Jennifer Snodgrass, Appalachian State University
This was a time of transition and a time of reflection for the regional chapters of The College Music Society. Out of the nine chapters, eight were able to hold successful regional conferences. The Pacific Southwest Chapter did not hold a conference as they only recently elected a new executive board to revive the chapter. They will hold a regional meeting in 2016.
The attendance at the regional meetings varied from approximately 40 attendees in the Great Plains region to 85 in the Southern region. Keynote speakers included published educators, composers, conductors, and performers.
The topic of Sustainability was extremely timely and most chapter presidents reported a robust conversation regarding this topic at their regional conferences. While the topic of Sustainability was geared towards varying subtopics, several regional chapters brought up the issues of sustaining a viable regional chapter presence. Many presidents reported the weaker reputation of CMS in terms of scholarship as an issue within several disciplinary areas. Other regions focused more on breaking out of the silos of individual disciplines and the status of adjunct and visiting professors.The common topic was again discussed by the presidents in the form of a panel at the national conference in Indianapolis. Keith Ward and Kimberly James joined me on a webinar to highlight the topic prior to the conference as well.
At the informal lunch of Regional Chapter presidents at the national conference, several topics were brought up for consideration in terms of the activity of regional chapters. The conversation has continued since the national meeting. These topics include:
- How to establish an identity of the regional chapters
- How the regional chapters (and executive board) can be more involved on the national level
- How to be more significant as a regional chapter (in terms of reaching out to members in the region)
- How to market the regional chapter and conference more effectively
It has been my privilege to work with the regional chapter presidents this year. I am grateful to the leaders of the regional chapters and thank each member for the service they provide to their region and the society.