In Conversation with President Keith Ward

Keith Ward

We are CMS.” I made that claim in last month’s column, arguing that the contributions CMS members define the organization. I used it to frame an invitation for CMS members to be an active part of the Society. Indeed, there are many opportunities! As a way of offering examples of member engagement, I begin an occasional practice this month of highlighting current and future contributions by committees and advisory councils that speak to my argument.

As part of its mission, The College Music Society aspires to be an agent of change. One committee at the forefront is the Music Entrepreneurship Education Committee, co-chaired by two of the country’s leading proponents and spokespersons of entrepreneurship education: David Cutler at the University of South Carolina and Mark Rabideau from DePauw University. Both oversee dynamic workshops on the cutting edge (The Savvy Arts Venture Challenge, The 21CM Institute). Both are authors in the field – see, for example, The Savvy Musician (Helius, 2010) and The $avvy Music Teacher (Oxford, 2015), by Cutler; The 21CM Introduction to Music Entrepreneurship (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming in June 2017), by Rabideau. Both bring the expertise and passion to pursuing innovation with training and developing entrepreneurial-minded musicians, a mindset critically important for the twenty-first-century musician.

During these next two years their work will take shape in ways that will move thoughts into action. Some ideas percolating include David leading a follow-up summit to the immensely successful one held at The University of South Carolina in Summer 2016, Mark exploring ways of developing entrepreneurial thinking with musicians at early stages of their careers, and both Mark and David collaborating in a pre-conference workshop at a future national conference. Stay tuned!

The CMS umbrella is sturdy and broad. Underneath one finds a diversity of undertakings from traditional to the most progressive and provocative ideas in performance, scholarship, pedagogy, and composition. We explore perennial questions and ask new ones, affirm the value of traditions while also challenging the status quo. We do this in our efforts to sustain, broaden, and enrich our field, to making contributions that matter in the world of music. With that continuum, Mark Rabideau and David Cutler are true pioneers. Their leadership of the Music Entrepreneurship Education Committee will certainly move the conversation forward.