NewsJun 24, 09:32 PM
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jay Blumenthal as director of Symphonic Services and as the Federation’s Assistant Treasurer.
“Jay’s outstanding relationship-building abilities have produced unparalleled excellence in the symphonic employment sector,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “He is well known for promoting open, honest discussion on difficult issues, in difficult times, in a manner that encourages respect and problem-solving.”
“Jay Blumenthal as assistant treasurer is the right person at exactly the perfect time in AFM history,” says AFM Secretary-Treasurer Sam Folio. “His years of experience as chief financial officer of the Federation’s largest local will be of enormous assistance during these financially precarious times.”
Jay Blumenthal performed as a professional musician for 40 years. He has served on the Orchestra Committee of the New York City Ballet Orchestra and as chair of the New York Pops Orchestra Committee. His involvement with ICSOM began as a delegate for the NYC Ballet Orchestra, and shortly thereafter, he was elected to the ICSOM Governing Board, serving until 2004.
Blumenthal has been a member of the Local 802 Executive Board since 1998. For the past eight years he has served as a full-time officer at Local 802 as financial vice president and supervisor of the Concert Department responsible for symphony, opera, and ballet contracts. Blumenthal was recently elected vice president of the AFM New York State Conference. He holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from New York University and resides in Manhattan with his wife and two daughters.
“We all know there are many challenges facing the symphonic field today but I truly believe they are not insurmountable,” says Blumenthal. “Building relationships, engaging in honest good faith discussions, and thinking creatively accomplishes much more than finger pointing, hand wringing, and unilateral actions. Symphonic music is the ultimate expression of humanity. We must navigate through the difficult issues to preserve the music we hold so dear, while maintaining the standard of living of the musicians who perform it.”
The current SSD director, Christopher Durham, will continue to serve the AFM as chief field negotiator, an area where he has excelled for many years.
“The Governing Board of ICSOM wishes to thank Chris Durham for his service as director of the Symphonic Services Division,” states ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge. “Chris has earned the appreciation and admiration of every musician in the AFM. We wish him well in his role as an extraordinary negotiator and advocate for musicians. We also welcome Jay Blumenthal to his new position with the SSD, and we are very excited to work with Jay, as we all continue to work together to advocate for musicians and the arts everywhere.”
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