The first beginnings of the Musicians' Association date back to the fall of 1889. At that time there was a national organization known as the Musicians Mutual Protective Union #30. There was no branch in Seattle, the nearest one being in San Francisco.
It was a rule of the M.M.P.U. that a new branch could not organize without permission from the nearest union so it was necessary for the Seattle "boys" to communicate with San Francisco to make the necessary arrangements. Charles E. Bray, Frank Hopkins and T.H. "Dad" Wagner formed a committee and telegraphed to the San Famcisco local for permission to form a union. The S. F. union didn't have any objections because Seattle was so far away and permission was granted. The official number given to the seattle M.M.P.U when they were organized was 76. The local has kept this number ever since.
The Board of Directors created a Constitution, By-Laws, Directory and Price List of 1892. The years 1892 & 1893 were a period of extreme hard times and the Price List (wage scale) had to be suspended while musicians played for anything they could get. There was talk of dissolving the union and in order to keep the union intact, it was decided to suspend the price list.
The Musicians' Union then became a union in name only and it became common practice for members to go out and play for nothing and then pass the hat. This hat passing was the start of the ten-cent dances.
The American Federation of Musicians Local 76 was originally chartered on March 1, 1898. On January 14, 1958- African American members of the segregated AFM Local 493 were amalgamated with those of Local 76, forming one integrated Local. For further information on Local 493 and it's predecessor Local 458 we recommend an article at HistoryLink.org by Peter Blecha or "Sweethearts of Jazz" written for "Columbia" magazine by David Keller in 2009. In December 1994 our title was officially changed to "Local 76-493", celebrating our rich history among all of our members.
McLain is a harp player. She was the first female president of this Local and acted as Secretary-Treasurer before becoming President.
Mori played the bass, tuba, violin and viola. In addition to much union involvement, Simon was Personell Manager with the Seattle Symphony for 12 years and performed in the bass section for 36 years. A Local 76 50 year member he also acted as business representative in the early 1970’s. He passed away in December of 1997.
Shirk plays trombone and tuba. He acted as Secretary-Treasurer before becoming president. He was Secretary-Treasurer at AFM Local 99 in Portland and is currently Assistant to the President for the Western United States for the AFM.
Prior to becoming local 76 president, Larry was an AFM Assistant to the President in charge of the booking agent department under AFM presidents Hal Davis and Herman Kenin. Before that he was an IR. Before that he was Secretary of the local. McDonell played saxophone, clarinet, piano and organ and also worked with Vice President Terry Cruise. Larry passed away in February of 1987 and was a life member of Local 76.
A life member, Newman played saxophone in his early years, later switching to jazz piano. He also served on the Kitsap County Labor Council. He worked with Vice President Terry Cruise. Lee passed away in December of 1987.
1969-1972 / 1974-1977
A Local 76 life member, Norm played the tenor sax, clarinet, trumpet and vibes along with arranging and conducting. At various times in his career, Hoagy served on the board, as vice president and with the Seattle Arts Commission (now 4culture). He was an arranger and played tenor saxophone. He also hosted a popular jazz radio program with bassist Tom “Red” Kelly. Norm passed away in November of 1985.
1963-1968 / 1980-1993
Ramage was a member of our local for over 65 years playing the trumpet and drums in clubs, taverns, cruise ships and ballrooms. In the 1950’s, he was appointed as International Representative for the AFM to the U.S and Canadian offices. As local labor leader he served with King County Labor Council and was appointed by the state governor to work at the Dept. of Labor and Industries. Chet passed away in December of 1993.
Trombonist, Bandleader and Pianist. Souders was also a member of AFM Local 47 in Los Angeles. He acted as a board member before and after his presidency. He was the Director of the Seattle World’s Fair Band, and worked as a well-known band leader until his untimely death in 1968.
Schardt was a leading French horn player in Seattle in his time and performed with the Seattle Symphony as principal horn from 1927-1956. His peers regarded him as humble and bright, noting he was a good mediator at general membership meetings. After his presidency he was an active board member. He passed away in June of 1978.
At age 16 he joined the Seattle Symphony until he was 26 and eventually became more active in the union. After he left Seattle, Martin played bass for 30 years in the Boston Symphony. "Tiny" also known as "300 lbs of bass", passed away in January of 1989.
His motto: “A person should put more into an organization than he takes out of it.” Originally from Boston, Reed played the organ in churches, Eagles, Elks, Nile, Shrine & Mason lodges and theatres across the country including those of Boston, Seattle and Everett. In 1931 Reed became the assistant program and musical director for KJR until leaving in 1937 for vaudeville. President Reed served on many community, union, military and politcal committees throughout his life. He passed away in August of 1967.
McLain a 50 year member of Local 76 was a traveling theater and symphony musician. He was a member of the Seattle Symphony for two seasons under Henry Hadley. He helped to organize and was the first president of the Northwest Conference of Musicians. He played the drums and timpani. McLain passed away on June 10, 1970
Like several presidents before him, Adams was president back when our local office was at 2025 – 4th Ave, across from what is now the Cinerama. He was bandleader of the Adams Band which performed in Seattle's parks and head of the University of Washington Band in 1914 and played the cornet, trumpet, violin and bass. Adams was head of the Adams Band and Orchestra School and Bandmaster of numerous bands and schools across the country. He passed away in May of 1960
1928-1932 / 1962-1963
Pelletier played drums and timpani in the Seattle Symphony along with theatre orchestras and the Charles Lombard Orchestra. Mr. Pelletier played at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909 and and in 1962 he conducted the World's Fair Band before turning it over to Jackie Souders. He was active as a Tacoma Rotary member, which led to further civic participation and local political activity that included his helping in the construction of the Volunteer Park Water Tower. b.1876 d.1967
Known around town as Dad Wagner, T.H. Wagner led the most popular marching band in town called the Dad Wagner Band. He arrived in Seattle in the 1880’s as an accompanying cornetist to a traveling theatrical troupe. When he opted to stay, he was soon selected to lead the 2nd Regiment National Guard Band, a position that helped earn him a beloved place in local’s hearts. The Dad Wagner Band was formed after playing for the celebration of Washington’s Statehood and the 1909 AYPE Fair. It was this band that played free concerts in Pioneer Square after the Great Fire of Seattle wiped out much of downtown in 1889. The band played locally and toured nationally. As president and charter member, Wagner served with Vice President Harry Pelletier. T.H. died on March 19, 1933.
Before his presidency, Bradley, a cornetist, was a delegate to the 1915 San Francisco Convention. He later served with Vice President Chas Morris. Bradley played as a trumpeter in the Orpheum Theatre Orchestra for 15 years and was with Paul Whiteman's original band. He died suddenly at the age of 58 on June 16, 1932.
Morris played trombone, baritone & cello and served with Vice President Frank Bradley. He later moved to Los Angeles to work in theaters. b.1874 d.1964
Hainsworth immigrated from England. He was a composer, pianist, organist for vaudeville and the Masonic organizations and long-time union member until his death in 1967. Married to concert pianist Erma (Peterson) Hainsworth. Served with Vice President Chas Morris.
Curtis, a violinist served with Vice Presidents Robert Hainsworth and Jack Earle.
Belonged to the Seattle Symphony Society and to Wagner's band. He possessed expert skill on different musical instruments, particularly the bassoon, and was widely known for his talents, which rendered him a popular figure in musical circles.
Parker lived to the ripe age of 97. An army bugler at first, he played during the Spanish-American War. He came to Seattle in 1905 with a minstrel show and joined the Seattle Symphony flute section in the same year. During this time he acted as Union President and played in a flute trio. On a California tour he met his wife and settled in Berkeley. In 1920, he moved to New York City where he played with the New York Philharmonic. Then, in the late 1940’s his family was struck by tragedy, which caused a subsequent move back to Seattle in 1950. Again, he played with the Symphony, leaving the orchestra a second time in 1954 because of weakened eyesight.
Paul Sternberg was a German pianist and conductor who also served as Vice President for Local 76. He was active with the Chicago Musicians' Union and was also known to be one of the first conductors to popularize operatic music. Sternberg conducted a symphony orchestra during the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition and was also in the Orpheum Vaudebille Circuit. He was 86 when he died in 1959.
1898 - 1906
During his term, Rust acted as a delegate to the Central Labor Council, now known as Martin Luther King County Labor Council. He passed away in Sept of 1936.
A life member who played the trombone and baritone. Belard was also listed on the roster of the Seattle Symphony in 1903-1904
William Bruce played clarinet/Baritone and was Bandmaster of the Navy Yard Band in Bremerton. He was a life member and passed away in Sept of 1918.
Bio not available.
1892 - 1896 / 1897 - 1898
Born Nov 9, 1846 and moved to Seattle in 1883. He was a Civil War veteran and pioneer Seattle musician who performed with Wagner's Band and in theatre orchestras on cornet and french horn. Before Booth was a charter member of local 76 he was president of the Seattle Musicians Protective Association No. 30. He died in June of 1936
Bio not available.