In Brief

Volume CX, No. 6June, 2010

Congrats to Anne Walker Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to members and their children who won this year’s Anne Walker Scholarship prizes. The prizes this year ranged from $750 to $1,000, to be used to help pay for music school. The deadline for next year’s contest is March 31, 2011 and, as usual, we will print the application information in Allegro.

This year’s winners are Claudia Schaer, Leo Singer, Zachary Coe, Michael Winnicki, Christopher Troiano, Gregory Chako, Charles Rosen, Nicola Wincenc and Leslie Rather.

From ‘wannabee’ to superstar

Local 802 member Dan Wilensky has written a new book, entitled “MUSICIAN! A Practical Guide for Students, Music Lovers, Amateurs, Professionals, Superstars, Wannabees and Has-Been.s”

Dan writes that “‘Musician!’ is a book for all musicians and music lovers and demystifies the process of becoming a ‘real’ musician.”

The book, which is available as a digital download from, also includes humorous stories from the music business.

Wilensky, a long-time recording and performing saxophonist, is currently featured in the music for the Emmy-winning PBS children’s show “Between the Lions.” He’s written a method book called “Advanced Sax” and his latest recording is “And Then Some.”

If you’re a Local 802 member who has written a new book, e-mail

Disabled musicians and honor status

Members who become disabled should know about a bylaw resolution adopted by Local 802’s Executive Board in 2006 that loosens the procedure for applying for honor membership.

In the past, members could only earn honor status after 35 years of consecutive membership and after attaining the age of 65.

However, under the 2006 bylaw, disabled members need only 20 years of consecutive membership and an age of 40 to be considered honor members.

Eligible members must be officially determined to be disabled under the requirements of the U. S. Social Security Administration or the AFM pension fund.

Honor members enjoy all of the same rights as regular members but pay less dues under a formula spelled out in 802’s bylaws. In general, honor members pay about a third of regular dues.

The 2006 bylaw also says that disabled members may retain their right to 802’s “death benefit” if they joined Local 802 before 1986, become disabled, and apply for honor membership under the new guidelines.

The “death benefit” is a cash payment of $1,000 and is paid to a member’s survivor or designated beneficiary. In the past, this benefit was seen as a way to help the families of musicians, who were often destitute, to pay for a funeral.

(Usually, members must wait until age 70 before choosing honor status in order to remain eligible for the death benefit. In addition, only those who joined or rejoined the union before 1986 are eligible for the death benefit.)

For more information, contact Avelon Ramnath at the Membership Department at (212) 245-4802.

Help feed hungry children

Local 802 is collecting food to feed hungry kids. Food will be donated to City Harvest, which runs a special program to feed children during the summer. The organization reports that families are in great need due to the recession.

Here’s what’s most needed: canned fruit, canned vegetables, peanut butter in plastic jars, packaged macaroni and cheese, and breakfast cereal (both hot and cold, family-size preferred).

Bring your food to the Club Room here at Local 802 from now until June 20. For more information, see or contact Kimeo Lee at (212) 245-4802 or

A call from Nashville

Massive rains in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi in early May caused major flooding and extensive damage. The floods were almost completely ignored by the mainstream media. Many musicians lost employment, their instruments, and in some cases, their homes. The members of AFM Local 257 (Nashville) need our help. Local 802 recently donated $1,000, but there is still much need. For more information, see

f you are hired for an outdoor engagement with a rain date, you must be paid for both dates: the scheduled engagement and the rain date.

Any member who is asked to reserve a rain date without pay should contact Michael Donovan at (212) 245-4802, ext. 141 or

Help Haitian musicians

The Haiti Jazz Foundation is raising money and accepting donations of instruments for Haitian musicians affected by the earthquake of Jan. 12, which Haiti is still recovering from. Make out checks to Fondation Haiti Jazz (the name is in French) and mail to Fondation Haiti Jazz, 12020 SW 93rd Street, Miami, FL 33186. For more information, e-mail Milena Sandler at

Local 802 honored by Cornell

Recently, Local 802 and President Tino Gagliardi were recognized as one of Cornell’s Union Leadership Institute’s “honor roll” supporters. Over the past 10 years, Local 802 has sent dozens of staff and elected officers to the institute.

ASO is on the air

The American Symphony Orchestra and Local 802 recently reached agreement on a memorandum of understanding regarding local radio broadcasts on the Bard College radio station only. Each local broadcast may be aired on the Bard College station three times within one year from the date of the first broadcast. The memorandum provides for a wage payment of $30, pension contributions of 10 percent, and a $5 health contribution. Beginning Oct. 1, 2012, wages increase to $33, pension rises to 11 percent, and health goes up to $6.

Pizzarelli renews

Seven String Limited, a corporation under the management of jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli, recently renewed its collective bargaining agreement with Local 802. The agreement allows Pizzarelli to pay pension and health for the musicians in his quartet.

Jazz leaders who want to do the right thing and cover their side musicians with union benefits should contact Todd Weeks at (212) 245-4802 or