President’s Report

Delegates to AFM: “Fight the Virtual Orchestra Machine!”

Volume CV, No. 9September, 2005

David Lennon

Delegates to the AFM Convention voted unanimously to adopt 802’s resolution calling on the AFM to take whatever steps necessary to ban the virtual orchestra machine.

The resolution directs the AFM to commit whatever resources necessary to wage the national campaign against the replacement of live musicians by virtual orchestra machines.

The AFM is scheduled to resume talks in September with the League of American Theatres and Producers for a new Pamphlet B theatrical touring agreement.

The fight against the machine will be one of the central issues at these negotiations.

The resolution adopted by the convention delegates states:

WHEREAS, The virtual orchestra machine is designed for the sole purpose of eliminating live music in order to reap greater profits for producers and presenters of musical theatre and other musical events; and

WHEREAS, The use of the virtual orchestra machine to replace live musicians is an abomination, and a threat to the art of live musical performance; and

WHEREAS, All musicians and music lovers deplore the machine’s use in all venues for any purpose; and

WHEREAS, There are those whose love of money and hatred of unions lead them to welcome this machine and seek to promote the widespread use thereof; and

WHEREAS, In the last year and a half AFM Local 802 has waged an enormously successful campaign in the New York City area in achieving contracts with music presenters and music venues which contain specific prohibitions against the use of virtual orchestra machines; and

WHEREAS, Legal challenges on the validity of such contracts have been dismissed, and such contractual prohibitions have been found to be valid and enforceable by the National Labor Relations Board; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the AFM, its locals, and their members shall take whatever steps necessary on the local, national and international levels to halt the spread of the threat of the virtual orchestra machine to live music.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the AFM will commit whatever resources necessary to wage this campaign, including financial support as well as appropriate use of AFM staff.