STATE COLLEGE, PA–The Central Pennsylvania Musicians’ Association (American Federation of Musicians Local 660), headquartered in State College, PA, will celebrate its 100th anniversary on January 19, 2013. A luncheon will be held at the University Club, 331 West College Ave., from 12 to 3 PM, including live music and a recognition ceremony. Memorabilia from the union’s history will be on display, and previous members who wish to attend should contact Debbie Trudeau at 814-237-0979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To mark the anniversary, the local is encouraging new memberships by waiving the initiation fees through March of 2013. New members or returning members who join by December 31 may attend and bring a guest to the celebration on January 19. “This is a seventy-five-dollar savings,” says Debbie Trudeau, AFM 660 treasurer and violinist with several local classical ensembles. “It’s a great opportunity for those who have been thinking of getting involved or rejoining.”
“I believe in music,” says Marilyn Haugh, avid supporter of several Central PA musical groups and AFM member since 2007. “I’m looking forward to celebrating the local’s anniversary in January. I’m dedicated to musicians and feel that they should be paid well.” Marilyn has been a close observer of Local 660 as the wife of the late Hubert Haugh, a member and officer from 1976-2007. She also served on the board in her husband’s stead.
About the Central PA Musicians Association
According to John Kovalchik, an officer since the 1970s, “We represent many hard-working, qualified, and talented members who are working diligently to improve the local music scene. Our local leaders work for the good of the membership, to keep them performing for decent wages.”
One notable recent AFM Local 660 initiative addressed the issue of musician pay by recognizing and promoting “Fair Trade” venues that pay a sustainable living wage to all performing musicians on site. Music at McCann, Music at Penn’s Woods, the Saloon, Bar Bleu, the Autoport, and the Central Pennsylvania Ballroom Dance Association are among the local organizations recognized.
The Central PA Musicians’ Association also sponsors the Olin Butt memorial scholarship, which donates five scholarships annually to fund private lessons for recommended high school students in Centre County. “We need to get more young people interested in music,” says Haugh. “The AFM provides a vision and a purpose for them.”
AFM 660’s current active roster includes 69 musicians ranging in age from 21 to 92 and playing all styles of music, from classical and folk to rock and jazz. Its territory spans Centre, Huntingdon, Mifflin, Juniata, Snyder, Montour, Northumberland, and Columbia counties. Originally headquartered in Tyrone, PA, Local 660 relocated to State College in the early 1970s. Records dating to the 1960s list 389 former members, although hundreds more once belonged during the union’s early years.
In addition to the initiatives mentioned above, the AFM also provides legal support for musicians under contract, and marketing assistance for members through its website at http://www.afm660.org