nemko deborahDeborah Nemko, Bridgewater State University
CMS Board Member for Performance

At the close of my second term as Board Member for Performance I pause to reflect on the activities of the Advisory Council for Performance over the last four years. Our primary mission has been to represent the priorities of the large number of CMS members, close to 40% of our membership, who self-identify as “performers.”  To that end we have advocated with our fellow Board Members for

  • a CMS Performers Concert on conference programs,
  • panels on issues of importance to performers, including the changing role of juries and collaboration with composers,
  • concerts of western and non-western musics at conferences, and
  • option to engage performers for the annual keynote address.  

Recently, a proposal on the topic of the future of live classical music performance was submitted for the 2016 conference in Santa Fe New Mexico. It is hoped that CMS will continue to expand its performance-based offerings to explore

  • collaborations between musicians and other arts,
  • the field of entrepreneurship and music performance, and
  • the concerns of part-time faculty in applied music throughout the country.

The field of teaching music performance continues to change dramatically as more and more universities and conservatories reduce their numbers of tenure-track faculty and full-time positions in favor of part-time faculty. Part-time faculty in applied music may teach at multiple institutions as well as pursue performance careers yet they often lack benefits and job security. CMS takes seriously the pressing issues concerning part-time and non-tenure track faculty and, since so many applied teachers are now in this category, it is natural that presentations at the regional and national level reflect this.

I am pleased to report that opportunities for performance at national and international conferences continue to increase. At the recent CMS National Conference in Indiana, the performance area was well represented through diverse experiences including lecture recitals, the CMS Performers Concert, a panel on collaboration between composers and performers, and technology and performance-related presentations through our ATMI partners.  

I conclude by thanking The College Music Society membership, members of the Advisory Council for Performance, the Board of Directors, Executive Director Robby Gunstream, and Presidents David Williams, Patricia Sheehan Campbell, and Betty Anne Younker for their constant support, keen insights, and willing collaboration. My best, to the incoming Board Member for Performance, Nicole Molumby of Boise State University.  May she have a successful and fulfilling tenure in this wonderful organization.