President, American Federation of Musicians of the US & Canada
Ray Hair, a 35-year resident of Denton, Texas, is president of Local 72-147 (Dallas, TX), a labor union representing 1700 professional musicians across North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. As its president, Mr. Hair negotiates the Union’s agreements with 14 symphony orchestras, theaters and various other collectively bargained employers including the Dallas and Fort Worth Orchestras, the Dallas Opera Orchestra, the Dallas Summer Musicals, the Southwest Exposition and Fat Stock Show, as well as agreements with every major employer of professional musicians in the area.
A professional musician who has performed all styles of popular music for over 45 years, Mr. Hair holds degrees in music from the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of North Texas, where he taught Drum Set and Percussion from 1975 through 1983.
Mr. Hair was elected president-secretary of the Fort Worth Professional Musicians Association in 1983, and was first elected to the AFM’s International Executive Board in 1989, a position he held when elected as AFM International President in June, 2010. He facilitated a merger of the Fort Worth and Dallas musicians‘ association in 1991, creating the largest entertainment union in the southwest, now headquartered in Arlington.
Mr. Hair pioneered the free-to-attend, continuous, multi-stage festival entertainment format in North Texas in 1985 with Denton Jazzfest, now the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, and with the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival in 1986. Representing the D/FW Musicians Association, he has served as music director for most free-to-attend outdoor music and arts festivals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including the Bedford Blues Festival, Arlington’s Pecan Street Festival, Racefest, The Taste of Dallas, Mansfield Music Festival and Feastfest, in addition to the Denton and Fort Worth Arts Festivals.
Mr. Hair serves as a member of the Executive Board of the Tarrant County Central Labor Council and is a former member of the North Central Texas Workforce Development Board.