…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





Dear fellow musicians,

I and others started this blog 12 years ago
in the hope of keeping recording work in
Los Angeles and addressing some of the
injustice done by local 47 against our

During this time, we’ve all witnessed the
steady decline of recording work in Los
Angeles. We’ve also witnessed, with the
consent of our local, the wholesale transfer
of work from one group of musicians to
another (e.g. the Pasadena Pops and the
Los Angeles Ballet orchestra).

In response. our union leadership has failed
to address any of our underlying problems
and selectively punishes anyone who questions
the status quo.  As opposed to standing up
for the rights of rank and file musicians, our
AFM national officers have condoned our
local’s actions and have also sanctioned
anyone who protests against their policies.

Despite losing two thirds of its membership
in the last ten years and facing the possible
demise of our pension fund, you would think
the AFM and our local officers would try to
reform their policies and conduct. Unfortunately,
this is not the case.

As a result, I will be withdrawing my local union
membership after a total of 40 years and will
be electing Financial Core status. I encourage all
musicians of conscience to do the same.
I believe the AFM will eventually
fail under its own mismanagement.

I invite all progressive musicians of good will to
form an new organization that will generate
both work and justice for musicians.  We must
be proactive in trying to create something new.

The blog will remain committed to the
rank and file.



Charles Fernandez
Editor, Committee for a More Responsible Local 47 Blog




II. MY RESIGNATION LETTER – Enough is enough.


Here is the resignation letter I included with my shift to Fi-Core Status.

Local 47
American Federation of Musicians
Attn: Secretary
3220 Winona Ave.
Burbank CA 91504


Re: Election of Financial-Core Status Effective Immediately

To the Secretary:

I, Charles Fernandez, hereby elect financial-core status effective
immediately. And to the extent necessary, I hereby resign as
an active member of Local 47 and the AFM, effective immediately.
Please refund a pro rata portion of my dues previously paid which
were allocated by you to political causes.

I want you to know the reason why I am electing financial-core status.

For the past 35 years, I have taken it as a point of great pride to
be a member of the American Federation of Musicians and Local
47; but no longer. The AFM and Local 47 no longer represent the
interests of the majority of its members. Instead, the union has
failed to adopt policies and procedures ensuring that the majority
of our members who are willing and want to work as musicians,
are able to do so. While the union is not responsible for changes
in technology and in the marketplace, the union IS responsible
for how it reacts to those changes so that the minimum harm is
felt by the members.

The AFM and Local 47 – as work has dried up over the past
15 or 20 years – have more and more favored the interests
of a minority of members who belong to the RMA. It has
done so at the expense of the interests of the majority of
members. That is an undeniable fact.

By ignoring the interests of a majority of our members,
leadership of the AFM and Local 47 have demonstrated
an utter lack of creativity, imagination and flexibility in
responding to the changing marketplace, and the union
has severely hurt the majority of members.

As for myself, I got hauled up on totally bogus, trumped
up charges because, in my capacity as an educator, not
a union musician, I conducted a couple of pieces of music
composed by my students at what was nothing more nor
less than a demo session to provide the students with a
reel of their music to assist them in getting work as composers.
As a reminder to you IEB and Local 47 board members,
there is NO bylaw against a union member conducting
on a session, union or not. Look it up.

We all know I was treated so harshly with the size of the
fine because of my past activism and the Local using the
excuse of a supposed position with the Collective Media
Guild. This was so obviously fraudulent that all of the
charges against me relating to my alleged affiliation
with CMG were dropped for the lack of evidence.
I can only conclude that the fine of $2500 was simply
underhanded and vindictive.

So in the end I was selectively targeted for simply
attending the session as an educator, which is absurd,
but those prosecuting the charges against me didn’t
care about that reality, or the truth, and designed
their actions to cost me the most money possible,
in the end the amount will be approx. $15,500.

Had I been treated fairly I would’ve been called
into Local 47, and given a warning.

If I had been a well-placed RMA member and/or
a member of the board I’d have faced no charges.

I have been a member of Local 47 since 1983
(35 years) and never, ever, been charged with a
violation or infraction of the Bylaws.

I read the blog “The Truth about Fi-Core” on
the Local 47 website. It is filled with platitudes,
such as “we shouldn’t get screwed over by those
who would happily see us work for less than our
worth;” “standing together, in unity, is the best
way to make [more work] happen;” and that
members who “share in a democratic process,
have a voice, and be active participants in crafting
and maintaining the terms of our employment.”

That all sounds very nice but it isn’t realistic, nor
is it true. Working for “our worth” is a moving
target which depends on the realities of the
marketplace. It would be nice if the union could
set scale rates without taking into account the
rest of the world, but that bubble has long since
burst. The fact is you can record anywhere in the
world except with the AFM with a buyout. There
must be a more realistic distinction between big
budget, Hollywood films and all the rest of the
composers, producers, and production houses
who are trying to get off the ground. No one,
including me, wants to work for a pittance. But
there is a range of scales that can ensure that
those of us who want to work for a certain minimum,
are able to do so.

No union member wants to take nonunion work,
unless that’s the only work available. And in that
situation, no union member wants to be hauled
up on charges simply for trying to feed their family.
Unfortunately, what the union is left with is the vast
majority of its members who are unable to earn a
decent living playing union gigs. This will inevitably
lead to more and more members resigning or electing
financial-core status to avoid charges. This is the
dilemma which the union has created for the majority
of its members.

The bigger picture is that there is little recording work
for anyone other than a minority of RMA members;
there are numerous members of Local 47 who are
fine musicians and perfectly capable of doing excellent
recording work, but don’t work because of the few
contractors and RMA members who have a monopoly
on recording work. That leaves the rest of the members
who are capable of performing at the highest levels
with no work and no prospect of work if they are to
adhere to the union rules. That’s the intersection that
most qualified members find themselves.

All members do non-union work (board members
included – you know who you are), but as mostly
RMA members occupying favored status with the
union leadership, none of you will ever be brought
up on charges, be it for playing on recordings or
orchestrating for film or musical theater.

That’s the kind of favoritism that makes the majority
of our members, cynical; and when the choice is
presented go ahead and take nonunion work and
hope they don’t get caught. How long is this vicious
cycle going to continue? And how long will loyal dues
paying members who want, and are able to, do recording
work continue to turn down nonunion recording work.
It’s a Hobson’s choice!

In fact, given the perception by most members
that the union no longer protects their interests,
including their desire to perform as musicians,
there is no reason for anyone to remain a member
so long as the union crafts policies that discriminate
against members who want to work but have to
reject work for fear of being brought up on charges.
After all, what’s the point of these musicians remaining
members? There is none.

The AFM cannot continue protecting the interests
of a tiny minority at the expense of the majority and
expect to survive in the long term. That is simply a
fact of life.

That is why I am electing financial-core status.
My decision is based on ineffectual, unfair union
policies about what work I can accept; and on the
vindictive, spiteful and malicious manner in which
I was treated in connection with the bogus charges
filed against me, and the inordinate fine attached.




Charles Fernandez




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



Tuesday, February 6, 7:30 pm
USC Newman Recital Hall (AHF)
USC Thornton Faculty Recital with
bassoonist JUDITH FARMER and

Gernot Wolfgang – ROAD SIGNS (world premiere)
Judith Farmer – bassoon
Nic Gerpe – piano

Frank Bridge – CELLO SONATA, H.125
Andrew Shulman – cello
Jeffrey Kahane – piano


Gernot Wolfgang – WINDOWS
Edgar Lopez – clarinet
Judith Farmer – bassoon
Nadia Shpachenko – piano

Benjamin Britten – CELLO SONATA, Op.65
Andrew Shulman – cello
Jeffrey Kahane – piano




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





an Afternoon with Brahms and Clara Schumann


Timothy Durkovic, piano
Isabelle LaForet Senger, violin
Laura Brenes, french horn

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 2:00pm
First REEMethodist Church of Whittier –
13222 Bailey St. Whittier, CA 90601
Admission: Free

Clara Schumann:3 Romances Op.22,
Johannes Brahms:Violin Sonata No.2 in A major Op.100,
Johannes Brahms: Horn Trio Op.40

Please join us for an afternoon of a romance
themed program, featuring some of the most
beautiful music written by Brahms and Clara Schumann.

This program will be repeated in the High
Desert Chamber Music Concert Series on
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 8:00pm
at the Tower Theatre in Bend, Oregon.

For more information, please visit:






“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.




Adrienne Albert

Sunday, March 11th, 2018 at 6 pm.
The Southeast Symphony, under the direction of Anthony Parnther,
will be performing my “WESTERN SUITE” for orchestra along
with works by Leonard Bernstein, Rimsky Korsakov, and Capuzzi:
Concerto for Double Bass.

Sunday, March 11th, 2018
Time: 6 PM
Place: First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
540 S. Commonwealth Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90020

More information will be coming soon!!

All best,
Adrienne Albert
[email protected]


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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