| The Chicago Federation of Musicians was the first permanent trade union of Chicago musicians. It’s origins date back to 1864 to the Chicago Musicians’ Protective Union founded by German American band musicians. It was a member of Chicago General Trades Assembly and had a strong voice in working conditions for local musicians particularly in theaters and museums. That organization ended during a depression in 1877. In 1880 the Chicago Musical Society came into being, representing Chicago musicians, but avoiding any affiliation with labor organizations. However the Chicago Musical Society was helpful in starting the National League of Musicians (an early attempt to develop a national organization to represent musicians throughout the United States). During this time some other smaller organizations developed trying to represent local musicians. In 1891 the Chicago Musical Society joined the American Federation of Labor (AFL) whose president was Samuel Gombers. In 1896, the Chicago Musical Society was a founding member of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).
During the ensuing years, jurisdictional disputes arouse and in 1901 the Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10 was formed from a group of CMS musicians and other musicians unions. The Chicago Federation of Musicians Local 208 was formed one year later, for the excluded African American musicians. This segregation continued until 1966 when Locals10 and 208 finally merged.
Today the Chicago Federation of Musicians works to give musicians a voice in their work place through contracts and collective bargaining agreements negotiated both locally and nationally. The Chicago Federation of Musicians represents talented professionals seeking a fair wage, and reasonable working conditions as they pursue both art and a living.
LOCAL 10 LOCAL 208
1897 James Kibucek 1902-1904 Alexander Armand
1898 H. H. Thiele 1905-1907 J, B, Tucker
1899-1902 A.D. Herrick 1908-1915 J, A, Smith
1903-1913 Joseph F. Winkler 1916-1919 George A. Swann
1914-1916 Ernest Woollett 1920-1921 Hugh Swift
1917-1922 Joseph F. Winkler 1922-1923 George Smith
1923-1961 James C. Petrillo 1924-1927 Dr, Robert Giles
1963-1965 Bernhard F. Richards 1926-1929 Vernon Bigs
1930-1931 George Smith
1932-1938 Art Steward
1939-1965 Harry Gray
LOCALS 10 AND 208 MERGED ON JANUARY 11.1966
1966-1968 Bernard F. Richards
1969-1976 Daniel A. Garamoni
1977-1982 Nicholas G. Bliss
1983-1985 Harold Dessent
1986-1994 Charles A. Guse
1995-2004 Ed Ward
2005- Gary Matts