rickey Woodard as special guest soloist.

LA Philharmonic Quartet: Mitchell Newman (1st violin), Dale Briedenthal (2nd violin), Merideth Snow (viola), and Gloria Lum (cello). (photo: Linda A. Rapka)

Leader, Composer & Arranger Mike Barone with Special Guest Soloist Rickey Woodard on Tenor Sax. (photo: Linda A. Rapka)

Mike Barone Big Band:
Leader, Composer, Arranger: Mike Barone
Special Guest Soloist, Tenor Sax: Rickey Woodard
Trumpets: Dave Richards, Jon Bradley, Harry Ostrander, Bob Summers
Trombones: Charlie Loper, Lori Stuntz, Bill Booth, Todd Eames
Saxes: Dan Kaneyuki, Glen Garrett, Joe Santa Maria, Jesse McGinty, Tim McKay
Piano: Charlie Ferguson
Bass: David Tranchina
Drums: Bryan Taylor (photo: Linda A. Rapka)

Guests enjoyed guided tours of the 25,000-square-foot building with guided tours of the new AFM Local 47 financial offices, state-of-the-art rehearsal rooms, recording studio, and impressive Artists’ Lounge.

Currently in the planning stages, Phase 2 construction on our new multi-purpose space will serve as an auditorium and hall for membership meetings, large orchestra rehearsals, live performances, and rentals.

Secretary/Treasurer Emeritus Serena Kay Williams received the red-carpet treatment at our Burbank Grand Opening gala. Williams, whose career at the union spanned more than 60 years, shared her memories of joining Local 47 when it was at its previous location in downtown Los Angeles on Georgia Street, and of attending the opening ceremony of the Vine Street property in 1950. Pictured from left: President John Acosta, Director Pam Gates, Trustee Judy Chilnick, Director Andy Malloy, Secretary/Treasurer Emeritus Serena Kay Williams, Secretary/Treasurer Gary Lasley, Directors Phil O’Connor, Bill Reichenbach and Vivian Wolf, and Trustee Dylan Hart. (Not pictured: Vice President Rick Baptist, Trustee Bonnie Janofsky, Director John Lofton.) (photo: Tom Pease)

All attendees received a special commemorative program book as part of the festivities. A digital copy may be viewed here and in our Overture App library. Members may request a complimentary copy by sending an email to press@afm47.org. (Books are available on a first-come, first-served basis.)




View more photos from the event here.



2 thoughts on “A Truly Grand Opening

  1. Rimona Seay

    Great evening indeed. It was a beautiful event. Thank you for capturing this moment Linda.

Comments are closed.