General Membership Quarterly Meeting Minutes-3/31/14

The quarterly general membership business meeting of the Cincinnati Musicians’ Association was called to order on March 31, 2014 at 7:19 PM.

15 members were present.

Minutes from the December 9, 2013 quarterly meeting were read and approved.


I. Welcome

  • President Frankenfeld welcomed members and apologized for any difficulty getting into the building. Tenants have to sign in after 6PM and there is a new security guard at the desk this evening.


  • President Paul Frankenfeld presented Richard Porotsky his 50-year membership pin and card. Paul shared with the members present memories of Richard’s tenure with the Local. Richard is from Pennsylvania and attended the Curtis Institute of Music. He joined the CSO in the 1963-64 season. He is married to Betty Jean (flute).
  • President Frankenfeld also recognized Marc Cleghorn, in absentia, for 50 years of membership. Mark is currently living in Wisconsin.


III. Focus on Freelancing

  • President Frankenfeld began by recognizing several performance groups and concert series in the area that use freelance musicians. These groups perform regularly but do not necessarily have a CBA with the Local. Many have a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)clearly stating a scale that is equal to or above current scale listed. The Board is due to discuss the price list, which will be expiring soon, and it will be in keeping with neighboring locals. As President, he wants to hear from members as the discussion begins.
  • It is not the duty of the Local to get jobs for members. If work is available the Local can push to create opportunities if possible. The new casino is an example of potential opportunity. Booking agencies are almost a thing of the past since musicians can promote their own music through their own websites. Work dues and pension contributions are not paid if people contract themselves. Look at CityBeat and you can find tons of free music available any night.
  • The Local doesn’t want to deprive any musician from getting work but there is concern about any non-union group paying under scale. An example is the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra hits 6 markers that indicate its players are employees and not independent contractors. A ‘Fence Agreement’ could provide a solution. This would provide an agreement where members of the Local would receive a negotiated scale.
  • Q: Since the MOAs with other groups have been drawn up, does the KSO jeopardize other area orchestras?
  • A: Case in point. The Carnegie Center for Visual and Performing Arts (The Carnegie)    has used the CCO in the past for their performances. Space only allows for a total of 17 players. Management of the KSO presented a much lower budget than the CCO but used members of the Local. Apparently something occurred because the Carnegie is reaching back out to the CCO and BAMSO. The Local is trying to preserve work at reasonable scale for members. The Local is willing to sit down with the Carnegie and look at their budget for the productions. The scale could be adjusted with an MOA and could provide about 13 services for area musicians.
  • Q: What is the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s reasoning for not being a union organization?
  • A: Unknown.


  • Elizabeth Motter (harp) pointed out that freelancers rely on many things to make a living. She has noticed big changes in just the last 5-7 years. There is much less opportunity. A younger generation is doing the hiring and they seem to prefer recorded music.
  • José Mangual(trombone) pointed out that a big problem is the budget cuts in schools. Arts are often the first thing to go. As an educator he knows first hand that his students are not being exposed to live music. José asked if the Local be doing anything to show freelancers the benefits of being a member. The benefits are on the website so it is just a matter of getting freelancers to look at what the Local offers.
  • President Frankenfeld closed the discussion with the following comments. He asks that all freelancers let the Board know what your needs are. How can we help you? If you are a member of a performing group, please leave materials in case an opportunity arises. The big question is how do we change the minds of the larger community population? How do we show the importance of having live music?


Meeting adjourned at 8:20PM