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From the Chicago Tribune, February 20, 2014
I've written before in this space
about the crucial importance of live music to the musical-theater
experience. Nothing is more disappointing than a show played to tape — such
as the recent
production of "End of the Rainbow" at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, or
most of Emerald City Theatre Company's shows at the Broadway Playhouse. (I
always argue live music actually is more important in kids' shows.) Whatever
the material, nothing is more disheartening than to peer down into an
orchestra pit at one of Chicago's beautiful downtown theaters and find a
clutch of synthesizers and a half-eaten sandwich — which has been the case
all too often when one of the lower grade tours has come through town. To
really make your heart sink, you just have to have the memory of a previous
version of that very same tour with live players sitting where empty space
now resides. That's enough to make the blood boil, especially when there has
been no reduction in ticket prices.
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Congratulations to Our New
TMA Executive Board has the sincere pleasure to announce that the charter of
the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth Area) Chapter was granted on Tuesday, November
Brown has been elected its first President and Chapter Director for the TMA
Executive Board. Congratulations and welcome to him and to all of the DFW
thanks to Debbie Brooks, the new DFW Vice President, for her advocacy of TMA
and assistance in forming this Chapter.
Announcing our New:
TMA Travelers' Forum on Facebook!
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The AFM applauds the passage of the FAA Bill that
consistent national policy allowing musical instruments on airplanes
years and 23 short-term extensions, Congress has passed legislation
reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the next
four years. Included in the bill are provisions that create a
uniform national policy regarding musical instruments on airplanes.
Any instrument that can be safely stored in the overhead compartment
or underneath the seat may be brought on board as carry-on luggage.
Additionally, the bill sets standard weight and size requirements
for checked instruments, and permits musicians to purchase a seat
for oversized instruments, such as cellos, that are too delicate to
be checked. Existing law allowed each airline to set their own
policy regarding musical instruments, and size requirements varied
widely for both carry-on and checked baggage. The American
Federation of Musicians (AFM) has been lobbying Congress to enact
such a policy for nearly a decade.
"This is great news for professional musicians throughout the U.S.
and Canada who carry the tools of our trade (our instruments)
aboard commercial aircraft," said AFM President Ray Hair. "Ending
the confusion over musical instruments as carry-on baggage has been
a top legislative priority for nearly a decade. I am proud of our
Government Relations Director, Hal Ponder and his assistant Laura
Brigandi in our Washington legislative office for seeing the effort
through. Musicians can now fly in friendlier skies."
The FAA reauthorization was passed by the House of Representatives
on Friday, February 3 by a 248-169 vote. It subsequently passed the
Senate on Monday, February 6, 75-20. The President is expected to
sign the bill into law.
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