The State of the Society

campbell patriciaPatricia Shehan Campbell (University of Washington), President
The College Music Society

Delivered at the Annual Meeting of the CMS Membership, Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 2013

The College Music Society is reflective of the state of music in higher education at large: Preserving and continuing long-standing traditions, while also exercising a flexibility that is necessary for societal (and socioeconomic) changes that are a reality for us all. We are making tracks, pushing envelopes, finding creative new ways that align with our time and circumstance.  We continue as a professional society to promote music teaching and learning, and to serve as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in colleges, conservatories, universities, and communities.


Task Force for the Undergraduate Music Major

The Task Force for the Undergraduate Music Major consists of eight members, appointed by the president in February-March 2013, and has been interactive for well over a year now in addressing relevant curricular content and method in four-year music major programs.  Through regular web-ex connections, they are reviewing programs for all sorts of music majors—at large and small institutions, in public and private settings, and in various specializations.  A two-hour hearing at the Cambridge 2013 meeting attracted a SRO crowd to discuss what’s working (and what’s not) in music major programs, with suggestions for ways to shape programs that are tuned to student needs and interests. Updates of the Task Force activity continue to be printed in “This Month at CMS”, and calls issued for member participation in the dialogue have yielded emails to me as president (though few have replied to an encouragement that they submit ideas on the newly-designed blog).  A three-day retreat is planned by the group (on their own dime), a document is in draft form, and several sessions are proposed for the 2014 meeting in St. Louis (a pre-conference session, a one-hour plenary session, and a second hour’s discussion session.). There is a teeming energy in the group that includes three board members (David Myers, Juan Chattah, and myself) and several continuing and also new members of CMS—Vicki Levine, Ed Sarath, Lee Higgins, Tim Rice, and David Rudge.

Initiative: Latin American Music and Musicians

With a précis approved by the Board in spring 2013, we announced Latin American Music and Musiciansan initiative that would help to develop a greater awareness of music and musicians in Latin American countries and cultures, and U.S. Latin communities.  We are building relationships with music professionals working in institutions and on projects across Latin Americam and we are considering the musical interests and needs of Latin Americans who enroll as students in music programs in higher education.  We are making tracks on this initiative, from locating the international conference in Buenos Aires to programming presentations on Latin American music topics at the 2013 Cambridge national meeting.  Six webinars on Latin American topics are planned for spring 2014, and the St. Louis call for papers underscored interest in evolving the initiative.  Further ahead are plans for locating national meetings in Santa Fe (2016) and San Antonio (2017), and discussion is evolving on possibilities for a Latin American site for the 2017 international conference. CMS is making opportunities to give weight to glorious music and musicians from within our Latin American communities (including those who are living locally).