The State of the Society

younker betty anne 2Betty Anne Younker (University of Western Ontario), President
The College Music Society

As I reflect over the first complete year of my CMS presidency (2015), plus the first three months of the second year, I am proud of the work that has occurred. Those serving on the various committees continue to keep the Society vibrant and active. I will report on two areas of activities and invite you to visit the linked reports for details concerning CMS’s work and accomplishments.

January 2015-December 2015 included the work of the Blueprint Committee—a committee that collected data from various individuals and professional organizations concerning CMS’s identity; service to the profession in the past, present and in the future; and strategies to continue to be, and strengthen our ability to be, a proactive, forward-looking organization. The data formed the foundation of the Blueprint Committee's report, which was shared with the CMS Board of Directors.  The report has informed the work of the search committee for the next Executive Director of CMS. The process was rich with insightful and informative dialogue, reflection, and debate.

Two Summits were slated for early 2016–one in January and the other in June. Under the leadership of James Scott, the Summit held in January—National benchmarking of faculty and music unit accomplishments—provides a forum for much-needed discussions concerning measuring the accomplishments of faculties with music departments, conservatories, and schools. The need for strategies about how to frame discussions when representing what it is we do as musicians to those in upper administration was clear. Work will continue and another summit may be needed. The second summit under the leadership of David Culter will be held in June: 21st Century Music School Design. Currently there are 200 registered and we are excited about the response to this topic.  To have two Summits within six months reflects the relevancy of the Society and commitment to building on past initiatives.

Moving forward I ask that we reflect on our shared values and rich diversities, consider what we do well and how that can be strengthened, imagine the musical worlds our students will experience, and identify ways we can cultivate habits of mind to negotiate and enrich those worlds.