Checklist of questions to ask wedding musicians: From my experience as a musician and representing the Musicians’ Association of Seattle at the Seattle Wedding Show, I know most people booking live music for their … Read more
When it comes to planning wedding music for your wedding it can be overwhelming! There are so many options to consider from hiring a DJ to using a premade play list from your smart … Read more
As a benefit of membership, the Musicians Union offers dental insurance for an additional charge.
For more information go to the Membership page and click on Healthcare.
What We Do
Local 76-493 is a collective of musicians. We have been a membership organization since 1890, administered by elected officers and an elected board of directors.
Our goals are to:
- communicate to each other about workplace needs, professional desires and collective power
- educate each other about our rights, responsibilities and union power
- facilitate obtaining those rights in our lives
- organize for collective bargaining
- raise the publics’ awareness of the value of music and musicians
The Musicians’ Association of Seattle, AFM Local 76-493
- Belongs to musicians of local to international status, part-time and full-time, playing the many diverse styles of music that inhabit Seattle.
- Provides a variety of services to its members, including contract and referral services, and facilitates the members, agreeing upon minimum pay scales.
- Is run by musicians, for musicians. The membership’s desires are carried out by a Board of Directors together with a small staff for day-to-day operations, and an organizer.
- Publishes a newsletter (Musicland) for members to address relevant issues and provide a forum for discussion.
- Is part of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), which has nearly 130,000 members in approximately 325 locals throughout the USA and Canada. The AFM sets pay scale standards and negotiates agreements for recording and touring musicians, lobbies the government for improved legislation, publishes a monthly paper (International Musician) for members, and coordinates national efforts in the interests of musicians.
Rewards of Joining
- Solidarity and power for negotiating fair wages and working conditions
- Political voice in city, county, and state government
- Job leads
- Dental insurance at group rates
- Instrument & liability insurance at group rates
- Contract enforcement and media new use fees collection
- Contract protection for your live, recorded and broadcast works
- More benefits of joining listed on our Membership Page
Local 76-493 Jurisdiction
All of Seattle, Vashon Island, the counties of Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Mason, Island, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Thurston, and Whatcom counties.
Also Pacific County except the area west of Highway 101 up to the junction of Highway 4 as well as along Highway 103. The incorporated city limits of all towns and villages along said highways are in the jurisdiction of Local 99. These include Ocean Park, Long Beach, Illwaco, Chinook and Megler.
Monday – Friday 9:00 – 5:00
Office Closed For Lunch: 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
The office is closed on all national holidays
Musicians’ Association of Seattle, AFM Local 76-493
Free parking in the back. Park only in the spaces that are marked “Reserved Eastlake Condos”.
Organizer and Fair Trade Music Representative
Vacant, at large
Beverley Setzer, Tacoma Symphony
Vacant, 5TH Ave Theater
Jay Easton, Village Theatre
Mary Ann Lee, Cornish College
Nate Omdal, Freelance Musicians
Bruce Carpenter, Paramount Theatre
King County Labor Council
We serve the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue and all of the Eastside, Everett, Kent, Federal Way, Yakima, Renton, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Bellingham and all of the following counties:
- Grays harbor
- Pacific (except the area west of highway 101 up to the junction of highway 4 as well as along highway 103)
- San juan
WA State Theatrical Federation
The Theatrical Federation of Washington State is a voluntary organization of entertainment unions founded in 1912. The Federation was inactive during the 1950’s – 80’s and was revitalized in 1998. Current membership includes; American Federation of Musicians, Local 76-493; AFTRA; AGMA; IATSE Local 15; IATSE Local 793; IATSE 488: IATSE Local 887; and SAG.
The mission is promoting solidarity among the entertainment unions, mobilizing for social justice issues, promoting collaboration with our employers, and providing a forum for discussing union issues. We strive to achieve a harmonious and equitable relationship between management and labor. The Theatrical Federation meets monthly at AFM Local 76-493’s office and is open to members of participating unions.
Accomplishments of the Theatrical Federation of Washington State
The Seattle Conference of Organized Labor and The Arts
Held on June 30, 2003 and hosted by the T. F. at the King County Labor Council Hall, the conference brought together representatives from ten arts organizations, including Seattle Opera, ACT, Intiman Theatre, and 5th Avenue Theatre and Theatrical Federation. We developed a plan for political action (supporting and promoting the arts) and audience building.
Washington Artists Health Insurance Project
The T.F. was a participant in WAHIP (2004-2010), a pilot project to forge new strategies to improve artists’ access to health insurance. WAHIP is a partnership effort between LINC (Leveraging Investments in Creativity www.lincnet.net) and Artist Trust and is supported by the Paul G. Allen Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Nathan Cummings Foundation.
Mobilizing street actions at the Paramount Theatre supporting a national boycott of the 2002 “Music Man” presented by Big League Theatricals.
Department of Labor and Industries workshop.
The workshop was hosted by the T.F on January 26, 2004 in Seattle. Unions and employers met with L & I representatives in a day-long workshop with the focus on developing specific criteria for classifying entertainment workers as employees or independent contractors which uniquely apply to our industry.
Reauthorize the Lodging Tax.
The Theatrical Federation lobbied Speaker of the House Frank Chopp and Senator Ed Murray for support of this critical source of funding for presenting art, theatre and musical organization.
The Theatrical Federation Unions sit on the following Boards and Organizations:
- Mayor’s Advisory Board on Film and Music
- King County Labor Council Executive Board
King County Labor Council
The King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, is the central body of labor organizations in King County, Washington. We are affiliated with the National AFL-CIO, the central labor organization in the United States, representing more than 13 million working people. Over 150 organizations belong to the Council, and more than 150,000 working men and women belong to Council-affiliated organizations. United, we are a voice for the interests and needs of working people in King County.
The core responsibilities of the King County Labor Council are to assist workers and their unions in the struggle for social and economic justice; support efforts to organize and bargain fair contracts; lobby, endorse and involve working people in the political process; advocate and support laws that protect working people; support community services outreach work; and unite with community allies who are also struggling for justice.
Education and Outreach
The Musicians’ Association of Seattle has staff available for presentations on the music business in schools and universities throughout the area.
We can also put you in touch with musical ensembles that can travel and perform educational shows for children.
Just give us a call at 206-441-7600 or email us, we are happy to help.
Additional Community Labor Resources and Links
Please visit our resource page.
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. The first Board meeting of Charter Members was held on Nov 2nd, 1890 and the new branch was offically admitted to the MMPU on Dec. 17, 1890.
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. KCTS 9 YouTube video on Local 493. In December 1994 our title was officially changed to “Local 76-493”, celebrating our rich history among all of our members.
Former Presidents from 1890-2002
Morris “Mori” Simon
Lawrence “Larry” D. Mcdonell
Leo “Lee” H. Newman
Norman E. Houge AKA “Norm Hoagy”
Chester “Chet” W. Ramage
John R. “Jackie” Souders
Alvin L. Schardt
Leslie “Tiny” R. Martin
Harry L. Reed
Ordel R. Mclain
Albert P. Adams
Harry (Henri) A. Pelletier
Theodore “Dad” H. Wagner
Frank C. Bradley Sr.1914-1915, 1920-1923 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.
Charles “Chas” H. Morris
Robert V. Hainsworth
William E. Murray
Daniel “Dan” Grindrod
Dan was a cornetist from the Wenatchee Local 233 and joined Local 76 on Jan. 1, 1911. He passed away on March 11, 1930. Grindrod also appears to have been a bit of a scoundrel in the foot race/betting scene of the early 1900's.
Brooks C. Parker
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.
Frank A. Rust
William A. Belard1906-1911 A life member who played the trombone and baritone. Belard was also listed on the roster of the Seattle Symphony in 1903-1904
William Bruce1896-1897 William Bruce played clarinet & baritone and was Bandmaster of the Navy Yard Band in Bremerton. He was a charter member from 1890 and a life member. He passed away in Sept of 1918.
William Mathew1896-June 1896 Bio not available.
Lyman E. Booth1892 - 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
Volner “V.K.” Tout1890-1892 B. 1844? Bio not available. Seattle directories indicate he was a musician at the Standard Theatre. Seattle P.I. issues list him playing the Alto Horn and as a member of the Rialto Band
If you have photos or information to add to any of our former presidents we would love to hear from you. Just call us at 206-441-7600 or email us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the Musicians Union help me with Border Crossings (Canada) and Gigs?)Yes, the AFM has an expedited method to aid U.S. AFM members. You can find more information here.
How do I know what “Scale Pay” is for any particular Gig?Wage scale pay for musicians and leaders is listed here. Leaders receive a premium in addition to scale wages.
Why are there Union Orchestras in the Seattle area that don’t pay Union Scale?Each CBA has separately negotiated wages and working conditions. These uniquely reflect the needs and abilities of each organization to pay the employee musicians.
Does a Union Contract guarantee that I will get paid at least Union Scale and on time?Yes, if the contract is filed at the Union.
I always respond to the Referrals but never get the Gigs. Why is that?The referrals are based on a first come first served basis and the client makes the decision of who to hire. They have often also contacted other musicians and websites along with ours. If you feel like you need help promoting yourself, the Union will help members with advice about your promotion packet and website. If you feel like you need help promoting yourself, Union staff will give advice about your promotional materials and website.
What is Agency Fee Status?Agency Fee Status applies when a musician meets these requirements:
- Is working under an AFM collective bargaining agreement
- Pay all fees and dues in an equivalent amount to the fees and dues paid by union members
- Did not complete a local union application and did not sign an oath of allegiance to the AFM
Why do Non-Union Members get hired over Union Members for jobs that work under a Union Negotiated CBA?Employers can hire whomever they want regardless of Union status, however, once hired under a CBA, musicians must join the Union after 31 days or elect agency fee status.
I am already a Member of another AFM Local, do I have to join the Seattle Local too?If you are working under a CBA that is administered by Local 76-493 the answer is Yes. If you are a freelance musician who has moved into our jurisdiction you are also encouraged to join. If you are in 3 or more locals you would receive an AFM “per capita” rebate of $56 for each local over 2. Local 1000 of the AFM is local for touring musicians.
I played in a Non-Union film recording session and now a CD of that soundtrack is for sale in the stores. Shouldn’t I be getting paid extra for that?Probably not, but if it was a Union job and depending upon the new use media you would be receiving a session fee, “new use” payment and possibly AFM residuals. For further information, please call the union office.
I worked for a Purchaser without a Union Contract and have not been paid for my services, can the union help?Yes, if you are a member and have a contract filed. Yes, if you are a member but did not file a contract, but without any of our legal resources and in a limited capacity. No, if you are not a member, but we can offer you advice for the next time.
How many people do I need to “organize” my Workplace with the Union?Two
Can the Union help me negotiate a contract with an Employer?Yes. Any member can ask for help with negotiating a Single Engagement contract. From time to time the Union has seminars on topics like this, as does Fair Trade Music Seattle. Please check the calendar for upcoming events.
Will the Union dictate what I can or cannot charge for private lessons?No, the union has a teaching minimum wage in our Wage Scale that we recommend. It is suggested but not enforced. (see #3)
Why doesn’t the Union audition Musicians before they are allowed to be members like some other Locals?Historically, unions did audition musicians but the industry has changed and now the local has an open door policy.
If I join the Union, will I be fined for taking Non-Union Recording/Performing work?The AFM potentially could levy fines for members working non-union recordings, but in the last 15 years no charges have ever been filed on any member by Local 76-493.
Who is on the Board?The Executive Board is composed of elected representatives and three elected officers. Six musicians represent collective bargaining units and “At Large” representatives, speaking for the general membership. The Board develops policy for the Local; Officers make the day-to-day decisions of running the Local. Board meetings are the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, meeting at 10:00 am at the Union Hall. Membership is welcome to attend. Please contact the Board if you have an important issue that you feel needs to be discussed. Please contact Board Members or call the office if you have an important issue that you feel needs to be discussed.
If I join the Union, will I only be able to take Gigs that pay Union Scale?No, the union has a minimum wage scale that we recommend, voted on and approved by the membership. The wage scale committee establishes a minimum wage that sets wages at a fair standard for our region. Wages are determined by three things: how many players; how many hours played; what sort of job/venue it is. Members often charge above the minimum scale for weddings and casuals. If members feel it is appropriate to play lower than scale, they are encouraged to request permission of the Board. The Union recognizes that there are always exceptions to playing for scale and the Board generally grants these requests. The wage scale is updated every 2 years.
What kind of Union jobs are out there for Musicians in the Seattle area?Any job can be a Union job if you file a Single Engagement contract, but the following organizations have negotiated collective bargaining agreements with Local 76-493:
- Theatre: 5th Ave, Paramount, Village, Act, Seattle Repertory Theatre
- Orchestra: Tacoma Symphony
- Dance musician accompanist: Cornish College of the Arts