Last Month at the Local

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Last month we made a number of field visits. First, President Bertolet and Secretary-Treasurer Apana visited with music students at FIU to speak to them about the AFM and its importance in the professional lives of musicians. Then Bertolet and Apana, along with members of the Orchestra Committee, met with Palm Beach Opera management to discuss improving communication with musicians, as well as to further discuss implementation of new contract language that allows musicians to miss a rehearsal without having to turn down the entire production. Lastly, we observed the Palm Beach Opera auditions for violin and viola vacancies, to make sure that the auditions were fair and conducted under the terms of our agreement. Auditions for union orchestras tend to be extremely fair for candidates, as contract language often requires adequate warm-up facilities, audition committees to assist the music director, and screens to make the process anonymous. These conditions take the politics and personalities out of auditions so that they can focus on hiring the most qualified person for the job, which in the long run helps both the musicians and the organization.