Among the long list of myths in this field, one of the most enduring is that Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is a non-union orchestra. Spoiler alert: that’s not true.
As a matter of fact, the SSO has been a union orchestra since it was formed in 1903 but the myth was born in the 1980s when the SSO musicians voted to leave the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and form an independent union, the International Guild of Symphony, Opera and Ballet Musicians (IGSOBM).
You can find a trio of articles here from 2006 that provide an in-depth review of the history behind why the Seattle musicians decided to form IGSOBM. It includes interviews with the union’s leadership from that time along with everything else you need to put this myth out to pasture.
Add to that, the IGSOBM website includes one of the best overviews you can find. If nothing else, explaining the same thing over and over really helps refine a tight elevator speech style message.
In addition to the articles from 2006, you can also find more in the dedicated IGSOBM article archive.