Greetings Local 47 Colleagues!,

July 23rd’s Local 47 meeting turned out to be somewhat
helpful for the rank and file of our Local though the main
thrust of the night was a venting session for the RMALA
leadership and their supporters, having been dealt another
blow at the last AFM Convention.


The COMMITTEE’S activism here at home, along with the
actions of the FMA and a more involved rank and file, are
starting to affect some changes,

On several fronts, our Local is showing the beginnings of being
more useful to the rank and file.

We must continue to be vigilant however, since we get reports
from our sources of continued attempts by some board members
to keep the status quo. We’re even hearing about further attempts
to yet again move our referral service office and board
members resisting attempts to get more rock and pop
musicians to join.


With voting planned for former Secretary-Treasurer Serena
Williams’ replacement at the next meeting, this will be a
GOLDEN MOMENT to obtain more balance on our board!
There will be excellent independent candidates for this slot
and we will need you there to help the transformation of our
Local continue!

Keep in mind this is not just a board slot, but one of the
titled officer positions in our Local, Secretary-Treasurer,
with a hefty full time salary and influence to boot.


Here is the report on the meeting that the FMA sent out, this
will help give you a picture of some of the positive developments
at the meeting.

Thank you to the brothers and sisters, regardless of affiliation,
who stayed to help us maintain the quorum and effect these

BRAVO! Together, we’re moving in the right direction.




Freelance Musicians Assn-L.A.

Our General Meeting Monday night had a most conciliatory
Although many members were on tour or vacation, we were
able to keep Quorum until past 10pm, to address issues
affecting the livelihood of Members. A heartfelt thanks to
everyone who gave their time to allow Union business to be

Local #47 Bylaws Article V, Section 1 states that Local #47
MUST have a budget presented to the Executive Board by
May 1 of each year. No budget is currently in place.
President Hal Espinosa agreed to have a 2007 budget
presented by next Tuesday, July 31, and available to all
Members on request.


– To regain and then surpass the previous highest activity
levels of the Referral Service and CD Sales/Radio Airplay
– Staff and executive board to prepare a report by August
14 on the levels of activity for these services since January
1, 2005, by six-month totals.
– Create a 3-person committee of rank-and-file members who
are very familiar with one or both of these services to review
the report and make
recommendations to the October general membership meeting.
– Elect the committee.

This committee must be members who use the referral
service/CD Sales service, optimum would be someone who
remembers the quality level of service provided when Errol,
Amie and Barbara Markay ran them. Committee members

– INVESTIGATION: Social Security numbers to be removed
from Union computers as account numbers. It was revealed
that, contrary to David Schubach’s program of assigning
Account numbers to all members, Social Security numbers
were still highly visible on employees computers, even at
the reception desk.

– INVESTIGATION: Employee Summer schedules to be clarified
and overseen by Rep John Acosta.

– FAILED: Motion to use AFM’s Member website, “GoPro,” as
Local #47’s official work engagement website. Another $30,000
has been contracted for the new Local #47 website. It was argued
that “GoPro (the AFM referral website) isn’t updated often enough”
and “Local #47 wants control of its own website.” These expenses
were decided by the Exec

– PASSED: Motion for Executive Board meeting minutes to be
posted in the Members Only section of the #47 website three
days after minutes are approved/adopted by the EB.

– Member Val Ewell called on Members to have compassion
on those who are struggling to make ends meet, and reminded
us that we are a Union.

FMA agrees with this viewpoint – FMA was organized, and exist
today, solely in the interest of restoring our Union to what is fair
and helpful to all members. We will work together to this end.
We hope that more members will join us.


Independent Music Conference is coming to Local #47!
Be there – improve your career!
For more info, please visit www.imc07.com/LA

Lisa Haley



We recently received a newspaper article concerning the Pasadena
Pops and a follow-up letter to the editor. If this situation concerns
you as much as us, please write to the paper and the management
of the symphony expressing your concern and support for the
Pops musicians (Some since the inception of the orchestra almost
two decades ago.) about to be summarily dumped for the benefit
of the Pasadena Symphony musicians.


Article about the Pasadena Pops…


Modified Jul 19, 2007 – 10:38:18 PDT

Pops Musicians Seek Public Support
By Jane Napier Neely

Officials involved with the recently-announced merger of the
Pasadena Pops Orchestra with The Pasadena Symphony
remained mute this week over claims by outraged musicians
that nothing less than a mass firing is taking place.

And, results of two preliminary meetings held this week with the
Professional Musicians Local 47 regarding charges of unfair labor
practices and grievances against The Pasadena Symphony and
the Pasadena Pops management were not released as of press time.

In the meantime, the soon-to-be fired musicians have launched
their own website, www.pasadenapopsmusicians.org, in hopes
of building public support.

The drama began to unfold late last month when the Pops
musicians were informed just prior to their opening concert for
the season at Descanso Gardens that there would be a merger
of the two entities and their services would no longer be needed
for the next season because their chairs would be filled by The
Pasadena Symphony members who had right of first refusal
to perform.

Under the new structure the Pops will officially dissolve on Oct. 1
and the name of the orchestra changed to Pasadena Pops
Symphony, it was announced to the media. The Pasadena
Symphony would still be conducted by Jorge Mester, who has
been with the symphony for 25 years, and the Pops would
still be conducted by Rachael Worby, who joined the organization
in 1999. There was no mention in the announcement that the
65 Pops musicians, 40 of whom are tenured, would lose their

Attempts to reach Hal Espinosa, president of the Professional
Musicians Local 47 executive board, for comment were
unsuccessful. Telephone calls made to Worby seeking comment
were not returned. Tom O’Connor, executive director of The
Pasadena Symphony, was reached, but said that he could
not comment on the subject.

According to several musicians affiliated with the Pops
orchestra, the news of their firing came out of the blue.
Orchestra members were in shock and disbelief, followed
by anger that their orchestra would be taken over and they
were losing their jobs without any forewarning, they said.

Letters to musicians

What made the sting of losing their jobs even more
intense for the Pops musicians was that a letter was
sent first to The Pasadena Symphony orchestra members
telling them of the disbanding of the Pops orchestra and
that they (The Pasadena Symphony) would be playing the
next summer season.

According to Michelle Byrne, former chair of the Pops’
musician’s committee, after the Pasadena Symphony
members received their letters, Henry Reed, acting executive
director of the Pasadena Pops Orchestra, entered the Pops’
rehearsal room saying that he had some letters for the
musicians to read at their break.

Byrne said that after Reed put the papers on a table and
was about to walk out the door, one of the musicians asked
if he could read the letter to them immediately, which he did.
The letter told of the merger and also mentioned that the entire
orchestra was fired, according to Byrne. Another musician
asked if there would be any severance pay for the musicians
and Reed answered in the negative.

“The public needs to know this is not a merger but a takeover —
a mass firing. I, along with many others, stand to lose our health
insurance if we are fired from the Pops,” Byrne said. “We have
played our hearts out for this community, we hoped that we
nourished [the audience’s] summer souls. Please, don’t let
us disappear.”

Many of the Pops musicians are founding members who
have played with the orchestra for nearly 20 years, according
to Byrne. The musicians in the orchestra dedicated most of
their summers to playing at the Descanso Gardens venue,
often turning down higher paying jobs with other orchestras
because they felt loyalty to the Pops.

Paul Castillo, chair of the Pops’ musicians’ orchestra
committee, said this week that he looks at the firing of
the entire orchestra as a social injustice.

“It is an injustice to the community where we have played
for nearly 20 years and to the subscribers who have been
loyal to our orchestra,” Castillo said. “I also feel it is not
only an injustice to the musicians who put their heart and
soul into the music, but to the institution itself. I think the
bottom line is that we are trying to keep this orchestra together
and we hope the community will support us in this effort.”

Grievances filed

Since Worby has been onboard as conductor, problems
within the Pasadena Pops organization have escalated,
according to numerous musicians who declined to be identified
for fear of retribution.

They say that in recent years they have filed more than 30
grievances through the union against Pops management for
demoting or dismissing people without cause or not following
proper procedures.

Although the union’s leader, Espinosa, could not be reached
for comment for this article, he did say in a letter to musicians
that the National Labor Relations Act and the master agreement
between the Pasadena Symphony and the union require the
orchestra to bargain with the union before implementing any
new terms of employment for its musicians or those of the
Pops. No bargaining took place, Espinosa wrote.

According to Espinosa’s statement, Local 47 issued a written
demand after receiving news of the merger through a Pasadena
Symphony press release, that the Pops Orchestra immediately
begin bargaining with the union over its decision to dissolve Oct.
1, so that the merger could take place.

The union says that it had no knowledge that the consolidation
of the two groups was imminent.

Espinosa said that he had participated in a meeting with
Pasadena Symphony representatives on May 21, during
which time he was advised that the orchestra was only
researching a potential purchase of
the Pops’ assets.

Espinosa also said that the orchestra would negotiate with
the union over the effect the deal would have on both symphony
and Pops musicians. The Pops charges filed with the National
Labor Relations Board aimed to ensure that the final resolution
regarding the staffing of future Pops concerts is the product
of collective bargaining.

This weekend the Pasadena Pops will hold its second concert
series in Descanso. The Pops musicians say they are committed
to playing their best because they are professionals, but the
sadness of what has happened to them remains.

“I believe that our orchestra has a distinctive voice and we
respond to the joy that the audience gives back to us. I feel
hurt that all of us have been asked to leave. It makes me even
sadder that management doesn’t recognize or acknowledge
our commitment over the years and the hurt we are now feeling,”
said Phoebe Ray, a member of the Pops’ musicians’ committee.

Barry Socher, concertmaster, is very concerned about the fate
of the orchestra. “The news of the orchestra being fired came
without warning, we are still reeling. Everyone feels so
unsettled,” Socher said.

Steve Kaminsky, a longtime orchestra member, says that he
loves this orchestra and it seems to him that the musicians
seem to just get better and better. “Right now there are a lot
of bad feelings among the orchestra members. I don’t understand
why Pops management would want to fire this orchestra that
has worked so well together for so many years. I can’t help
but think if it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it,” Kaminsky said.

“It seems to me that there must be some hidden agenda
somewhere that we (the orchestra) don’t know about. It
makes no economic sense to me to change out the orchestra
since the pay scale for the Pops orchestra players is lower
than that of The Pasadena Symphony. Not only doesn’t it
make any money sense to me but it also doesn’t make any
artistic sense either because the Pops players are
seasoned professionals,” said Kaminsky.


Letter in opinion section about the Pasadena Pops


Pasadena Pops

Several issues need to be brought to the attention of the
Pasadena Pops Orchestra’s viewing public.

1. The Pops Orchestra (with essentially the same players)
has been playing as an orchestra for over 19 years.

2. The current “merger” between the Pasadena Pops Orchestra
and the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra is not a “merger” at all,
it is essentially a take-over as the Symphony players have
been given the right to take over all of the dates and all of
the concerts that are currently being played by the Pops players.

3. Most of the Pops players will be losing their jobs as of this

4. All of the musical players for these two groups are represented
by a union. Does the union represent ALL of the players? How
can the union allow the Pasadena Symphony players to take
jobs away from the Pops players when all of the players are
a part of the same union? (I’m sure that if some bus drivers from
L.A. tried to take the jobs away from the OC bus drivers, the
union would not allow this to happen.)

5. Rachael Worby, when asked about why she did not support or
fight for the players of the Pasadena Pops Orchestra, was silent
(the players of the Pasadena Symphony should take note).

6. Contrary to the quote from Mr. O’Connor (representative of
the symphony), most of the players in the Pops playing these
concerts during the summer rely on this job to qualify them for
health insurance through the Union.

The issues surrounding this story have been reported to the
public, but the complete story has not been written. The side
of the actual individual musicians has not been told. Most of
the players in this orchestra are highly educated. Collectively
there is literally thousands of years of experience being
represented by the players of the Pops. Still, they are
essentially being dismissed through no fault or consequence
of their doing.

The Pops orchestra had to add a Sunday night concert at
Descanso Gardens this season due to demand from the
public while Symphony concert attendance has been in a
steady decline.

This take-over “merger” is being touted by the managements
of both the orchestras as being good for the community as a
whole. But is it really a good thing when we take away
competition? The players of the Pops orchestra actually make
less than the players of the Symphony orchestra so this
“merger” is not money related.

Because the Symphony players are paid more money, it will
cost the newly formed orchestra/management more money over
the course of a year to play all of the venues that are played by
the now separate orchestras.

The only individual from the Pasadena Pops organization who
is being guaranteed to keep a job is the conductor Rachael
Worby (and this includes the Pasadena Pops Board of Directors).
What is wrong with this picture? When one of the players in the
orchestra who has played with the orchestra for the past 20 years
asked if they would be receiving a severance package, they were
told by the Pops acting executive director (Henry Reed) that
they were only part-time employees and were not entitled to
any compensation.

This is just shameful and wrong.

The management of the Pasadena Pops Orchestra, i.e.,
the Foothill Friends of Music, certainly has the right to conduct
business as they see fit. However, do they have the right to
treat longtime, highly- skilled employees who have been faithful
and who helped to build this orchestra from its inception (Ms.
Worby has only been with the orchestra for the past six years)
in this horrible and disgraceful manner? Additionally, should
we as the viewing and paying public continue to support this
obvious injustice? Indeed, Ms. Worby is not up on the stage
by herself, she needs the support of the players or it will not
sound very good despite any of her actions..

It is true what they say, there is an educated poor, even in
this country. If music is truly an integrated discipline, something
that we as a culture and society value so highly, then why do we
allow the individuals creating the music to be treated so badly?

There are many injustices that confront each of us on a daily
basis and as individuals we do nothing because it requires some
type of action, however, regarding this injustice we as the viewing
public do have power. We can do nothing. If we refuse to support
the Foothill Friends of Music, i.e., and the Pasadena Pops
Organizations’ blatant and disgraceful mistreatment of their very
own musicians perhaps they will receive the message. Please
boycott the remainder of any of their concerts.

Camelle M. Read, La Cañada



Notice from Louis Durra –

I’ll be playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival most of August
with comedian Taylor Negron and violinist/vocalist Lili Haydn.
The show is called Satellites. Let me know if you will be
there or have friends who will, it would be nice to visit with
friends in that beautiful setting.

Enjoy your August!



Wed, Aug 8, 2007, 8:30pm
6725 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 466-2210
Cover: $12

Advance copies of the new album


available to purchase that night.
(Official release date: Aug 21)


After a very well received performance at the Mid-Europe
Band Festival in Schladming, Austria by the LA Winds under
the baton of Local 47 colleague Steve Piazza, Charles
Fernandez’ “Suite #1” from his ballet, “The Statue” will have
its Walt Disney Concert Hall debut with the Festival
Wind Ensemble from Idyllwild Arts on August 19tth 2007
at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available now.



The “Minority Report”

Go to www.minority-report.net

Our CD is an experimental project that has been created with
easy listening in mind.

A groove brand of jazz blending contemporary beats with
some ethnic flavors. Our goal being music that feels good.

We would appreciate your thoughts on this project. Music can be
accessed at: www.cdbaby.com/minorityreport2


Minority Report


The Billy Mitchell Group


Sandra Booker
In concert at the
Levitt Pavilion
Sunday, August 5th ’07
7:00 PM

Frank Wilson-drums Jacque Lesure-guitar
Tomas Gargano-bass Munyungo Jackson-percussion
Billy Mitchell-keys Sandra Booker-vocals
Robert Kyle-sax

The Levitt Pavilion is located at 85 E. Holly St. in the heart
of Old Pasadena at Memorial Park, right off the Fair Oaks
exit from the 210 freeway, and on the corner of Walnut
and Raymond.

Old Pasadena offers more than
7,800 available parking spaces in public and private
garages throughout the district, some with free time the
first 90 minutes. The closest parking garage is located on
Raymond Ave., directly across the street from the bandshell.
Also, there are 300 metered spaces open on Raymond Ave.
Take the Metro
There is a Gold Line Metro Stop at
Memorial Park!




The views expressed here are those of the contributing
member and not necessarily the COMMITTEE.


Great meeting the other night. It was immediately clear
that this was to be a “lick our wounds” night for the
RMALA. Okay, that’s fine. They certainly have some
to lick. From what I hear, Brother Muggeridge was spot-
on with his report that every mention of the RMA’s name
spiked a reaction from the AFM delegates, mostly negative.
Until they come to grips with why the organized recording
community has sunk to this level of esteem, they have
no chance of ever again inspiring the AFM to give them
the support and allegiance they used to enjoy.

Did you pay attention at the meeting when Secondary
Markets Fund Administrator Dennis Dreith stated it rightly
when he said that the SMF disbursements ARE wages after
all? Did you also know that the double- and triple-scale
recording elites only pay work dues on their basic scale?
Add these two factoids together and it becomes immediately
clear why the tiny minority of “die-hard” recording artists
so aggressively defend their “sweetheart deal,” since the
money they pay to support the AFM is traditionally and
grotesquely out of proportion, on the LOW side, with the
high wages they get to earn and keep. AND to the percentages
of our wages that the rest of us have to fork over every month
in work dues. Is it any wonder that any mention by the AFM
to democratize the recording field by introducing new
contracts that will put far more people to work is raising
their ire?

Instead of being grateful for the huge advantage they have
always enjoyed, they have a history of throwing their weight
around on the national and local levels. They earn the most,
they keep the most, and (because they work in a rigged
hiring environment that punishes squeaky wheels) they sure
get to whine the most in public. They treated us to over two
hours of world-class groaning about how they and this local
(hey, guys, there IS a difference!) were no longer represented
at the Federation level. Given the history of RMA control and
arrogance towards the AFM, is this some cosmic surprise?
Instead of getting mad at the Federation, why isn’t anyone
getting mad at them? Greed may be understandable but,
when it puts fellow union musicians out of work, it sure
isn’t forgivable.

Do us all a favor, everybody. When you hear all the “Prince
of Darkness” talk about the AFM and Tom Lee, take just a
moment and consider what may be motivating the speaker:
greed for an unfair spoils system that rewards so very few
or concern for the majority left behind so that this few can
profit so much?

You can only choose one.


Our referral service used to be such a good thing. The jobs have
vanished, I don’t care what the vice president says at the union
meeting. I’m glad a motion was made to restore it. My blood began
to boil when someone asked about the unions progress on getting
a referral service website going. It came out that the AFM has a
website program available to the locals for FREE. Why aren’t we
using it even just for a little while? Every minute that we don’t have
a website is losing me money and at this point its been years that
they’ve been dragging their feet on this. I know there’s politics in
everything but are they still mad at Schubach for doing a good job
when he ran the office? Get over it! It came out a meeting or two ago
that the union had paid a computer programmer on the east coast
$20,000 to make a referral service website but he totally stiffed the
union and disappeared, and now the union has just signed a contract
with a new company for $30,000. So we’re up to $50,000 and years
too late for something we could get for free??? This is obscene
spending and incompetence worthy of the federal government.

When Local 47’s webmaster, the authority on the project, got up
to explain why we needed a more customized program than the
AFM had, it all became clear to me. The project is going at exactly
the speed they want. And why is a man with so many conflicts in
a position of authority on this project? He is Local 47’s webmaster
and the RMA’s webmaster, he is the vice president of the RMA
and I hear that he’s also an officer of the Professional Musicians
Guild (is that legal?). And he is on the Local 47 hearing board so if
there’s a dispute he sits in judgment. How huge does the conflict
of interest have to be before the Local notices? Everyone else notices.

I hope the new committee can make some good changes in the
referral service. After the meeting I was talking to another member
about the mess and he said something that I just can’t get out of
my head. Maybe the jobs haven’t really vanished!

[Editor’s note: The actual amount of the first round of spending
toward the referral service website was closer to $12,000, still
an obscene amount, but not $20,000. Also the $30,000 is for
the development of a website for the entire local from what we
understand, not just for the referral service website. However, it
seems very clear that this board is so anti-AFM that they would
rather spend our members money to build a website of our own
rather than be depend on the Federation for anything. Sound
fiscally responsible to you?]


I attended the membership meeting last week. I admit that I don’t
understand the recording musicians issues like with the tax on
special payments that got so much heated talk. Fair or not it
apparently was voted in at the convention. What made me very
uncomfortable was our Local 47 officers and lawyer practically
ordering the recording musicians not to pay the tax. “If you haven’t
signed the card, you don’t have to pay.” Or something like that
along with more AFM bashing. If something is really wrong why
aren’t our officers going to bat against the AFM for us rather than
encouraging our recording musicians to not pay. What if these
members could get in trouble for not paying? I feel the advice
from the podium was ill advised to say the least. What is this
card? Can you shed any light?


Did I hear Vince right?
…. For those of you who do bar mitzvahs and weddings and
those that are doing MORE IMPORTANT work.. or did he say
bigger work?
Something like that…please correct me if I misinterpreted that!
Wasn’t very nice or appropriate…as VP he should pick his
words a bit more carefully!!
I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t realize
what he was saying???????

And as far as Jay Rosen, if I understood him properly, he said
there are over 800 who qualify for health and welfare under
motion pictures and one would have to do 24 gigs in a 6 month
period to qualify. That is about one gig a week on the low end to
That is not full time employment as a recording musician.

Only a select group work full time in that arena. That’s show biz!
I get to work full time as a live performer and I love it!
Maybe if you aren’t getting the kind of work you want, you are
not supposed to be in that line of work?? There are plenty of avenues
to pursue in this business, if you really want to make a living as a
musician! As I have seen with my career and many of my friend’s
careers, we head in one direction and a better opportunity comes
along that you never dreamed of! Just stay open to the possibilities!!


Bravo to the Committee and their members – yes they have names
and the RMALA named names, not nearly all of them of course,
but named names. But I can tell you that the committee is not doing
harm but is making the AFM a better democracy than it has ever
been. LA is going to be a ghost town for recording unless the AFM
DOES start making employers want to stay here…hopefully it’s not
too late…….I say get back the recording work at any cost and get it
back now.


did you hear – another scoring stage closing possibly…….?
TODD AO – closing soon…….do we need anything else to tell us that
the end is near?
we – the AFM musicians, need to embrace all work situations
immediately sorry old guard, recording elite – the writing is on the
wall –
I plan on going ahead with work any way, any how, in LA –
Period try to live off your secondary market checks in a few years

I moved here to be a recording musician in the recording capitol
of the world……I think it is still worth saving. Lets fight to keep
TODD AO open.


I find all of these communiqués to be very well written, with a “Union”
-type of spirit that doesn’t pull punches. I do not believe that from
what I’ve read there is anything that even closely resembles

I appreciate the insight that you provide apparently to all the locals.
In my opinion the specific issues that are covered in your e-mail
blasts have long been an AFM battleground (legislatively for at
least 10 years). I remember when Vic Fuentealba was replaced by
Marty’s election – principally due to the efforts of Local 47’s
recording musicians.

Food for thought: what if during the next round negotiations
the AFM were to insist on changing the definition in its
agreements of “Contractor” especially for film work?

Keep on shining that light brother,


Some positive news! One of our great talents, Lalo Schifrin,
recently scored some of the best music ever for the next Jackie
Chan movie, Rush Hour 3! Kudos to Maestro Schifrin and to Frankie
Capp for putting together a ‘top notch’ Union orchestra recorded here
in good ole L.A.! I firmly believe that the ‘best’ stay in the U.S.A
and more specifically, in Los Angeles to record ’cause they know
it is the Entertainment Capital of the World. When you have the
class and the talents of both Schifrin and Capp, they know it is a
‘no-brainer’ to get the job done at the highest level, witht he very
best musicians, in L.A. Stay tuned to see and hear this new
movie and compare it to what you have heard in other parts of
the country and the world. I rest my case!


I am happy that you all see that Tom Lee is a worker for all
musicians ever where. Lets get on with the business of working
for the AFM and continue to press for each of our concerns.
They will give you the answer in a timely fashion. This Union
must trust it’s leaders ( we put them there to work for us) let
them do the job. There should not be end fighting but working
together to improve the Union.

I read it all and hope we can move. forward.

Thanks for the information (It helps us all to understand what
is going on)



Please plan now for the October meeting,. It can mean a huge
leap forward in making sure this Local works for ALL members
without favoritism.


Leave a Reply