Tag Archives: Executive Board

Special Message From The AFM Local 47 Executive Board

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

AFM Local 47 has recently been made aware of an instance of racial profiling of a BIPOC member who was working under an AFM Local 47 contract at a venue in Los Angeles. 

The Local 47 Executive Board condemns profiling in any form and has engaged legal counsel to contact both the management of the venue and the producer of the event for which Local 47 members were engaged.

Local 47 stands steadfastly committed to ensuring that our members have the opportunity to work in safe environments free of discrimination, harassment, and any other form of inappropriate and unlawful behavior, and to hold anyone responsible for such abuses accountable.

If you or any other member experience a similar situation, please immediately report the conduct to Local 47 by filling out the Discrimination/Harassment Report Form at afm47.org/report, or by contacting the President’s Office at 323.993.3181.

Notice From the Executive Board: Weekly Board Meetings Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Local 47 Executive Board has had to change the way it conducts its weekly meetings by transitioning from in-person meetings to holding them via video conference. Due to challenges in ensuring that only members would have access to these meetings, the Executive Board has determined that we are unable at this time to provide video access for members to observe meetings digitally. Any members with specific questions or issues are invited to contact the Secretary’s Office in order to be placed on the agenda. Additionally, Executive Board minutes are accessible to all members in the secure members-only section of our website at afm47.org.

Dr. P. Blake Cooper Elected to Local 47 Executive Board

At our July Membership Meeting, a special election took place to fill a vacancy on the Executive Board. Dr. P. Blake Cooper was nominated for the director position and elected by acclamation.

“I’m happy to serve AFM Local 47 as a new member of the Executive Board,” Dr. Cooper said. “After the retirement of my friend and colleague Andy Malloy, I was approached by members of the board about filling in for two months until the time of a General Membership Meeting Special Election, which took place on July 22, 2019. I am very pleased to have won that election and have the opportunity to continue my service to Local 47. In my time on the board so far I have learned a great deal about the inner workings of our Union, and I continue to learn more all the time.

“I have also been an active member of the Contract Action Team (CAT) which has the focus of a fair contract for recording musicians in regard to recording for new media, also known as streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. We’ve already had very successful actions, including the June 27th AMPTP rally, and there is more to come as we get closer to our October negotiations. I urge you all to get involved; this contract effects everyone, as it could have a very positive impact on our pension fund as well the ability for musicians in L.A. to make a living wage.

“As a member of the Executive Board my hope is to help guide the Local into this new era, a more digital era. I hope we can all grow and evolve into a better and stronger Union with fair contracts for all lines of work. I also aim to keep our Local fiscally responsible, again to ensure a strong Union for generations to come. Lastly, I hope to be a voice on the board for a younger generation of musicians. If you see me at work, please come say hello.”

Dr. P. Blake Cooper is a Los Angeles based freelance tubist, who additionally doubles on cimbasso, electric bass, sousaphone and bass trombone. As an orchestral musician, he has been the principal tubist of the New West Symphony since 2013 and has had the pleasure of performing with the LA Philharmonic, LA Opera, LA Chamber Orchestra, LA Master Chorale, San Diego Symphony, Pasadena Symphony and Pops, Santa Barbara Symphony, MUSE/IQUE, San Bernardino Symphony, Riverside Philharmonic, and the Redlands Symphony to name a few. Some other unique live performances from recent years include the 2017 Hans Zimmer Live Tour which included two performances at Coachella, Joe Hisaishi Live at the Microsoft Theater, and the rock opera “Quadrophenia” at the Greek Theatre.

Dr. Cooper can also be found at the various recording studios and sound stages around L.A. recording for movies, TV, video games and record dates. Some projects he has contributed to include “The Lion King” (2019), “Coco,” “Doctor Sleep,” “Torrance,” “IT: Part 2,” “Christopher Robin,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Star Trek Discovery,” “Welcome to Marwen,” “Little,” “Triple Frontier,” “The Umbrella Academy,” “TAG,” “Isn’t it Romantic,” “The Nun,” “The Grinch,” “Batman v. Superman,” “Halo Wars 2,” League of Legends” and many more. Some notable composers Blake has recorded for include Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Germaine Fran-co, Danny Elfman, The Newton Bros, Benjamin Wallfisch, Bear McCreary, John Debney, Abel Korzeniowski and Alan Silvestri.

Dr. Cooper is also a passionate music educator. Since 2012 he has served as adjunct professor of tuba (and euphonium as of fall 2018) at California State University, Northridge and additionally teaches as instructor of tuba at Santa Monica College, La Sierra University and previously at LACC. He has a small private studio of elite young tubists, most of whom have gone on to be accepted at schools such as the Eastman School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Oberlin, USC, UCLA, and many more. He is also the music director and orchestra conductor for the Harmony Project’s Regional Youth Orchestra where he conducts and programs for two youth orchestras and youth wind ensemble. From 2010 to 2016 Dr. Cooper served as the founding lead brass specialist and wind ensemble director for the LA Phil’s El Sistema-inspired Youth Orchestra initiative YOLA @ HOLA. During that time he also taught for the Bard College Longy School of Music MAT program where he worked with aspiring El Sistema teachers as a mentor, supervisor and conducting education faculty.

A proud native of Louisville, KY, Dr. Cooper earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in music education with a minor focus in jazz bass. He then moved to Texas to pursue graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a master’s in tuba performance and serving as graduate teaching assistant in applied tuba. Finally in 2009, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a doctor of musical arts degree at USC in tuba performance with emphases in music education, jazz bass and instrumental conducting. Blake’s past teachers include Jim Self, Norm Pearson, Doug Tornquist, Alphonso Johnson, Charles Villarrubia, Steven L. Bryant, and Skip Gray.

Notice of Special Election to Fill Vacancy on Executive Board

A special election to fill a vacancy on the Executive Board, currently held temporarily by P. Blake Cooper as appointed by the Board, will take place at the next General Membership Meeting on July 22, 2019. Please click here to review the full meeting agenda.

For information on Vacancies and Special Elections, please refer to Articles IX and X of the AFM Local 47 Bylaws, available in the members section of our website or upon request from the Secretary/Treasurer’s Office. Continue reading

A message from the Executive Board on Bylaws

Recently, there have been discussions regarding our internal procedures relevant to processing claims against members. With this communication, we hope to clarify any confusion and to provide answers.

The American Federation of Musicians Local 47 is charged with many duties including, but not limited to, advocating for musicians through collective bargaining and contract enforcement, organizing, defending and protecting the rights of its membership. Specific to the issue at hand, the Local is duty-bound to enforce and to comply with the Bylaws. Continue reading

Los Angeles Musicians Elect New Union Leadership

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AFM Local 47 members vote in John Acosta as President, Rick Baptist as VP

John Acosta

John Acosta

LOS ANGELES, CA (Dec. 16, 2014) — Members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 have elected new leadership, with current vice president John Acosta rising rank as the union’s new president.

Replacing Acosta as vice president and joining the Local 47 executive board for the first time is veteran studio musician Rick Baptist. Gary Lasley will serve a third term as secretary/treasurer. Acosta succeeds Vince Trombetta, who has been president of the Los Angeles musicians union since 2009. All three titled officers ran unopposed in the Local 47 general election held on Dec. 9. Continue reading

AFM Local 47 Says ‘Listen Up!’

Listen Up Logo

The Executive Board of AFM Local 47 passed a resolution June 24, 2014 reaffirming its support and commitment to the AFM’s Listen Up! campaign.

In a unanimous vote it resolved to communicate this support and participation to its members urging that they also endorse this campaign.

For more information about Listen Up! and to get involved, visit listenupnow.org.


“Listen Up! is our flagship campaign, and we invite all Local 47 musicians to join, to participate, to get informed and to make a difference.” — Vince Trombetta, President


“Let’s bring together fellow musicians, labor and community and say no more to outsourcing, no more to exploitation of musicians, and yes to Listen Up! and AFM musicians!” — John Acosta, Vice President


“The Listen Up! campaign is all about creating employment for musicians by building our strength and developing support among organized labor, elected officials and community leaders.” — Gary Lasley, Secretary/Treasurer