Mission

The College Music Society promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. A consortium of college, conservatory, university, and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music, the Society provides leadership and serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education.

Overview

The College Music Society is a consortium of college, conservatory, university, and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music. CMS promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. The Society provides leadership and acts as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing musicians, the music field, and the music in higher education community.

The College Music Society gathers, considers, and disseminates ideas on the philosophy and practice of music. CMS creates forums in which individuals working in the various areas of music can interact and communicate. Recognizing the richness of musical diversity and the challenge of balancing the traditions of the past with the possibilities of the future, the members of The College Music Society are united by a dedication to the science of learning and the art of teaching, and are engaged in a dialogue that will shape music performance, composition, teaching, and learning in the years ahead. CMS fosters the continuing education and renewal of all musicians, shares the fruits of music research, develops and enhances music instruction, and celebrates the importance of teaching.

Music in higher education is a large, highly productive world of work and activity. CMS is committed to securing the best possible relationship between the whole of music and its component parts; to maintaining support for the high levels of music expertise present on college, conservatory, and university campuses; to the importance of music teaching; and to the necessity of service to the public as a whole.

CMS Service Areas

CMS organizes its services into three major areas: (1) professional activities, (2) career development activities, and (3) engagement and outreach. Professional Activities include publications, conferences, professional development events, and forums. Career Development Activities help CMS members create strategies for successful careers in music, both academic careers and careers outside the academy. Through its Engagement and Outreach Initiative CMS represents issues associated with music in higher education to various segments of American society and constituencies outside higher education. In all, CMS makes available a wealth of information concerning the field of music, as well as the music and higher education community.

Who May Use CMS Services and Participate in its Activities?

All musicians, as well as members of the public, interested in supporting music are welcome to join the Society, contribute to its dialogues, take part in its activities, and make use of it services. Membership dues are for a 12-month period and dues are very affordable. Membership information for individuals is available here. Information for services for academic institutions and members of the music business and industry community is available from the main menu.

The CMS Annual Report

The College Music Society provides an annual report concerning its purposes, activities, and services.  Enjoy the following reports: 2013 - 2014 - 2015.

Music and American Higher Education

An overview of the field of music in American higher education is available here.

The CMS Archives at the University of Maryland

Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a major repository for twenty-eight state, national, and international music organizations, as well as other related materials. The CMS Archives consists of approximately nine linear feet of material. The CMS collection consists of files from its two predecessor organizations, the Society for Music in Liberal Arts Colleges (SMILAC) and the College Music Association (CMA), both founded in 1947. In addition to there are files of key officers of the past including Henry Leland Clarke, Henry Woodward, Chappell White, David Russell Williams, Walter Collins, and Barbara English Maris. Most of these files contain letters and copies of letters to and from college and university music colleagues, documents and drafts of documents, programs and drafts of programs, and ephemera.  CMS seeks materials for preservation and placement in the archives. Those with such resources are encouraged to be in touch with the CMS Executive Office.

Questions?

If you have questions concerning The College Music Society and its activities, please visit the CMS FAQs. We welcome your inquiry which may be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to the Society's Executive Office at the address below.