B'way Musicians want to donate a performance to charity.The Musicians Union won't let them
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Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS planned to do a streaming broadcast of a recording of a concert from last year in order to raise funds for it's COVID-19 emergency fund. All the musicians were paid for the original concert, of which I was the musical director. The performers unions would usually require new payments for this broadcast of a previous performance, but all the performers unions except the musicians union agreed to waive payment because the event was for charity. Due to the musicians union not complying the event is scheduled to be cancelled. The musicians who played on this concert are asking the union to waive their payment so the event can proceed and funds can be raised to support all of the members of the arts community, including the musicians union itself. BCEFA has already paid over $50,000 in relief funds to the musicians union and would pledge an additional $25,000 to the union. But Ray Hair the president of the union refuses to waive this payment EVEN THOUGH THE MUSICIANS WHO PLAYED AND WHO WOULD BE PAID ARE ASKING HIM TO! Tell Ray Hair and the executive board to waive the required payment as the musicians are asking and let broadcast proceed, entertaining millions of views and potentially raising hundreds of thousands for charity. This link provides more details
here's the request from the musicians themselves
An open letter from the members of the orchestra regarding the streaming of our performance for “Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney On Broadway” as a fundraiser for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund:
We find ourselves in a world that has been changed radically in just a few weeks by a terrible disease that isolates us and has changed everyone’s lives. In such a time, we must all come together for the common good. As musicians we have lost the opportunity to perform publicly, but this use of our recorded performance could have been a great tool to raise funds for people in our community that are in need.
It would serve to show the world the value of live music and could also serve as an inspiration to young musicians everywhere, in addition to being both entertaining and uplifting to audiences around the world in this troubled time.
Ray Hair, the President of the American Federation of Musicians, made this decision for us without our knowledge. We acknowledge that he is working hard to protect the rights of the membership, but we as an orchestra are happy to forgo any payment for the streaming of this charitable event, especially in light of the additional $25,000 of support BCEFA offered to donate on our behalf to the Local 802 Emergency Relief Fund. This generous donation would directly support the members of Local 802 who are most in need during this crisis. Now more than ever it is essential to join with the other members of the arts community to help those in need. We implore President Hair to allow the waiver of payment so this broadcast can raise desperately needed funds for BCEFA and provide a sense of joy and community that we can all share.
In unity and support of our community, The members of the orchestra
Jim Abbott Ann Gerschefski
David Kuhn Gary Seligson
Daniel Weiss Steve Kenyon
Greg Riley Tony Kadleck
Shelagh Abate Jason Jackson
Lori Abbott Laura Bontrager
Rolando Morales-Matos Horace “Junior” Wedderburn
Howard Joines Orchestra Contractor
Adam Krauthamer..President of Local 802 AFM
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