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September 21-24, 2022 • Long Beach, California

2022 CMS National Conference

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Our 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.

The College Music Society FAQs

When was The College Music Society founded?

1958 as the merger of two organizations: The College Music Association and the Society for Music in Liberal Arts Colleges.

Has the Society's history been written?

The history of Society's first twenty-five years was written by Henry Woodward and appeared in College Music Symposium. A new history of CMS, written by Mary Anne Rees, was published in 2011. Both histories review the reasons CMS was founded, the motivations of its founders, and the challenges, accomplishments, and milestones of the Society.  For further information, visit the CMS History section of "About Us."

What is the mission of The College Music Society?

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.

What is the width of CMS's concerns and services?

The Society represents the broadest possible concerns of musicians in all walks of life. CMS services are organized under five main areas: (1) professional activities, (2) books and monographs, (3) College Music Symposium, (4) career development, and (5) engagement and outreach. Over the years CMS has, within these five areas, addressed myriad professional issues, both within higher education and in the general music culture. Issues within music teaching, performance, composition, curricula, cultural diversity, mentoring, student concerns, career services, engagement and outreach, technology, and academic leadership and administration have been addressed by the Society and its membership.

In all, CMS supports the cultural life of the public and the music profession by (1) serving as a forum for considering issues concerning the life of the professional musician; (2) improving teachings, composing, performing, and research; (3) assisting all in contributing more effectively to the higher education community and the broader musical culture.

Which music disciplines are included in the CMS?

The Society includes all those working in the music field. The music field is constantly evolving and currently includes ten major specialties and over 150 subspecialties. For reference, a list may be found here.

Does CMS offer any transdisciplinary or interdisciplinary opportunities?

This is one of the great strengths of CMS. It's diverse membership insures continual communication between the music subspecialties. CMS conference programs offer all musicians the opportunity to connect with musicians working in a wide and diverse range of fields.

Does CMS publish an Annual Report?

The College Music Society provides an annual report concerning its purposes, activities, and services. The latest annual report is available by clicking here.

Can I find out more about Music and Higher Education?

Articles describing music and higher education are available on this page.  A statistical compendium is available here.

Does CMS have an archive?

Yes.  The CMS archives are housed at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The collection is open to the public by appointment.  For information, please get in touch with:

Vincent J. Novara, Curator
Special Collections in Performing Arts
Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library
University of Maryland

email: [email protected]

telephone: 301.405.9220