Quick Notes

Volume CX, No. 1January, 2010


Live music is better. Recently, a production of “Peter and the Wolf” was produced in Europe using a virtual orchestra machine in addition to a small orchestra.

The producer then came to do the same show in New York.

However, Local 802’s Off Broadway area standards do not allow the use of a virtual orchestra machine.

That, plus some fundamental problems at the time with the machine itself, made the producer decide that live music was worth the investment.

The production went ahead at the New Victory Theatre using 15 musicians who were all covered under Local 802’s Off Broadway Area Standards agreement.

Other producers should take note: it doesn’t pay to pinch pennies. Live music simply sounds better.

“It ended up being a lovely production of live music,” the show’s contractor, Brian Cassier, told Allegro.

Cassier added, “I was happy to see three weeks of work for 15 of New York City’s finest musicians under a union contract.”


Australia is considering a law that would not allow concerts to advertise “live music” if the performance uses pre-recorded tracks or if singers intend to lip-synch.

“It’s very disrespectful to the profession not to have that sort of thing and it should improve things for real musicians,” said Terry Noone, federal secretary for the Musicians Union of Australia.


The Texas Ballet Theater is using pre-recorded music at the new $350 million AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, and at Bass Hall in Fort Worth.

“By presenting classical ballet without live orchestra, TBT has fouled the art form, damaged its credibility, ripped off arts patrons and robbed musicians of their jobs,” wrote AFM Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth) on its Web site.

The local added, “We believe it is in the public interest for Dallas-Fort Worth to have a great classical ballet company – with great live orchestral accompaniment to give it breadth and depth.”

For more information, see


It’s time to take a stand for the arts. The annual Arts Day of lobbying is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 2, so mark it on your calendars now.

Arts Day is when artists, activists and arts organizations give state lawmakers the message that the arts need to be a budget priority.

For more information on Local 802’s plans, contact Paul Molloy at (212) 245-4802, ext. 176 or

The organization spearheading Arts Day is NYS Arts. See for more information


Local 802 and the AFM continue to lobby on behalf of a performance royalty for musicians when their music is heard on AM/FM radio.

The Performance Rights Act has made it through both the initial House and Senate committees, but some final negotations with the National Assocation of Broadcasters may be what’s needed to turn the bill into law quickly.

The musicFIRST Coalition, of which the AFM is a member, met with the NAB in November. Further meetings are scheduled.

The performance rights campaign received a major boost earlier this month when AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent a letter to all members of Congress in support of the Performance Rights Act.


January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women is urging union women – and all women – to get tested now.

Cervical cancer is almost always preventable, thanks to the Pap test, the HPV test and the HPV vaccine.

As part of a national campaign, CLUW is asking women to schedule their annual gynecologic examination and encourage five friends to do the same.

For more information on the campaign, see and

(The Pearl of Wisdom site will be live after Jan. 6.)

The campaign aims to secure 4,070 pledges – the same number of U.S. women who were projected to die of cervical cancer in 2009 – by Mother’s Day, which is May 9.