In Conversation with President Keith Ward

Keith Ward

The College Music Society is an organization of remarkable breadth and activity. I am reminded of this by the publication of the next (and newly envisioned) volume of Symposium, the cornucopia of papers, panels, performances, discussions, and keynotes to be offered at the national conference in Vancouver, and the upcoming summit at the University of South Carolina. Kudos to all who are participating in our mission to promote music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction.

There is another quality that enables CMS to thrive, an element of any enterprise that is the true glue: service. CMS is fortunate to have an outstanding professional staff in Missoula working year round to sustain our operations. (I invite you to get to know them.)  It is, however, all the other work done by governance bodies, regional chapter officers, program committees, standing committees, and councils that relies on individuals that propels The Society forward through giving their time and expertise. Currently more than 100 CMS members are active in volunteer capacities -- an impressive number!  

Highlighting one of many groups, I want to recognize those individuals who were just elected to three-year terms on our Board. They were selected to run from a pool of more than 90 nominees, which, in and of itself, speaks so highly of our membership’s interest and passion in CMS. We look forward to the contributions of Charles Young (Treasurer), Teryl Dobbs (Music Education), Kim Wangler (the new Board position in Music Industry Studies), Emery Stephens (Performance), and Gene Trantham (Member At Large) as they step into their leadership roles. Please also join me in thanking those who were not elected but agreed to stand for election. We are fortunate to have so many members devoted to our mission and our profession.

In all our endeavors, it is the work of voluntary stewardship that organizations, institutions, or any pursuit by a group that supports it. Yes, the content of our work moves our profession forward; we endeavor to sustain the unfolding narrative in performance, composition, creativity, research, and teaching as agents of change. That work alone will not sustain the vehicles needed to present our work, provide forums for discussion, organize and plan meetings, and be the gathering places, whether in person or online, for us to present, share, and test our ideas. For all those possibilities, we need to invest in self-governing organizations like CMS. In doing so, we give to something larger than ourselves, to a purpose we see as meaningful, to a cause that has value.

Looking toward the near future, there will be openings beginning in January on governance committees and councils. Here is your opportunity! Will you step forward? Would you agree to serve if asked? Will you consider contributing to our Society and to a greater good?

See you in Vancouver!