The quarterly meeting of the general membership of the Cincinnati Musicians’ Association was called to order on December 14, 2015 at 7:04PM.
14 members were present.
The minutes of the October 19,2015 quarterly meeting were approved as read. M/S was Nott/Lambert
I. President’s Report
- President Frankenfeld and Vice President Barb Lambert provided a brief synopsis of the Regional Conference that was held in Iowa. An attempt to consolidate regional conferences is being forwarded by the National Office. Local 1 has been a part of the Mid-America Conference and our conference voted against consolidation for a number of reasons that were shared with members present. Reasons included the expense of traveling further, no new officers were elected, no By-laws were adopted, and the general sense of disorganization and vague reason for consolidation shared by National. Out of 42 possible delegates from the MAC, only 13 were able to make the trip to Iowa. The National Office cited consolidation as a cost saving measure for the National Officers who usually visit regional conferences. It was the general consensus of MAC delegates that AFM Officers aren’t necessarily needed at regional conferences. Member Gary Winters asked if the MAC was going to stand together to let AFM National Office know that consolidation isn’t necessary. Both President Frankenfeld and Vice-President Lambert felt that would be the case.
- President Frankenfeld reported that technology appears to have put the AFM at a crossroad. He explained that while the new integrated media agreement includes a bit of language toward digital technology he feels that the situation is akin to the advent of talking movies in the 1920s. The performance of live music faces many difficulties because of new technologies. He cited the decline of the recording industry income. The bulk of AFM income is currently coming from Symphony Orchestras. Touring Broadway groups are also downsizing pit groups.
- The previous topic led naturally to the announcement of the Recording Musicians of America taking Sony to court. President Frankenfeld pointed out that the Federation spends a considerable amount on legal fees and the next 20 years may prove very challenging. Vice-President Lambert asked Gary Winters to speak about the situation in Europe/Germany. Gary described that the jazz scene still pays fairly well and that local gigs pay OK. Many musicians are also teaching for a steadier income while performing on the side. Gary pointed out that people should join this organization for the legal protection provided. Use the organization to create a forum where the problems of the professional can be discussed and look for solutions. It should be seen as a resource rather than a hopeful booking agency. Gary continued by saying the AFM is not the union of the 70s and it needs to learn to adapt to the new century. Examples cited were YouTube as a way to adapt to marketing. Marty Geisbrecht asked Gary if there was any written document that summarized what he said. Gary responded none that he knew. The conversation concluded that it would be important to go to potential “customers” to ask them what they need in order to be successful in their field (business end of the profession). It is not the job of the Local to find employment for members. However, the Local could provide education to students about how to progress their career. Jose Mangual spoke about how Marie Speziale taught her students what to do to make sure you get called again.
- General discussion wrapped up with a question from Jose Mangual. He asked if there was a plan after what happened in Iowa. Vice-President Lambert said that she doesn’t think the officers of the smaller regions are getting together to work on an agenda. The whole event seemed slapped together and that there was very little relevance or connection to some of the other regions that were present. President Frankenfeld responded that it will result in several conversations
I. Fifty-Year Member Recognition
- President Frankenfeld presented Lynne Scott with her 50-year membership pin and card. He recounted the many places she has sung, and continues to sing at. He also shared that she started her career as a percussionist.
- Pat Nott asked if the CSO was planning a New Year’s Eve Gala. After checking the CSO website it appears that the CSO is directing people to various places around Cincinnati to celebrate following the concert.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:07PM and was followed by refreshments.
Carol Dunevant, Secretary