I recently spent an interesting day and a half entering AFM local addresses. Thankfully, there are already 41 locals representing ICSOM orchestras, which made my job a bit shorter.
Still, 207 addresses later, I have some new impressions about our representation across two countries.
Your first question, I suspect, would be: “Laura, why were you entering all those addresses?”
At the AFM Convention last June, the Governing Board decided to reach out to locals who might not know or understand what ICSOM’s role is within the AFM by distributing the then-current issue of Senza Sordino. We hoped to show people what we were advocating as representatives of one of the highest dues-paying constituencies in the AFM. We received many nice compliments about our newsletter during and after the AFM Convention.
So, after such enormously positive feedback from locals at the AFM Convention, the Governing Board decided to continue reaching out by putting all AFM locals on our Senza Sordino distribution list. This way, when issues of concern to our orchestras need widespread support, everyone involved might have a better understanding of the particulars—with better education and communication before decisions are made.
The Governing Board also wants to expand the list of universities and conservatories that receive Senza Sordino. While a number of music schools and libraries are already subscribers to Senza Sordino, we thought reaching even more students who might one day be members of our orchestras would be beneficial to everyone.
Our understanding is that most schools retain a copy in their libraries, but our hope is that students might find more accessible copies—in their lounges, in periodical displays, and even from their teachers (as members of ICSOM orchestras). Our goal is to help more people truly understand our issues and, in the case of students, be a bit more prepared for “real life” in an orchestra.
If you are a teacher, we hope you are already sharing information from Senza Sordino with your students. We also hope you will promote the importance and relevance of ICSOM and your local. Please let us hear your ideas about how best to reach your students who will be pursuing orchestra careers. Additionally, I would ask that you check with the music library at your schools to see if they are subscribing to Senza Sordino. If they are not, send us the appropriate contact name and address, and we will send them a complimentary copy with the hope that they would choose to subscribe.
But, back to those addresses again, it was really interesting to notice how many locals are protective unions by name, while others are associations or musical societies. As I was typing I discovered there were locals with the same name in different states (for example, Pontiac, Michigan and Pontiac, Illinois). I have been aware since my early days in ROPA that many musicians must belong to multiple locals because their orchestras are in different jurisdictions, but I was still surprised to find a number of locals in states I hadn’t expected. I also have to admit, as someone who spent hours playing Monopoly as a kid, I got a kick out of typing “Ventnor Avenue” when I got to Atlantic City’s address (although the local is actually in Ventnor, not Atlantic City).
I also found that there were many locals with two officers listed at different addresses. In these cases we will send the copy to the local’s president. Any local may contact the editor to request additional copies or to change where or to whom Senza Sordino is sent.
So, on behalf of the ICSOM Governing Board, I extend a warm welcome to our brother and sister locals as our readership expands, and we encourage you all to share this copy of Senza Sordino with your officers and members.