July, 2018

Keith Ward

This past month I ran across my copy of Mary Anne Rees’s book, CMS: The First Fifty Years (2010). Delving into The Society’s archive, Mary Anne highlights major developments that defined CMS between 1958 and 2008. It’s a rich history she tells! Her book captures qualities that highlight our Society’s unique contribution to music in higher education as an umbrella organization -- a meeting place for our many specializations, a place where work within disciplines shares space with interdisciplinary inquiry, exploration of new pedagogies, curricular innovation, and career development. 

One publication that documents our contributions is College Music Symposium, a journal we have published since 1961. It has gone through different iterations, from a traditional paper journal to an online format, beginning in 2011, featuring a multifarious collection of components. This month I share with you developments in our journal’s evolution, one whose spirit is best caught in the sobriquet “Symposium 2.0.”

In February the CMS Board approved a proposal from Lisa Urkevich, the General Editor, to restructure Symposium. Its ten online components have been restructured under two rubrics: the Journal and Digital Repository. The former will contain scholarly articles, reviews, and forum essays, while the latter holds a library for documents and media resources (audio, video, and images). The intent, explains Urkevich, is to provide a clearer organization and focus that will position Symposium more favorably as an international, peer-reviewed journal. Those qualities that have made the journal unique, such as its use of today’s digital environment, the publication of work beyond written research, and the presence of a forum for dialogue among members over a variety of topics, will remain. One new publication feature will be special issues organized by guest editors. The first will appear this Fall. 

I’m pleased to present the new editorial board and their responsibilities. General Editor Lisa Urkevich is Chair of the Department of Music and Drama and Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology at the American University of Kuwait. She also is the founding Division Head (Dean) of the Arts and Humanities at the university. Jacquelyn Sholes, a musicologist on the faculty at Boston University and, beginning in Fall 2018, a visiting faculty member at Boston Conservatory, oversees book reviews. Performances, lectures, and lecture-recitals is overseen by soprano Anna Hersey, Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and editor-in-chief of VoicePrints. Sandra Yang, a musicologist and Associate Professor at Cedarville University, edits and monitors Forums. The editor for Scholarship and Research is Donald Henriques, an ethnomusicologist and Professor of Music at California State University, Fresno. Music Business-Industry is overseen by V.J. Manzo, Associate Professor of Music Technology and Cognition at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he also is the co-director of the Media Arts Group Innovation Center. The editor for Audio Performance is Damon Sink, who teaches in the Commercial and Electronic Music program at Western Carolina University. Technology and Online Resources are overseen by Brendan McConville, Associate Professor and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Please join me in thanking them for their service. 

This next stage in Symposium’s history promises to continue the goals articulated by its first editor, Donald McCorkle, in creating a “different sort of scholarly journal.” As our profession evolves, Symposium 2.0 promises to serve today’s music faculty, just as its forerunners have for every generation these past fifty-seven years.