Dear Members of Local 1, colleagues, and Friends:
From a telephone call with Gregrick Frey earlier today, it is with deep sorrow that I share the news of the passing of his father, Cincinnati Musicians Association President Emeritus, Eugene V. Frey. Greg and his sister, Karen, enjoyed a visit to Cincinnati over the past weekend to see Gene, and explained that he slipped away peacefully in his sleep this morning.
Eugene V. Frey’s accomplishments were enormous and varied. A gifted clarinet player from Dayton, Ohio, Mr. Frey first joined the Armco Band in 1937, and, while a student at the Cincinnati College of Music in 1939, where he completed a Master of Music, was engaged by Eugene Goossens as Second Clarinet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Following service with the US Army during the Second World War, Mr. Frey returned to Cincinnati to resume his career with the Cincinnati Symphony. After a contentious election for the presidency of the Cincinnati Musicians Association in December of 1957, Eugene Frey resigned his position with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to assume the office. He remained President until January of 2010, when he became President Emeritus. During the fifty-two years of his tenure, Mr. Frey oversaw the negotiation of all local freelance, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, and Cincinnati Symphony contracts. In addition to initiating an annual Musicians’ Ball that showcased local bands and raised membership dues for 50-year union members, he created a booking agency for Local 1 and founded a concert funding program, Bravo Music, Inc. Mr. Frey served on the Executive Boards of both the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. On the national level, he was a member of the International Executive Board of the American Federation of Musicians and an Employee Trustee of the American Federation of Musicians Employer Pension Fund. Passionately dedicated to the welfare of the members of his union local, Eugene Frey assisted musicians in times of need and crisis. He established a Red Cross shelter at the site of the Beverly Hills fire in 1977, and provided access to counseling services for all he served. He was a mentor to labor leaders locally and nationally, and was a constant source of inspiration to AFM President Emeritus Thomas F. Lee, as well as current AFM President Raymond Hair, Jr. Named after the great labor activist Eugene V. Debs, Eugene V. Frey created a legacy of dignity and honor on behalf of musicians and union members everywhere that shall endure for generations.
Eugene Frey was preceded in death by his wife, Edith Cavell Frey, in 2004. He is survived by his daughter, Karen, and son, Gregrick, who reside in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
Paul R. Frankenfeld, President, Cincinnati Musicians Association
Local 1, American Federation of Musicians