David Myers, University of Minnesota
CMS Board Member At Large
It has been a privilege to serve as the first national at-large board member for The College Music Society. The following summary represents activity of the year 2012.
Board Meeting and Conference Attendance
I attended my first board meeting in Dallas in February 2012. In October, I attended the national conference in San Diego and the associated board meeting. At the national conference, I was a panelist for two sessions – one on the bachelor of arts degree in music (with Academic Citizenship Committee) and one on engaging college students who are not music majors in music experiences on campus (Higher Education Committee). At the invitation of advisor Don Bowyer (Chair, Music Business Committee), I also attended a meeting of the music business committee during the national conference. The committee discussed its role in sessions at the national conference and its presence within CMS. I was pleased to assure the committee that I will be glad to represent their concerns and issues on the board.
I have also conferred with and encouraged advisory committee members for the at-large board position to propose sessions for the 2013 conference in Boston. At least one proposal has been submitted.
Advisory Committee for at-large Board Member
Recognizing the purpose of the at-large board member as serving a diverse array of interests not explicitly represented by designated board positions, I invited an advisory committee consisting of the following, all of whom generously agreed to serve: Peter Webster (technology), Judith Jellison (music for special needs learners), Don Bowyer (music industry), and Patrick Schmidt (music and arts policy).
During the year, President Williams requested board suggestions and recommendations regarding various Quick Starts deriving from the CMS Strategic Vision Plan 2016. One of these was Quick Start #3, which reads: Develop a network of liaisons, one for each CMS committee, to pursue strategic partnerships, alliances, and mutually beneficial relationships with selected professional music societies.
In discussion with the at-large advisory group, we suggested the following organizations as potentially related to the at-large board position:
- American Music Therapy Association (and other organizations that might be more directly related to professional musicians' health and wellness)
- Research group for Lifelong Learning in Music and the Arts (housed at Prince Claus Conservatoire and Royal Conservatory in The Hague)
- Arts for the Aging, Inc.
- League of American Orchestras
In 2013, further thought will be given to possible organizational relationships that would be mutually beneficial with CMS.
In late summer, President Williams charged me with taking lead with the Academic Citizenship Committee (John Graulty, chair) and the Cultural Inclusion Committee (Jorge Torres, chair) on putting Quick Start #5 in motion: Develop a programmatic emphasis within the Society to enhance awareness of underrepresented racial and LGBTQ2 populations through scholarship and professional activities.
In response, I wrote to John and Jorge, as well as President Williams and President-elect Shehan Campbell as follows:
My personal concern is that initiatives convey serious substance rather than primarily conveying good will and inclusive attitudes (important as those are and certainly not to be treated lightly). A "programmatic emphasis" suggests to me that the board is thinking in terms of real strategies. Several thoughts, to which I invite your response and further elaboration:
- An initiative to disseminate and cite potential implications of data regarding racial and ethnic make-up of music faculty in higher education. We might also extend this to undergraduate and graduate populations of aspiring music professionals, to give us a better idea of our student populations and ways we can effect greater diversity in our ranks.
- LGBTQI2-S data, with respect to levels of presence in professional and pre-professional higher music education, are obviously more difficult to discern, but perhaps an anonymous survey would offer safety to those reluctant to respond Developing understanding among current faculty re: these students could serve as an important professional focus for CMS. An additional point here -- this particular topic manifests itself culturally in diverse ways among diverse populations -- African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc. The intersections of culturally relevant knowledge relative to this population would be enlightening and potentially very useful for our field. It may be that a survey that gets at both racial and LGBTQI2-S issues could be extremely helpful.
- Importantly, it would be good to anticipate potential programmatic initiatives coming out of the data from #1 and 2, so that these don't simply take place in isolation
- More immediately, if this is important enough to be a "programmatic emphasis," then it may be important to establish specific calls/invitations for papers, panels, forums, etc., related to these topics. We may wish to go outside the society to seek expertise from others in higher education -- e.g., student services personnel. We might sponsor joint sessions with other music organizations that are dealing with these issues (separately or together), e.g., Sphinx (as John suggests, although I would suggest that Sphinx is a bit narrower in its mission than CMS might wish to be). Topics could vary, of course, around current professionals, aspiring professionals, reaching out to diverse communities through entrepreneurship and engagement, etc.
- Another underrepresented minority we may wish to address is musicians with disabilities -- an area of increasing interest among scholars and practitioners; we might pursue initiatives similar to the above for this population.
Though the committees have not presently responded to these suggestions, it will be important to continue dialogue on this topic in the coming year. I will consult with the chairs of the respective committees to continue moving this Quick Start forward.
I look forward to serving CMS in this continuing board role and advancing the work of the Society as well as the work of music faculty in higher education nationally.