In Conversation with President Keith Ward

Keith Ward

I am both honored and humbled to begin my service as CMS President. I assume this position following the outstanding work of Betty Anne Younker, now Immediate Past President. She deserves our profound thanks for leading the Society, with the search committee under the chair of Cynthia Taggart, through a significant transition in its history with the appointment of a new executive director succeeding Robby Gunstream after Robby’s thirty-three years of service. So much good for the Society happened on her watch and through her guidance. Betty Anne, thank you!


This is a dynamic and exciting time for CMS. Bill Pelto, currently Dean at Appalachian State University, becomes our new Executive Director in August. Our collaboration with NAMM continues to deepen. Our relationship with Routledge, now the publisher of the CMS book series, expands through the introduction of two new topics: “Pedagogies & Innovation in Music” and “Emerging Fields in Music.” The challenges and opportunities of training the 21st-century musician continue to unfold with multiple voices enriching the conversation. Add to all these undertakings the work by members in entrepreneurship education, curricular innovation, new fields of music study, expanding musical diversity, composition and other creative work, musician’s health, leadership development, community engagement, career development, and traditional scholarship, one finds a vibrant, inclusive, and engaged as well as engaging organization!

The value of any organization relies on the contributions of its constituents. In this spirit, I take the moment of my first message to CMS members to extend an invitation: continue being or feel welcome to become an active participant in the dialogue detailed in the Society’s mission of “promote[ing] music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction” as well as serving as “an agent of change.”

What part can you play in CMS? Be a voice in the dialogue as an attendee at a regional or national conference, a summit or a summer program? A presenter (paper, performance, composition recital, workshop, roundtable, panelist, poster)? Might you propose a webinar or even a webinar series? Would you submit an article for the Symposium, write a book proposal for one of the Books and Monograph series? Serve on a committee? Develop a pre-conference workshop? Be a mentor? In short, how can you be engaged, not only by participating in CMS events, but by being part of writing the story?

I look forward to your contributions!