Archives: February 1999

02/01/99 United We Stand

What is the South Florida Musicians Association? Several people working in an office to collect your work dues and enforce your contracts? NO! We hope that SFMA is 925 members working together to prove that there’s strength in numbers…

What can we achieve working together?

  • Pension contributions on all gigs
  • Contracts guaranteeing us adequate working conditions, job security, and recognition as an important part of the organization
  • Realistic living wages based on scales we set
  • More (better) jobs

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02/01/99 Symphonic Shorts

Dealing With Management...part 1

You’re upset about working 4-hour services with only a 5-minute break. You go up to the contractor and complain; he laughs in your face and never hires you again.

If you went up with everyone else in the ensemble to back you up, chances are you’d be more likely to get something done. The unity of the musicians is the single most important source of power in an orchestra; by yourself you might accomplish little, but together you can move mountains.

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02/01/99 Recording Rap

January has been a busy month. A group of recording musicians were involved in recording and sidelining in the Harrison Ford movie, "Random Hearts" that was filmed in Miami. We also got calls from casting directors looking for a swing band for an Oliver Stone movie (they ended up using a non-Union band). Many bands think that appearing in a movie will help boost their Band’s image, but they fail to realize working for extra scale versus working under the Union contract will eliminate getting Pension, Special Payments Fund, or New Use benefits. I know musicians that are still receiving residuals from movies that were filmed here in the late 1980’s (just ask some of our recording musicians).

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02/01/99 Casual Corner

A settlement has been reached in "the Delray incident". In pursuit of an equitable settlement, your Local had many discussions with the employer, contractors, and musicians involved. We thank all involved for their efforts in bringing this unfortunate situation to an amicable end.

The employer, Sunset Productions (Joe Ferrer), had no contractual obligation to provide the settlement funds because no contract had been filed with Local 655. In addition, both contractors have written open letters to the musicians involved regarding their roles in this. The musicians involved have been offered the settlement, and all those that responded have received checks as per the agreement.

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02/01/99 Official Business

Randy Singer Appointed to Executive Board

Singer was unanimously appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Lou Barone. Singer has performed at such prestigious concert events as The Merrick Festival, The Miami Lakes Jazz Festival, the Miami Earthday Concert, and the 10th Anniversary La Rosa Ballet Flamenco Concert and with artists such as Julio Iglesias, Garth Brooks, Emmy Lou Harris, Tanya Tucker, and Blondie. He is the featured instrumentalist and vocalist for the Planet Earth Project and can be heard currently performing with "Smoke Rings Vocal Project", "SouthBeat-Brazil" and Maryel Epps. He performs regularly in respected venues such as Toni Bishop’s Jazz Club, Fisher Island, the Marlin Hotel, and the South Beach Brasserie. His goals as an Executive Board member are to help the rank-and-file (as well as the uninitiated musicians) realize that the Union can greatly enhance their lives and to show how union dues can be offset by Union benefits.

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02/01/99 President's Report

We have been actively working with members of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra over the past 9 months and we continue to assist them in every way possible. It’s been very encouraging to see musicians come forward seeking to have some control over their musical destiny. Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend for other orchestras run as "benevolent dictatorships."

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