James E. Perone, Mt. Union University
2014 National Conference Program Chair
The 2014 National Program Committee met on site at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, February 7—8, 2014. Peter Park and I arrived in St. Louis a day earlier so that we could take a detailed tour of the facility and meet with representatives of area universities to discuss how we might involve their students and faculty in the conference, as well as to learn about other musical resources in the St. Louis area. The Program Committee then conducted the final vetting process to determine the conference program. Because of the changes in the program selection process the CMS Board of Directors approved in November 2013, the newly formed subcommittees accomplished the bulk of the initial vetting before the February meeting of the full program committee.
The various calls for submissions yielded the following numbers of submissions and acceptances:
- the Call for Program Participation yielded 355 submissions, with 130 accepted;
- the Call for Papers from Students and Recent Graduates yielded 32 submissions, with 7 accepted;
- the Call for Board Proposals yielded 4 submissions, with all 4 accepted;
- the Call for Committee Proposals yielded 10 submissions, with 7 accepted;
- the Call for Lightning Talks yielded 12 proposals, with 7 accepted;
- the Call for Performances yielded 48 submissions, with 6 accepted;
- the Call for Ensemble Scores yielded 97 submissions, with 10 accepted; and
- the Call for Scores with Performance yielded 65 submissions, with 11 accepted.
In total, CMS members submitted 623 proposals, with 182 accepted. This represents an acceptance rate of 29.21%.
According to CMS records, the 2014 National Conference enjoyed 407 registrants. Of those, 53 were student members and 11 were retired members. Of the registrants, all but 107 were presenters on the program. To put it another way, approximately 75% of the registrants presented on the program.
The conference offered a diverse array of papers, panels, performances, posters, and special sessions. Connections to St. Louis and its musical traditions and activity were represented in a number of sessions, with particular focus on jazz, blues, ragtime, and music publishing. In addition to the Robert M. Trotter Lecture, presented by Nicholas Spitzer, and the ATMI keynote lecture, presented by Keith Sawyer, the new Wisdom of the Elder session with Bruno Nettl, and the new Master Pedagogue session with Ian Hobson, were well received. Also notable this year were the larger than customary number of performances and instrumental pedagogy sessions, enhanced by the fact that we met jointly with National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI).
Members of the program committee, the various subcommittees, CMS Board of Directors, committee chairs and members, and other members of the Society were able to cover all of the sessions as session chairs, despite the high proportion of attendees who were also presenting. Although this report focuses on facts related to the conference, I believe that it would be remiss of me not to thank all of the program committee and subcommittee members, and all of the session chairs for doing excellent work, especially given the fact that several of the individuals put in significantly more time than what they originally anticipated. It is also important to note that the venue worked out very well, with little or no sound bleed-through between presentation and practice rooms, generally easy accessibility of rooms, and particularly helpful hotel staff.