In Conversation with President Eileen M. Hayes

Eileen Hayes

Thoughtfulness and Expansion of Spirit

Our hearts go out to all of our colleagues and families, around the world, who have been affected by the coronavirus.  Indeed, our collective concern extends to all, and not only those whose interests intersect with CMS’ mission.  Over the past week, Dr. William Pelto, Executive Director, Peter Park, Director of Professional Activities, CMS Vice-President Brian Chin, regional chapter presidents, members of the Executive Board and I have been in conversation to discuss the concerns that so many have in regard to CMS gatherings. These conversations will continue in the coming days, and in spite of the new terrain on which we travel, our colleagues have approached these conversations with thoughtfulness and calm. Vice President Dr. Brian Chin will continue to work closely with chapter presidents and relay leadership's concerns to the Executive Board. 

Here is a current accounting of our activities in the past weeks and the month ahead: the conferences of the Southern and Northeast Chapters occurred earlier as scheduled. Conferences of the South Central and Pacific Southwest Chapters are occurring at the time of this posting.  Mid Atlantic, Great Plains, and Great Lakes Chapters' conferences have been cancelled, and the Rocky Mountain Chapter is still holding off on a final decision about its conference.  Chapter leadership is considering possibilities for rolling presentations and program forward to 2021. Other operations of the Society will continue as normal (Music Vacancy List, Membership, Professional Notices, etc.) unless virus-related disruptions prevent workflow. At this point, no operational changes have occurred. The CMS Board Executive Committee will continue to monitor news reports and notices from our members, chapters, national office, and governmental agencies regarding any operations that may be affected by the virus.

The work of CMS continues as does the teaching, research, and service at our home institutions: concerts, audition days, planning for ensemble tours, rehearsals for musical or opera performances, and preparation of end-of-term ensemble concerts.  During this period of high activity, we welcome new members of the Committee on Cultural Inclusion:  Alexander Marrero, Chair; Caroline Kyunga Ahn (Anderson University); Tanya Allen (Texas Southern University); Christopher Doll (Rutgers University); Carl DuPont (Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University); Suzanne Hall (Temple University); Yoon-Wha Roh (Washington State University).  We look forward to the CCI’s work this year as members develop a demographic study of CMS membership.

In the context of global uncertainty, we can look to the relationships we have established, one to another, with colleagues at our home institutions, across the country, and within CMS.  Let us expand our outreach and generosity of spirit.  At a time when we might be tempted to feel outsized by the challenges that are ahead, let’s call on the strength of our relationships, follow the proper hand-washing procedures (as mundane as this sounds), perhaps consider alternatives to face-to-face course delivery, and continue to create, perform, research, contemplate - and find joy in music.