…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity – Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity – Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal – L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention – National touring musician




Colleagues, we in Local 47 are certainly not the only ones

incensed at the handling of our pension. Below is a letter

from two Local 802 members.

Besides the obvious, this is the most repulsive statement

in the member letter:

“When I asked Maureen Kilkelly to provide the details of

her investment decisions and the source of the $800m

loss, at an AFM 802 meeting in 2011, she refused. She

told me that because the law didn’t require her to

provide me with those details, she wouldn’t.”


How dare she, this is reminiscence of the dismissive

and abhorrent treatment local 47 members would get

from our counsel when he used to attend meetings.

Here is the letter:

Dear AFM member,

You recently received a link to a letter from the AFM

pension fund (AFM-EPF).
The EPF’s letter intends to explain the poor health of

our pension fund. The essence of the communication is

twofold: that shortfalls in contributions vs. paid benefits

will have an ongoing negative impact on the health of

the fund, and that a 40% ($800m) loss between 10/2007

and 4/2009 was primarily responsible for the fund’s

entry into critical status. This response deals with the

$800m loss. If you’re upset by the loss of that money,

and the dire state of our fund, please take the time to

read this.

1) EPF management did not invest “prudently.”
The letter asserts that it’s “prudent” to diversify into

private equity, direct real estate investments, distressed

debt, etc. That is inaccurate. It is “trendy” in pension

fund circles to consider these types of riskier investments,

based on the success of a few very smart people (see David

Swensen at Yale). But it is hardly “prudent”, as the term

is commonly used in investing (I wonder how many

among EPF staff and board members could properly

explain the risk profile of private equity and emerging

market debt positions that the fund holds). And there

certainly are pension funds, small and large, that do

not pursue such strategies, and do have the vast majority

of their assets in more traditional investment products.


2) “It” did not happen to “everyone.”
“We were not alone in the magnitude of the decline

in our assets; almost all multi-employer funds suffered

substantial declines.” The implication in this careful

language is that almost all plans suffered the same

fate as ours. That is inaccurate.


From a Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation report,

the average multi-employer fund lost 25% percent of fund

value during the 2009 crisis. That is a wholly different

number from the 40% loss reported by the AFM-EPF.

(pg. 5, note 7) In 2008, 77% of multi-employer plans

were in the Green zone. By 2009, that number

plummeted to 32%. By 2011, it was back up to 60%.

(pg. 40, table 15) We started 2008 in the Green zone,

plummeted to the Red zone after the market crisis,

and stayed there.

Response to AFM-EPF 12/2016 letter

From a 2016 report by Segal Advisors re its multi-

employer clients: “Multi-employer plans are predominantly

Green.” As of end 2016, 64% of all Segal-advised multi-

employer pension plans were in the Green zone. This

includes other union plans with declining membership

and declining contributions. 25% were in the Red zone.

Only the bottom 9% were in “critical and declining”

status, our likely next stop under current EPF



3) AFM-EPF Management is not being transparent.
When I asked Maureen Kilkelly to provide the details

of her investment decisions and the source of the $800m

loss, at an AFM 802 meeting in 2011, she refused. She

told me that because the law didn’t require her to provide

me with those details, she wouldn’t. A fairly shocking

attitude in front of a room full of people whose $800m

you just lost. If Ms. Kilkelly were a private investment

manager, she’d have been made to explain her decisions

and poor results, in detail, to a very unhappy client. She

wouldn’t be able to hide behind legalities, withholding

details from a client on the subject of their money. That

position, in a private investment management relationship,

would cause her to be fired from the account.

“Before the crisis, many pension funds had experimented

with risky trading techniques or committed more of their

money to hedge funds and other nontraditional firms, which

in turn invested some of it in complex mortgage

securities. When these melted down, pension funds

got burned.”
– Washington Post, 11/2009


I don’t know if this is what happened to us, because the

people that run our money won’t answer any real

questions. But something like this is what I suspect.

“The market went down” is a laughably insufficient

explanation for the loss. We deserve to know what

types of risky investments were held by the AFM-EPF

in 2008. We deserve to know how many of those

investments realized the loss of most or all of their

value, and what proportional weight they represented

in terms of our total fund value, and the $800m loss.

Until we get a detailed explanation from EPF

management as to where that $800m went, what kinds

of products/what firms were responsible for the loss,

and what was done in terms of managerial reassignments

in the wake of the failure, we are being purposely talked

down to and diverted from the truth. And even with an

explanation, we deserve an outside auditor to examine

the fund. We need to warrant that every aspect of its

management is appropriate and professional going

forward. The letter referenced above offers no indication

that management has in any way altered its investment

policy, or improved its investment insight, as a result

of all this**.

Response to AFM-EPF 12/2016 letter

4) Our Red zone status is not an act of God. It is

substantially the result of poor investment



Email and call your union officials, at your local

and at the national office.

Demand an independent audit of the fund. Demand

wholesale changes in the way your money is being

invested. EPF management’s investment policy

failures have substantially accelerated our fund’s

decline. Do not accept what you’re being told

about the path that led us here.


Demand detailed accountability for this mess.
Andy Snitzer & Paul Livant, AFM 802


5) Investment Returns and Expenses
**The fund’s annual investment return, via the figures

provided, averaged 9.5% over the seven year period

ending 3/31/16. I am not suggesting that putting all

fund money in an S&P500 index fund is exactly an

appropriate investment strategy, or that the comparison

to our fund’s overly long list of investment types is exactly

apples to apples. But as an indicator, as a general

benchmark, the S&P500 returned an average of 14.5%

over the same time period (46.7%,13.4%, 6.2%, 10.9%,

19.9%, 10.5%, and -.04%,

from year-end 3/31/2010).

http://bit.ly/2igQVVn EPF management took

much greater investment risk, spent millions of dollars

in investment, consulting, and administrative fees,

all to underperform a benchmark large-cap equity

index by an average 5% per year (also underperforming

that index in every single one of those seven years,

not just on average).

As a mathematical example, vs. simply investing in

the index, our underperformance represents an

opportunity loss of $693 for every $1000 continuously

invested over the seven year period.


An interesting link to fund expenses, both investment

fees and salaries….multiple years available, from 2009.



It has been confirmed by multiple sources that the 2nd fiddle
to the recording stars and high up person in the RMA sued a
major contractor last year because the contractor stopped
hiring them. They lost, of course. Said contractor stopped
hiring the player because, according to the contractor, of
their lack of “musical contribution”.

It’s called FREE-LANCING, 2nd Fiddle, and contractors can
hire (Or not hire) who they like! How Ironic that after all
the careers you’ve affected over the years, you should
find yourself affected by the same practices.

Karma can really suck, can’t it?




It certainly seems that once the system had almost gotten
rid of one devious, underhanded person there’s always
another ready to take their place. The below should prove
that people are still blacklisted and targeted, and that the
RMA is still the most disruptive entity in our business.

Indeed, the RMA leadership’s conduct and AFM conduct
has made the AFM brand absolutely toxic to a majority
of studios and producers of content, not to mention
the composers.

The specific names of those mentioned here have been
removed, though most in the recording industry will
probably know who they are.

This has ALSO been verified by multiple sources….

-A local union contractor was busted in the fall for a
non-union recording date at “The Bridge” in Glendale, CA
-A list of the musicians involved was leaked to contractors
before the musicians accused were charged. This resulted
in several established musicians becoming blacklisted
from “A” list contractors.
-An RMA board member orchestrated this operation in
an attempt to target specific contractors who are in
opposition to their own personal interests.
Coincidentally, those who also refuse to hire them.
– This RMA board member, who has also stopped
working for this contractor, is on the war path with
the assistance of Local 47’s own Gordon Grayson,
using him to spy on selected contractors. Gordon
Grayson was recently spotted taking photos outside
of Warner Brothers, while his associate Erick Cruz
took photos outside of the Bridge Recording to
bust said contractor’s session.

Only SOME of the musicians present were charged.
[EC: Selective enforcement? How convenient.]

-The RMA board member, who is on the A-list,
will deny any and all accusations, and hides
behind Gordon Grayson’s actions, so that they
may remain in good graces with recording colleagues
– the very same people who they spy on and incriminate.
– The RMA board member maintains friendships with
musicians and then uses personal information
to bust these select contractors.
– The RMA board member has also gained preferential
treatment from a certain contractor for eliminating
this contractor’s competition.
– The RMA board member has held a grudge towards
this particular “busted” contractor and his partner
for many years.
-What is the advantage to this RMA board member in
attacking musicians who are barely scraping by
to make a living, while the officer sits comfortably
in an A-list chair helping the one contractor
who still hires them?
-They address the only contractor who hires
them as “fat fi-core idiot”, and will do anything
they can to manipulate him into returning to
the union while they bust actual union contractors.
-The RMA board member has no allegiance to
anyone who will not help them professionally.

We hope this provides you with some insight
to the inner workings of the RMA and their
henchman working on their own accord
outside of Local 47’s jurisdiction. Please
help us by informing the community via
the blog.


-The Inner Circle

[EC: Consider it done.]



Anyone we know on this roster?!

Just where is the ” Union” on this?
Didn’t hear a CBA signed for them at the  inaugural meeting?



Still pining away for Tommy Lee whose AFM administration
almost sent the AFM into oblivion, are you?


I find it funny that after destroying the film music scene
for all but their nifty fifty, destroying any possibility of
a real video game contract (which would go a long way
to healing the arterial bleeding of our pension and
declining local) and infiltrating local orchestras (replacing
tenured musicians with their cronies), the RMA apparently
is now eating their own…

If our pension gets forced into a government program,
we all lose big time. Pennies on the dollar…
And… I doubt the Trump administration will be kind to
unions, bankrupt pensions, or any other worker issues…

We’re in for a rough road ahead..

Good luck.




are now at Culver City Elks the first 
Friday of 
every month.
11160 Washington Pl.
Culver City, 90232


Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at
Viva Cantina
900 Riverside Drive, 

Free parking across the street at Pickwick Bowl.
Come hear your favorite charts played the way

We are in the back room called
the Trailside Room. 

Come on down.

Guaranteed to swing.
Jan. 21, 2017 –
Tutor Family Center at Chaminade West Hills
Schumann: Manfred Overture
Mendelssohn: Symphony #3 in A minor (Scottish)
Belling: Music Madly Makes the World Go Round
Inaugural Performance
Cary Belling, violinist
Other concerts in the series
Mar. 18, 2017 –
Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center
Tuttle: By Steam or By Dream Overture
Inaugural Performance
Prokofiev: Symphony #1 in D major (Classical)
Ben-Haim: Pastorale Variée for
Clarinet, Harp and Strings
Geoff Nudell, clarinetist
Beethoven: Romance for Violin and Orchestra
Ruth Bruegger, violinist

May 13, 2017 – Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center

Saint-Saens: Bacchanale from “Samson and Delilah”
Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in C major
Egizi: Orchestral Suite 
“In Memoria di Mio Padre”
Inaugural Performance

Programs subject to change



Saturday ~ January 28th
7:30 in the evening.

For Reservations Click Here:

Featuring the:
Maria Newman, violinist
Scott Hosfeld, violist
Paula Hochhalter, cellist

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Divertimento for String Trio in Eb
KV 563

Ludwig van Beethoven:
String Trio in G Major
Opus 9, No. 1

…and a few surprises…

Performed in the beautiful MUSIC ROOM at the
Montgomery Arts House
For Music & Architecture
Eric Lloyd Wright, architect

Donation $25.00 per Guest
18 and under admitted donation-free

Artists, dates, times, and programming
subject to change without  prior notice

To make a reservation
please visit our website at

Or call the
MAHMA Reservation Line:
(310) 589-0295

Join us at MAHMA
February 11, 2017 and
February 14, 2017
for our romantic
Valentine’s Events:
Champagne & Chocolate



On Wednesday FEBRUARY 1, 2017 at 12:10-12:40 pm
the Free Admission Glendale Noon Concerts will feature
oboist Catherine Del Russo
violinist Kirstin Fife
cellist Christopher Ahn performing works by
Quantz, Haydn and Fife
at the Sanctuary of Glendale City Church,

610 E. California Ave. (at Isabel St), Glendale, CA 91206.

For more information, email [email protected]
or call (818) 244- 7241.

Oboist Catherine Del Russo received her Bachelor of Music Degree and Performance Certificate at the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Robert Sprenkle, and her Masters of Music Degree from Ohio University where she studied with John Mack in Cleveland. Since then, Del Russo has performed around the world, beginning with the Eastman Wind Ensemble to the Far East as Principal Oboe. After that, she performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Filharmonic de Caracas and Orquesta Municipal in Caracas, Venezuela. Del Russo has played with many orchestras since moving to Los Angeles, including the Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, and the Honolulu Symphony. Currently, she is Principal Oboe of Orchestra Santa Monica, Downey Symphony, and Symphony in the Glen, and is Solo English horn for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Asia America Symphony. Del Russo has enjoyed playing on many films, commercials and television shows. She has been a promoter of chamber music and new music in Los Angeles. Her oboe, viola and piano trio won the Consortium of Southern California Chamber Music Presenters. Del Russo is Professor of Oboe at Westmont College and is on the Applied Music
faculty at Occidental College.

Violinist Kirstin Fife has made many recordings for motion pictures, television, and phonograph, including her own solo recordings, “Czechmate” and “Pieces of My Heart”. Both of these are available at Amazon and iTunes. She is a graduate of the music schools at USC and Yale University. Also a composer, Kirstin is working on several projects, including a 22 piece song cycle for piano and violin.
Website: http://www.pottsandfife.com/welcome.html

A native of Los Angeles, Christopher Ahn has appeared in solo and chamber music performances across the U.S. as well as abroad in Europe, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, Canada and Central America. Recent solo performances include recitals at the Brand Library and Art Center, UCLA, California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Santa Monica College, and concerto performances with orchestras in Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia. He has also performed chamber music on the Chapman University, Dilijan, L’Ermitage Foundation, Music Guild, and Trinity Lutheran concert series, and has performed numerous times for live radio broadcasts on the Sundays Live recital series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Chris has enjoyed frequent collaborations in recent years with the Lineage Dance Company, most recently presenting a performance of the Bach Cello Suites with dance choreography on the Brand Library and Art Center Dance performance series. He has also worked closely with several Los Angeles based composers, performing new works for solo cello and chamber ensemble on several local series such as the Blackbird Music Project in Orange County, the contemporary music collective ‘Synchromy,’ and Classical Revolution LA.
Chris pursued his studies at UCLA, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Michigan, where his principal teachers included Antonio Lysy, Richard Aaron, Stephen Geber, and Colin Carr. He has also studied with Hans Jorgen Jensen, Andrew Shulman, Peter Rejto, John Walz, and Jenny Goss. Chris currently resides in Los Angeles, where he enjoys a broad spectrum of performance and teaching opportunities.



Subscription Concert 3 – Calabasas High School
Stars of the Los Angeles Symphonic Winds
Revel in the artistry of some of the LA Winds’ most
acclaimed performers.
-Geoff Nudell and Parker Gaims (now a member of the US Marine Corps Band) play Felix Mendelssohn’s virtuosic Two Concert Pieces. Also on the program will be two works by the LA Winds’ resident composer,
– Charles Fernandez
• Sunday March 26, 2017
• 2:30 p.m.  Performing Arts Education Centers.

You can read all previous offerings at:



  1. Anonymous says:

    time to drain the RMA swamp

Leave a Reply for Anonymous