…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



In last week’s “FROM THE EDITOR” We mentioned that
the AFM had lost 2/3’s of it’s membership in the last 10 years.

Actually, the AFM has lost 1/3 of their membership in
the last 10 years.

We apologize for the error.

The Committee




Dear Fellow Musicians,

Our American Federation of Musicians pension fund has been
heading toward a crisis for decades. As a result, the pension
fund trustees are now considering making considerable cuts
to our pension benefits. After a lifetime of paying into a system
we were promised would support us in our retirement, the
trustees are now seeking to break that promise. It is imperative,
at this critical time, that we gather our forces to show strength
in numbers. If you are receiving this email, you are important
to this cause. We urge every musician to read this email.

Please act now and join the MPS EMAIL LIST to stay informed.


AFM pension fund trustees sent out a letter over a year ago
in December of 2016 disclosing for the first time that we would
in all probability face massive cuts to our existing benefits as
soon as spring 2017. Shock and confusion set in. How could
this happen? In the months that followed many AFM members
looked to our elected leaders and trustees for help, information
and a plan. Before long, it became clear that we would need to
deal with the pension crisis ourselves. What resulted was the
formation of Musicians for Pension Security, a non-profit
volunteer organization made up of musicians who do thousands
of hours of work in order to help our friends and colleagues
around the country to seek solutions and stay informed in
the face of the AFM pension crisis.

MPS Initiatives and Accomplishments
– MPS national conference calls which are regularly
attended by scores of engaged participants across
the country.
– MPS launched our first ever MPS fundraising
campaign which raised $15,000 in less than two weeks.
Funds were used to retain one of the most respected
actuaries in the country to start an independent actuarial
analysis of the fund.
– MPS has worked closely with policymakers in Washington
D.C. like Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to develop and discuss new
pension legislation like the Butch Lewis Act.
– MPS spearheaded a call to action, where thousands
of AFM members called and emailed AFM President
Ray Hair urging him and the other AFM-EPF trustees
to support The Butch Lewis Act, which they finally
endorsed just a few weeks later.
– MPS Executive Director, Adam Krauthamer received
an award from the Pension Rights Center in Washington
DC in recognition of his services to the AFM-EPF plan


We are only able to achieve critical change through
strength in numbers. Every musician, no matter your
participation in the music business, is asked to join
the cause now, have a voice and be part of the solution.
The strength in our numbers will determine how loud
that voice will be. Please join the fight to protect our
pension. In Spring 2018, MPS will host a national meeting
in NYC. The MPS team, including our legal and actuarial
counsel, will make a presentation of the current status
of our pension fund. We welcome you to attend or watch
us LIVE on Facebook.

Please act now and join MPS EMAIL LIST to stay informed.

In solidarity,

Musicians for Pension Security




How MGM’s ‘Ben-Hur’ Evolved Into a Pending
Fight Before the National Labor Relations Board

Are MGM and Paramount union-busting? Is the American
Federation of Musicians tampering with witnesses in a
lawsuit over wages and benefits? A labor dispute escalates.

It’s with no small measure of irony that Ben-Hur, the iconic
film about a prince-turned-slave’s revenge, has instigated
a modern-day labor brawl. That’s thanks to MGM’s decision
to reboot the film, and specifically, the musicians hired to
perform the score.

Last April, the American Federation of Musicians of the
United States and Canada filed a lawsuit against MGM
and Paramount — and the complaint seemed simple
enough at the time. The guild accused the studios of
failing to pay proper wages, benefits and residual
compensation to the musicians on the 2016 remake.

MGM and Paramount responded by arguing that the
musicians were subcontracted and therefore not covered
by the union agreement. In October, a California federal
judge rejected MGM’s motion for judgment on the
pleadings and allowed the litigation to proceed.

Now, the dispute has escalated to the point where one
side implies union-busting and the other side suggests
witness tampering. The case has gotten so heated that
it has provoked AFM to file charges against MGM to
the National Labor Relations Board.

According to AFM, MGM and Paramount have unlawfully
coerced musicians employed in the scoring of Ben-Hur
by conditioning their employment on a promise not to
adhere to union economic standards, not to communicate
with the guild about this film project and not to exercise
rights to bargain collectively over terms and conditions
of their employment.

The ramifications of musicians taking work not sanctioned
by the union are beginning to reverberate. As a result of
this movie and the subsequent legal proceedings, questions
are being presented about a guild’s ability to discipline its
own members and an employer’s ability to find out about
such activity.

The case is now in the discovery phase. Both sides want
information. And there’s been no shortage of accusations
that the legal process is being abused.

In December, for instance, Magistrate Judge Michael Wilner
noted that “AFM is undoubtedly authorized to conduct
legitimate disciplinary proceedings to enforce union rules,”
but added, “There is a strong and pungent whiff of abuse
of the Court’s process here. It sure looks like the union
used Rule 45 subpoenas in its lawsuit against MGM
and Paramount simply to gain evidence against its
wayward members.”

Recently, MGM has been investigating.

In court papers filed late last week, MGM told the judge
that it had learned that AFM fined music conductor
Mark Graham $10,000, but “held in abeyance” three-
quarters of that amount pending the guild’s satisfaction
with his future behavior.

The studio wants permission to find out about other
musicians disciplined by AFM.

“Discovery regarding the AFM’s actions, including actual
and/or threatened sanctions against percipient witnesses
in this lawsuit is indisputably relevant to the credibility of
those witnesses’ testimony,” writes MGM’s attorney Adam
Levin. “The AFM’s refusal to produce this potentially relevant
discovery appears to be based on an unfounded interpretation
of the National Labor Relations Act, which does not allow
unions to secretly discipline and cut deals with persons
who are witnesses in civil litigation.”

But AFM has a different read on what’s going on.
In late November, the guild quietly filed charges at
the NLRB against MGM and the law firm of Mitchell
Silberberg & Knupp.

The studio is accused of violating a provision of labor code
that prohibits employers from interfering with employees’
exercise of labor rights. Specifically, AFM alleges it is
unlawful that MGM would interrogate union members
about intra-union disciplinary matters and other
confidential protected union activity.

The NLRB may eventually get around to issuing a decision
about this, but in the meantime, a judge is holding a
hearing next week to examine MGM’s efforts to compel
disclosures about intra-union communications and disciplinary

Jennifer Garner, attorney for AFM, argues to the court
that after coercing musicians to take economic
sub-standard work, MGM and Paramount now
wish to complete the unacceptable bargain.

“The Ben-Hur employers promised anyone who capitulated
to these yellow dog terms that their acceptance of such
employment would be protected from disclosure to the
representative union,” she writes in a bid for a protective
order. “Thus, in actuality, it is the Ben-Hur employers who
have violated the musicians’ rights and have resorted to
economic and political coercion to silence them and/or
curry their favor as witnesses in this action.”


[Colleagues, No musicians were coerced into taking
this work. It’s called freelancing and If the
company had been forced to go union, the work
would have gone overseas.

At least this way the work stayed here, but that’s not
good enough for the AFM and Local 47. If it’s not
goingto the RMA elites it shouldn’t happen so they
engage in selective enforcement and harassment.

I hope Mark Graham does no give over the
Identities of the players, the AFM doesn’t
deserve them.]




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




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.





Wed FEBRUARY 21, 2018 at 12:10-12:40 pm
Free Admission
will perform works by J.S. BACH & JOHANNES BRAHMS
(Violin Sonata No.1 in G Major, Op.78).
Thank you!
Jacqueline Suzuki
Curator, Glendale Noon Concerts




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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