The Senior Musicians’ Association was organized in 1966 by Local 802 to provide special services, activities and programs for its senior members. All Local 802 members who reach the age of 65 are automatically members of the association. Retired musicians who do not choose to maintain membership in Local 802 may, for a fee of $6 per year, receive Local 802’s journal, Allegro, to keep in touch.
The association’s first major project was the creation of a rehearsal workshop to which all retired musicians were invited. The workshop provided an opportunity to exercise skills developed over a lifetime, and enhanced social and fraternal contact between fellow musicians. It was an instant success, and within a year the ensemble became the Senior Concert Orchestra, which gave its first free public performance on March 5, 1967, at Hunter College. The orchestra has continued its public service by giving an annual series of free concerts throughout New York City, bringing music to some of those who need it most—senior citizens and the physically challenged.
In the spring of 1999 the association presented its 134th free performance and 23rd yearly concert at Carnegie Hall in honor of Waldo Mayo, who was consultant to and supporter of the association and the orchestra for 10 years. The orchestra’s afternoon concerts bring enjoyment and inspiration, and offer a perfect model for the continuing productivity of the aged to thousands of seniors each year.
The Senior Musicians’ Association is located on the 4th floor of Local 802’s offices. For more information, please call (212) 245-4802, ext. 228.