Endorsements

Yumi Kendall, Assistant Principal Cello
The Philadelphia Orchestra

“I’m 100% behind the entire slate of US4You candidates, and proudly submitted my absentee ballot last week. I’m voting for them because I know them, I see them, and their presence builds trust. I like knowing that musicians–these musicians in particular–are going to work for my colleagues and me. The work they represent, and their hands-on presence in the daily life of musicians in Local 77 is a breath of fresh air. Please join me in voting for all of them––US4You77!”

Ghislaine Fleischmann, Freelance Violinist
The Philly Pops, Substitute Violin The Philadelphia Orchestra

“I have known Ellen since 1990 in a variety of settings. As schoolmates and quartet members at Temple University, in professional settings, musical and otherwise and as a friend. 

There are many things I could write or anyone can look up in terms of her accomplishments etc but I would like to keep this short and just say that she has an amazing gift to recognize and focus on what is important and then get it done.

I have total confidence in her and the US4You77 slate. I look forward to a vibrant, healthy and beneficial union for all musicians.”

Michelle Bishop, Second Violin
The Philly Pops

“I am happy to support this extremely motivated and professional team of musicians running as US4You77. I have been a member of Local 77 for nearly 15 years and I ardently believe it is time for a change. As a working professional, it is important for me to be represented by fellow musicians. I have great confidence that this charismatic and determined group will properly represent us and fight for what is right. The time for change is now!”

Todd Williams, Principal Horn
Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Philharmonia Baroque, American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Opera Lafayette. Tenured member of the Philly Pops and Pennsylvania Ballet. Substitute musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Opera Philadelphia, and the AVA Opera Orchestra. Faculty at The Juilliard School. 

Of the people, by the people, for the people…

I love seeing this panel filled with active performers. Performers out there now, in the trenches, feeling the effects of current leadership. As one of us, the US4You77 panel will fight for us. I’m proud of my association with Philadelphia. As a member of Local 77 for nearly 15 years, however, I’ve never thought much of our local chapter. 

As a period instrument specialist I have the unique privilege of performing in many cities across the country. As well as performing in Philadelphia, I also regularly perform in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Cleveland, Houston, and San Francisco.It wasn’t until I started traveling for work that I realized how vital a healthy Union can be for our profession. Experiencing first hand the benefits of efficient, productive, and helpful Unions in these numerous cities brought into perspective how sorely lacking our dear Local 77 is and has been for so long.

It’s time for a change. These are our colleagues. They work with us on the stage and they will work with us off the stage. US4You77 is a panel I support.”

Ed Malaga, Bassist
Washington D.C. Federation of Musicians
AFM Local 161-710

“It’s time for new leadership at Philadelphia Local 77, and I am proud to endorse the musicians of Us4You77 as they endeavor to bring about the positive change which is so urgently needed there. This is my personal endorsement, and it is not intended to reflect the views of Local 161-710 or of its members.

As performing musicians with experience working across the musical spectrum of Philadelphia, the team of Us4You77 has the ability to strengthen and reinvigorate the bonds between the Local and its members, and a commitment to doing just that. Union officers occupy a position of trust, and once that trust is violated, the implications resonate among all of our Union members. This election provides the opportunity for the musicians of Local 77 to restore to their Local the ideals on which our union was founded – the opportunity to live and work in dignity and to be compensated fairly for their work.

I have personally heard the concerns of Local 77 members, and can validate them from my own experience. The time for change is at hand.

Vote Us4You77 on May 16.
Ellen Trainer, President
Marjorie Goldberg, Vice President
Jarred Antonacci, Secretary Treasurer
Robert Suttmann, Executive Board
Rebecca Ansel, Executive Board
David Fay, Executive Board”

Jennifer Montone, Principal Horn
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School

“I’ve known Marjorie Goldberg and David Fay for many years, as friends and colleagues. Marjorie is an impressive, hard-working and trustworthy person as well as a great musician. David is amazing too, honest, fair-minded and experienced in orchestral leadership.  I think they and the US4You77 slate will work tirelessly for us and be great assets and advocates for us!”

Marvin Moon, Viola
The Philadelphia Orchestra

“I’ve known Ellen on a professional and personal level for almost two decades. Having her as a stand partner as a young kid just coming onto the professional classical music scene was an enormous help. Always smiling and ready to work, she showed me what it meant to be responsible and professional. This trust is a bond we still share, and especially came in handy a few years ago when I called on Ellen to handle an emergency at my home. She is extremely trustworthy, and a great choice for President of Local 77. We need transparency, a leader to move us in the right direction, and someone who is on the side of the musicians of Local 77. This is why I endorse Ellen Trainer, my colleague and friend. The US4You77 slate is the perfect choice for Local 77.”

Sophie Bruno Labiner, Principal Harp
Opera Philadelphia, AVA Opera Orchestra

“I would like to offer my support for the US4You77 team, a diverse group of musicians who represent the various aspects of our profession. I’ve worked with Ellen for over 25 years and have known her to be an individual of great commitment and integrity. I have no doubt that she will bring these attributes to bear as president of our Union. I think the time has come for a fresh approach to our changing business and I believe we are fortunate to have this group to support us!”

Edward Jakuboski DMA, Trumpet
Freelance Musician, Adjunct Faculty Eastern University

“As an active freelance musician in the Philadelphia region for the past 15 years, I fully support Ellen Trainer and the group of dynamic musicians leading the US4You77 campaign. Especially in recent years, I have witnessed a need for stronger union leadership, support and accessibility.  The US4You77 leadership team represents decades of real experience in a myriad of orchestras, ensembles and bands throughout the Philadelphia area.  I strongly believe that these active professionals understand the changing role of the union in the 21st-century, will fight for fairness and transparency, and will bring the concerns of Philadelphia musicians to the forefront.  A vote for US4You77 is a vote for all musicians, fresh ideas and much needed change.”

Kevin Hanson, Freelance Guitarist/Composer/Educator
The Philly Pops Big Band, The University of The Arts

“I am invigorated by the change in leadership that the US4You77 slate of candidates represents to the Philadelphia music community. This group of individuals has already exhibited the leadership and exuberance that will strengthen and enrich our Union in short order. As a freelance performance guitarist, recording artist, and educator, it brings me great joy to envision a scene abundant in open communication and support at all levels of involvement, from the top down. Updating our networking possibilities and business transactions using modern technology is on the near horizon. This has been a long time coming for Local 77. The time for this new, electrifying energy is now!”

Brian Kuszyk, Principal Trumpet
Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet
Delaware Symphony, Philadelphia Brass

“I’ve known and worked with Ellen for the past 25 years – she is a wonderful friend and colleague.  Having worked on numerous negotiating committees with her, I can assure you that you will be electing someone with great integrity and knowledge of local issues who will sincerely represent the musicians of Local 77.  I think it is time to begin a new chapter with different representation for all of the musicians of the Philadelphia region, and I think this new slate of impressive candidates will be a perfect start to that new beginning.”

Steve Heitzer, Trumpet
Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia Brass

“I support the efforts of the US4You77 campaign. The ticket represents active members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, PA Ballet, Philly Pops, area theaters & commercial band circuit.  As active members of these organizations, they are keenly aware of the way musicians are treated/mistreated & valued/undervalued. I have no doubt that they will fight hard for our “causes”, and bring fresh, innovative ideas to enhance the careers of musicians in the Philadelphia music scene.”

Brian Brown, Principal Tuba
Philly Pops, Delaware Symphony

“The US4You77 slate is a very impressive group of seasoned Philadelphia musicians. They are keenly aware of the ins and outs of every corner of Philadelphia’s musical life. It’s time to pass the Local 77 torch to this insightful group that will be an earnest advocate for our professional interests.”

Paul Arbogast, Principal Trombone
The Philly Pops

“I believe the practical, innovative plans of the US4You77 slate will increase work opportunities for all Local 77 members- not just those within the elite, inner circles- thus making the paying of work dues and union membership fees the worthy investments they ought to be. After too many years of uncontested elections for the Local 77 administration, the option to vote for the modern, inclusive perspective of Ellen Trainer’s talented assemblage of Philadelphian musicians is before us. Vote US4You77!”

Chris Farr, Saxophonist
Composer, Arranger
Professor of Jazz Studies, The University of the Arts
 Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philly Pops Big Band

“The US4You77 slate is a group of musicians with whom I have the utmost respect for. It is made up of musicians who have the rare skill set combination of hard work and integrity. They are a group of leaders who can help us–as artists–adapt to modern society.”

Daniel Wright, Trumpet
Freelance Musician 

“I’m writing this letter today because I fully support the US4You77 campaign to make change in the Local 77. It will be a pleasure to cast my vote for all members of the United in Solidarity team.”

“I’m a member of the Local 77 and have been an active member of the family of freelance musicians in Philadelphia for the past 13 years. In that time I’ve had the opportunity to perform in several Pit Orchestras at theaters and venues local to Philadelphia. Currently, I’m a Teaching Artist for the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization and over the past few years have had several opportunities to perform with The Philly Pops. Recently I had the honor of touring with the Grammy Award Recording Artist, Seal.”

“I appreciate the hard work that goes into running a Union. I have no doubt that it is a very difficult job where hard choices have to be made regularly. However, it is a demonstrable fact that in its current form, the Local 77 only benefits a very small percentage of the musicians that “pay in”. I believe that we are long overdue for a change in direction that reflects the current era.”

“In speaking to and working with several members of the team, I have full confidence that many of the concerns we all share will be thought through, deliberated, and acted upon in a way that will benefit a much larger swath of the music community in the City of Philadelphia. I believe this change could lay the foundation moving ever forward into the 21st century that we, and hopefully other AFM subsidiaries, desperately need. Vote for change…Vote US4You77″

George Barnett, French Horn
The Philly Pops

“I’ve been a member of Local 77 for over 40 years so I’ve been at this for some time. I won’t bore you with stories about what being a Union member was like back then but I will tell you that it was very different. Getting called into the Union President’s office for an infraction was serious business. The Union agents had broken noses and had nicknames like ‘Smashy’. Smashy was a really great guy by the way, always had your back. Too bad we don’t have Union agents anymore.

Gone are the days of tough negotiators that fostered the golden years of the Philadelphia recording industry. Currently we have a leader who takes a particularly resigned approach to contract negotiations. At PA Ballet and Philly Pops committee meetings I’ve heard him say that we shouldn’t ask for the things we had been seeking––that we were looking for too much. At every step, under his guidance, little by little, we gave things up instead of advancing.

My generation has been wringing our collective hands over a way to get past this situation for decades and not one of us has ever dared mount an insurrection. Now there’s a young, focused, smart group of people that have organized themselves into something this town hasn’t seen in my long memory. We have only to look to the stagehand’s Union for an example of what can be achieved with strong leadership.

The respective campaign slogans should give you a sense of what each side is offering. On the one hand there’s the US4You77 team which, by its very hashtag, tells me that my interests are their interests. Then again there’s the ‘TeamParente’ approach which, to my mind, states that this election is about him, not us. This is the tone deafness that has plagued our Union for far too long.

I will say that if the current Union leadership is replaced I will miss the interaction and professionalism of a couple of the people that have given dedicated service to all of us. I have thought long and hard about what this will mean to them but in the end, a clean slate is needed.

It has been my pleasure to work with and count as friends almost every member of the US4You77 team and I have seen Ellen’s passion and toughness in action during contract negotiations. I happily place my support behind their efforts.”

Igor Szwec, Concertmaster
AVA Opera Orchestra, Assistant Concertmaster Opera Philadelphia, 
Violin Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia 

“To my fellow musicians, I would like to add my voice in supporting Ellen Trainer for the office of President of Local77. I’ve known her since 1993 as we became carpool buddies and great friends for many years working together for Concerto Soloists and for many music organizations and events too numerous to list.

My colleagues have expressed their admiration for Ellen as to her character and many wonderful attributes––honesty, integrity, intelligence, empathy, energy, capacity for hard work and the desire to improve conditions for all musicians. Suffice it to say I totally agree with my colleagues that Ellen would be an ideal candidate bringing positive ideas and new approaches to dealing with issues that affect all of the musicians in the city. She has a fine group of concerned and energetic musicians working with her so please vote US4You77 on May 16th for a new beginning!”

Frank Mazzeo, Freelance Woodwind Doubler
Reed 1, Walnut Street Theatre
Founder, New Jersey Saxophone Quartet
Temple University Saxophone Instructor
Instrumental Music Supervisor, Pennsbury School District

“I can conservatively state that I have received more information regarding Local 77 in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last twenty years. I sincerely believe that the issue before us is quite simple: If you are happy with the way things are then vote Team Parente- if you are not, than vote Team US4You77. I am always appreciative of people who get involved but I believe that it is inexcusable to have as many non-union houses operating as we currently have in Local 77. Anyone who lived through the casino fiasco in Atlantic City knows the end result. I believe that it is inexcusable that we see union houses not adhering to union agreements. We currently see a huge number of students graduating local music colleges and participating in non-union gigs for little or no money. They deserve more than this and Team US4You77 has a plan for this. I have worked with Becky, Jarred, Bob and Marjorie and I have found them to be incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, and possess a zest and vigor for the challenge ahead. I did not know Ellen and I obtained her contact information. I did my music-civic duty and contacted her, and literally in seconds she called me back and gave me her thoughts on questions I had. I encourage all of my Union brother and sisters to look at the issues and research the candidates. I sincerely feel that you also will come to the conclusion that the US4You77 team is for you. Look at how Team US4You77 has already energized the union- imagine what they will do when voted in!”

Darryl Hartshorne, Freelance Bassoonist and Contrabassoonist 
2nd Bassoon: The Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, The Kennett Symphony Orchestra
Philadelphia Orchestra A-list sub since 1998

“I am both proud and excited to put my full support behind the US4You77 slate of candidates.  As a member of this local for 21 years, I appreciate the work of both past Officers and the current Officers for getting us to where we are today. 

However, the modern world is dynamic and constantly changing.  We need leadership in our Local who understand and can adapt and respond to change and innovation in ways that are beneficial to all of us.  Maintaining the status quo is not an option that even remotely benefits us.  From creating a real web presence that serves us, the local membership, to finding new opportunities in an ever-changing work environment, the platform that these candidates have proposed is a bright new direction. 

I look forward to having a slate of Officers who I don’t just see when it comes time to cast ballots.  I look forward to having a slate of officers who have and are open to exploring new and interesting ideas, who look forward rather than simply continue with what has been.  I look forward to a Local that I can actually feel I can be an active part in, and that has an active roll in my professional life.

On a personal level, I have known Ellen and Marj for many years.  We all know them as strong, dynamic members of our community.  If a year ago I had to pick two people out of all the musicians I know in Philadelphia to represent and defend me personally in negotiations, I would have been hard pressed to find representatives that I would have more confidence in.

We don’t need more of what we’ve had.  We need change.  We need to move forward.  We need the candidates of US4You77.”

Eric Schweingruber, Freelance Trumpet
Substitute/Extra, Philadelphia Orchestra
Temple University

“I am excited to endorse the US4You77 slate of candidates. I have performed in Philadelphia for nearly thirty years, and this election affords the region’s musicians the first meaningful opportunity for positive change I have seen. Effective Union leadership should be openly communicative and actively looking out for the best interests of every member. This group represents all corners of the local industry, and their experience as current working musicians and active committee service is what our local needs. In particular, I have known Ellen personally and professionally since college; work with Jarred frequently and have had many conversations about situations with the local; and have gone to David many times through the years with various concerns when working at the orchestra. These are people I trust to lead our local into the future.”

Erica Miller, Violin
Broadway at the Academy, Concertmaster
Former Principal 2nd Violin, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Former Principal 2nd Violin, Pennsylvania Ballet
Former Principal 2nd Violin, The Philly Pops

“I have known and worked with Ellen, Marjorie, Rebecca And Bob for many years and I believe that they are passionate about supporting US, the musicians of local 77. The very fact that they have taken on the enormous undertaking of organizing and running shows how driven they are.

Every day we work with the stagehand members of IATSE 8, and I wonder why their union is so much stronger than ours. It’s because someone is fighting for them. After 20 years of complacency, it’s time to elect a team who will fight for US, one who will be led by justice, fairness, and diplomacy. None of which I feel enter the realm of our current archaic leadership. 

Having been on the last Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia negotiating committee with Ellen, I was impressed by her passion, drive and dedication. She was at every meeting ready to ask the hard questions.

It is time for true leadership and the US4You slate is ready to lead US!”

Matt Vaughn, Co-Principal Trombone
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Curtis Institute of Music, Temple University

“I’m excited to support the new slate of Local 77 AFM candidates! Like many musicians, I’m generally more focused on practicing and getting ready for the next gig and don’t pay too close attention to what’s going on with the local union. This is a refreshing opportunity to really consider the state of our local, and I’m drawn to the many ideas that the US4You77 team brings to the table—issues that address my paycheck directly, and ideas to really improve and expand the opportunities for all musicians in Philadelphia. I’ve worked closely with Jarred Antonacci and David Fay personally and can vouch for them being smart, hard-working, dedicated professionals who will serve us all well!”

Meichen Liao Barnes, Violin, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Derek Barnes, Cello, The Philadelphia Orchestra

“We wholeheartedly support the entire US4You77 slate. Meichen and I have worked with Ellen and David as members of Local 77 for well over 30 years.

I first met them both while freelancing in Philly in the early 90’s as a substitute with The Philadelphia Orchestra and a member of Concerto Soloists. As a full time member of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 1995, I have continued to work with both of them. David Fay is always extremely organized and knowledgeable about contract and scheduling issues. I still have the happy opportunity to occasionally play with The Chamber Orchestra and enjoy Ellen’s friendly and professional demeanor.

Meichen, as Acting Concertmaster of The Chamber Orchestra, has frequently mentioned Ellen’s leadership and negotiating skills. 

We both realize the potential of experienced musicians making much needed change in our Union and will confidently cast our votes for US4You77.”

Matt Gallagher, Principal Trumpet
 The Philly Pops, Broadway Philadelphia at The Kimmel Center
Music Director, The Philly Pops Big Band
 The University of The Arts,”Z” Band Director, Professor of Music Education

“I have been a member of Local 77 for 20 years and it is time for a change Philly! We need a new leadership that is ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century working musician in Philadelphia and beyond. The US4You77 slate is an impressive group of musicians that span all the major Union work here in our city. I have personally worked with all of these fine people for many years and I have complete confidence in their leadership abilities, work ethic, and an understanding of what is needed for us all to be represented with dignity and respect. It is without hesitation that the US4You77 slate has my endorsement and I look forward to a new beginning in our great union strong City of Philadelphia!”

Greg Riley, Reeds
Philly Pops, Philly Pops Big Band, Frozen Broadway, Bandstand Broadway, The Color Purple Broadway

“I am endorsing the US4You77 slate because I believe this team has the vision to reshape our Union and revitalize our presence in the greater Philadelphia area. We need new leadership that is willing to listen and have respectful discussions with the membership regarding fair wages and the pension fund. I have had several situations during the current administration that have left me feeling ignored and dismissed. When we treat each other as interchangeable wageworkers it is no wonder that we are constantly trying to convince those across the bargaining table of our worth. Secondly, we need leadership who are deeply concerned with our lack of diversity, declining membership, and precarious financial situation. This slate of candidates is willing to step up and provide the leadership needed to improve and grow Local 77. They are thoughtful, energetic, and committed to musicians and their welfare. Please join me in supporting US4You77.”

Andrew Neu, Saxophone and Woodwind Performer/Composer/Educator
Associate in Performance, Swarthmore College
Jazz Director, Lower Merion High School
Substitute musician with The Philadelphia Orchestra, former member of The Philly Pops

“As a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians since the 1990’s I never realized what the union could do for me while working in Philadelphia. It wasn’t until I began working with Local 47 in Los Angeles that I realized how much support the AFM could offer their musicians. I recorded my last CD in LA with a Union contract and Union Musicians. They guided me through every step of the process as well providing rehearsal space. They truly understand how to bring the musical community together.

Knowing Ellen, Marjorie and Jarred both professionally and personally I’m confident that they have the skills and passion to bring together every genre and generation of Philadelphia musician. These are the officers Local 77 needs to guide us into a relevant future.”

Alexandra Cutler-Fetkewicz, Violin
Freelance Musician

“I am proud to support the US4You77 team of smart, brave, and savvy musicians running for election to our Local. The US4You77 slate represents all walks of Philadelphia’s musical community, which, as someone who works in multiple disciplines–a freelance violinist, arranger, music business owner, and educator–is extremely important to me. I have long felt that the current leadership of our Local needed change, and when I learned that an election had not taken place in over twenty years, I was shocked. It is now time for that change, as it can only benefit all of us. I am confident that the hardworking and dedicated musicians on the US4You77 team are deeply invested in improving our lives, through more efficient contract negotiations, intricate knowledge of the needs of musicians, and through their individual experience working on our very own orchestra committees over the years. In getting to know them, I have found the entire team to be fair-minded, understanding of us and of the AFM bylaws, and dedicated to getting our Local 77 on track to represent our best interests. With the recent changes in federal law that will undoubtedly leave less income in all of our pockets, this change is more important than ever. I believe this team will work for higher pay, expedited contract negotiations with outcomes that are fair for all parties, and a more level field for employment for all musicians in our community.”

Rachel Segal, Violin
Founder & Executive Director of The Primavera Fund,
Substitute musician with The Philly Pops, Pennsylvania Ballet, Opera Philadelphia, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. 

“I support the US4You77 slate because as our field continues to grow, we need representation that understands the challenges we face as 21st century musicians. All members of the slate are knowledgeable, professional members of our Local who can move us forward and effect relevant change.  I believe it is time for Union representation that reflects our changing professional climate, and I believe in my colleagues on the US4You77 slate.”

Ruth Sassaman Frazier, Viola
Pennsylvania Ballet

“I am thrilled about the pending change in leadership at Local 77. I feel that this is a change that has been long overdue, and many people, myself included, have been directly affected by the current lack of forward movement. The values and sheer determination of the small group of brave people who have the courage to take this on are of paramount importance. Without the clear vision of the proposed new officials, we will remain stuck, as we have for many years. I believe that many of us are afraid of this change: afraid of what the current officers (who are colleagues and friends) will think, afraid of how our own colleagues will react. Let me just point out that it is often said that change is the only constant in life. Yet humans are evolutionarily predisposed to resist change because of the risk associated with it. Despite this resistance to change, it is more important now than ever. Let us support the candidates in any way that we can. Spread the word to all your musician friends and colleagues. LET’S DO THIS, PHILLY!”

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