II. HELP THE MPS (Musicians for Pension Security)


…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




I. New Court Filing Offers Play by Play Account of Trustees’ Decision Making
[Colleagues: Get a load of Ray Hair’s and Tino Gagliardi’s role in this.]


On December 1, 2017, an amended complaint in
the lawsuit filed by AFM Local 802 members Andy
Snitzer and Paul Livant was filed in Federal District
Court, Southern District of New York. For those
interested in understanding what happened to
our pensions, this court filing provides a play by
play account, from 2009-2016, of the decision
making by our trustees and fund administrator
that led to the current state of our pension fund.
It tells a story of poor investment decision making,
attempts to time the stock market, and payments
to multiple investment managers, in millions of
dollars, for little return.

This account was sourced from internal meeting
minutes and communications within the AFM-EPF
obtained through the court-supervised discovery
process. Much of this is information that plan
participants have until now been denied access to.

The trustees have made it clear that they don’t
agree with MPS’ analysis of the fund, even though
virtually all of our information has come directly
from the AFM-EPF’s own files. This court filing
offers a third view of the AFM-EPF, one that
MPS had no hand in.  It also offers an opportunity
for plan participants to make up their own mind
with important new information. Read and decide
for yourself. Click here for the full document.

No one knows whether the lawsuit will succeed
in court. Whatever happens there, the plaintiffs
have done us all a service by bringing to light
important facts concerning our fund.

One area that this court filing sheds new light
on concerns the AFM-EPF Communications
Committee. In early 2016, the trustees formed
a so-called Communication Committee, which
includes trustees Ray Hair and Tino Gagliardi.
The committee made the decision in March
2017 to post only partial versions of the investment
reports to the AFM-EPF website. They also made
it policy that any document requested by a plan
participant would have to be copied, on paper,
at significant expense, rather than sent
electronically to the requester.

According to the court filing, while communicating
about plan participant’s access to information to
which they are legally entitled, Maureen Kilkelly
told Communication Committee members Ray
Hair and Tino Gagliardi that “I would love to
think of a way to curtail it” even though she
recognized “it is efficient and time-saving
to send items electronically as opposed to
copying, addressing and mailing a hard
copy.”  This quote is taken from page 47
end of paragraph 102 of the complaint.

Read it here.

As recently as December 9, 2017, plan
participants received an email blast from
our trustees stating that they “are committed
to ensuring that all participants have access
to timely and accurate information about the
fund and its financial status.” Clearly, the
policies set internally by the Communications
Committee are in stark contrast to what the
trustees have been publicly communicating
to plan participants.

Below we set forth two other important
examples where the trustee’s statement
that they are “committed to ensuring that
all participants have access to timely and
accurate information” is easily proven to
be false.

First, the most recent Form 5500 that is
available to plan participants covers the
plan year ended March 31, 2016 – information
that is now 21 months old. Form 5500 is
the legally mandated disclosure document
concerning the assets, liabilities, income,
and expenses of our plan. The Form 5500
for the plan’s fiscal year ended March 31,
2017, was due on October 31, 2017, but it
has not been filed. The AFM- EPF does this
by filing for an extension with the IRS. The
extension allows them to file their form 5500
as late as January 15 of the following year.

In other words, the trustees take the longest
allowable time in which to file this important
disclosure form. This is not the behavior of
an organization seeking to be transparent.
With their extensive staff, outside accounting,
actuarial and legal resources, there is no
reason why our trustees could not have
filed the Form 5500 months ago.

And second, because the trustees’ Roadshow
Presentation in February 2017 included
some questionable facts, MPS sought
relevant information from the trustees
concerning investment fees, expenses
and the finances of our plan. All these
requests were denied. The only documents
the trustees would disclose are those required
under the law and many are heavily redacted.
(See our prior article here.)

To sum it up: The trustees are not giving us
timely communications and what they provide
is difficult to get, expensive and incomplete.
And just when the trustees let us know we
could be facing cuts to existing benefits,
those same trustees decided to curtail
participants’ access to information, making
it harder for plan participants to figure out
what happened.

Read the court case and share your
thoughts on our Facebook page here
or email us at [email protected]

[Colleagues: At every point where they could have chosen
either transparency or obfuscation, they
chose the latter. We deserve infinitely better]



MPS Community,

Since we started our work on the behalf of AFM
members around the country we have received
many emails asking, “How can we help?” Today,
we’d like to ask all AFM members for assistance
in the coming year. Most of what we need won’t
take much of your time at all:


MPS has grown into a national volunteer organization.
As we continue to grow, the day to day administrative
duties grow as well. There are simple tasks like data
entry and communications that could be covered by
anyone willing to give up an hour or two per week.
This is a simple job but enormously helpful. Those
with special skills like copywriting, online marketing,
public relations or anything else that you think might
be valuable to MPS in the fight to protect our pension
fund, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Email us here: [email protected]
Important: Put MPS VOLUNTEER in the subject line
and let us know how you would like to help.


MPS will soon be announcing a date for another
open meeting to discuss the state of the AFM-EPF
for all plan participants. That meeting will be held in
New York City and will most likely take place
sometime in the next few months. Our inaugural
meeting last spring drew hundreds of people.
Now that we are a nationwide organization we
expect the attendance to be even larger. For
that reason, we are forming the MPS Meeting
Committee and need volunteers to help with the
logistics! The tasks that are involved with this
meeting can be as simple as showing up early
on the day of the meeting to help set up chairs
or greeting people at the door with handouts. For
anyone willing to give a little more time, we will
need help with communications and the audio/
visual equipment setup for our presentation.

To volunteer for MPS Meeting Committee
email us at:
[email protected]
Important: Put MPS Meeting Committee in the
subject line and let us know how you would like to help.


If you can’t donate your time, please consider
making a donation to MPS. We are an all-volunteer
organization made up of fellow musicians across
the country that donate their time to help in the
fight to protect our pension fund. Many of us
continue to cover some expenses out of pocket,
but as the organization grows, this will not be
feasible in the long term. Fortunately, now
that we have a large following across the country,
small donations from our many members
can have a huge impact. Please consider
making a donation here.



The Teamsters are frankly carrying a lot of our
water on this. We can do more by way of
pressuring our representatives In Washington
DC. Call them this week! You can find links to
your rep’s contact info and suggested script
here. (Read about the Butch Lewis Act here.)


All our important accomplishments in the last
year happened when AFM members came
together and took action. Whether it was coming
to a meeting to learn more about the problems
at the AFM-EPF or the thousands of calls and
emails to AFM President Ray Hair, those actions
made a huge difference in the fight to protect our
pensions in 2017. In 2018 we must continue to
organize and speak with one collective voice.
We cannot be just an online community. We
must continue to turn out and show up for
important meetings and presentations when
they occur. Your presence alone shows support.
Let us continue to bring our community together
and work towards protecting our pension fund in 2018.

Happy New Year from MPS!




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



Multiplying Cellos – Villa-Lobos Festival at Music@Mimoda
Hosted by Maksim Velichkin and Lars Hoefs

Wednesday, January 10 at 8 PM – 9:30 PM

MiMoDa Studio
5774 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90019






The 9 piece flute orchestra that I perform with will be
having a concert at the Miles Playhouse on Jan. 19th.

I hope you can make it. In addition to the large ensemble
I will be playing in a quartet!

Tickets are limited, so I suggest that if you are interested
you purchase them through the eventbrite website.
Here’s to a fabulous 2018!

Ellen Burr





Tuesday, January 19th, 2018 / 8:00 pm
Pete Christlieb & Linda Small
with the Ray Ohls Trio
Ray Ohls on piano Derick Polke on bass Tim Malland on drums
Brother Don’s
4200 Kitsap Way
Bremerton, WA 98312
Reservations: (360) 377.8442




DeLuna, Marder & Kronstadt
Upstairs at Vitello’s
Thursday, February 1 at 8 PM – 11 PM
4349 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, California 91604

Three Singers, Songwriters, and Arrangers perform
their Original Music. Jazz/Brazilian/Groove/Pop…
backed by an All-Star Band.


Rich Ruttenberg on piano,
Edwin Livingston on bass,
Joel Taylor on drums,
Brian Swartz on trumpet,
Bob Sheppard on sax,
Peter Kent and Rocio Marron on violin,
Rodney Wirtz on viola,
and Peggy Baldwin on cello.

Tickets: $20 for General Admission// $40 for VIP Seating

A minimum of two items ($20.00) is required per person
while occupying a table. If the minimum is not met the
difference will be charged. – Free dessert with your
purchase of a VIP ticket. $10






Brendan White- Piano & Jacqueline Suzuki- Violin at Music@Mimoda
· Hosted by Maksim Velichkin and Jacqueline Suzuki


Wednesday, February 7 at 8 PM – 9:30 PM

MiMoDa Studio
5774 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90019






“Animatus Eventus”
Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 11, 2018 @ 2:00 p.m.
Music to entertain the young and the young
at heart, with a unique concert celebrating the
music of cartoons including “Alice’s Wonderland,”
“Felix goes to Hollywood,” and others, composed
by some of Hollywood’s top cartoon composers,
like Mark Watters and Charles Fernandez.

Plus: Animatus Eventus (Cartoon Suite), a three
movement symphonic work by Charles Fernandez
based on original material with nods to cartoons
from the last 80 years, including classic cartoon
footage shown on a large screen.
Email – [email protected]
Phone – 951-787-0251

Steve Piazza, Director
Subscription Concert 4 – Valentine Concert
Sunday February 11, 2018 at 2:30 pm
Calabasas High School Performing Arts Education Center
22855 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302

Valentines Concert featuring music of some of
history’s greatest pairs of lovers including
Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Isolde.




The Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program at the Seattle Film Institute

is now accepting applications for the one-year

Master of Music in Film Composition

One of the Top 4 Film Music Programs in the World!

Recently rated as the #4 school in the world for film scoring education by Music School Central.

“in just one year, the school places students into a pressure cooker of intense learning resulting in a professional demo reel that can be used to obtain future paid commercial opportunities.”


Learn from Industry Professionals

All PNWFS faculty are active professional film and game composers, orchestrators, copyists, and engineers, including the program’s creator and lead instructor Dr. Hummie Mann.  Hummie is the two-time Emmy Award winning film composer of “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and featured in Variety Magazine’s article “Leaders in Learning”.

Our Program Features:
• 9 live recording sessions with professional musicians at Studio X, Seattle’s premiere, world-class studio.
• Opportunities to work with student directors to score actual films from film programs all over the world.
Training in all major software programs used in the industry.
A state-of-the-art workstation assigned to each student fully installed with the latest versions of all software, sample libraries and plug-ins needed to complete the program.


Accelerated and Affordable

We are a one-year Master of Music in Film Composition program which not only gives our graduates the opportunity to enter the industry and start their careers a year sooner than other programs but saves them an entire year of living expenses. In addition to our accelerated format we also offer the most affordable tuition out of competing programs. Our students have access to FAFSA financial assistance, loans, and scholarships as well.


History of Success

We are very proud to have a high success rate for our graduates who have gone on to work on television shows such as Castle, Empire, and Once Upon a Time; video games such as World of Warcraft, Spate, and Destiny; and films such as The Revenant, Trolls, The Dark Tower, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Apply now and you could be joining their ranks!

Applications are being accepted for the Fall 2018 school year.
We offer rolling admissions – no deadline to apply.



(800) 882-4734 |



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