September, 2007

Kathleen Lamkin

During the summer of 2007 The College Music Society reached a variety of audiences worldwide with professional activity taking place on four continents— Asia, South America, North America and Europe. The International Conference was held in Bangkok and Ayuthaya, Thailand, in July while other Professional Development Institutes were offered throughout the summer months within the United States; in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Eisenstadt, Austria; and Bali, Indonesia. Accolades go to each of those who planned and executed these professional opportunities. Special commendations are given to Terry Miller, Professor at Kent State University and former CMS Board Member for Ethnomusicology, for his excellent organization and leadership of the CMS Thailand Conference, our fifth biennial international conference. The program included presenters from not only the United States, but also from numerous countries within Asia and from other parts of the world. See Terry’s report in the November Newsletter for more details of this exciting conference. Kristin Wendland, Emory University and CMS Board Member for Music Theory, created and initiated the first Professional Development Institute on “Tango” in Argentina with faculty from The Conservatorio de Estilos Tangueros “Argentino Galván” of the National Academy of Tango. This institute on the history and performance of tango incorporated the cultural study of the subject at its birthplace. For more details see Kristin Wendland’s report in the November Newsletter. With the establishment of this Argentinean institute in the summer of 2007, CMS plans to continue this professional development opportunity in future years. Another international experience for professional development for CMS members was held in Eisenstadt, Austria, during the first two weeks of August where the music of Joseph Haydn was studied and performed in historical settings throughout the region as part of the 32nd Classical Music Festival. CMS members are encouraged to submit proposals for national or international professional development institutes or workshops such as these to the Committee on Professional Development.

During the summer CMS also experienced an important landmark in its history when on August 1, 2007, Robby Gunstream began his 25th year as Executive Director of The College Music Society. CMS has made tremendous advances in the past twenty-five years, half the existence of the Society, with Robby at the helm of the Executive Office. See Mary Anne Rees’ article in this issue of the Newsletter for a history of the Society during the early years of Robby’s tenure. Under Robby’s supervision the Society has grown considerably over the past twenty-five years from 5,000 members in 1983 to the current membership of 9,500. The location of the Executive Office was moved from Boulder, Colorado, to Missoula, Montana. CMS programs, conferences, publications, committees, outreach and staff have grown immensely. To meet the needs and demands of an ever growing and increasingly more active Society, Robby has developed a competent and dedicated staff. His effective management skills have helped to bring a sense of commitment and stability as well as longevity to the staff. Beth Mast, Webmaster, celebrates fifteen years with CMS this year while Tod Trimble, in charge of Career Services and Outreach, completes fourteen years. Shannon Devlin, Membership, has worked at the Executive Office for eleven years and Julie Johnson, Data Resources, has been part of the staff for ten years. Peter Park, the fifth staff member working with Professional Activities, has been in a full-time position for five years; before that he was a part-time staff member for nine years. Two part-time staff positions in Communications are filled by Mary Anno-Murk for ten years and Suzanne Nuanez for four years. That makes a total of 114 years for all of the staff, a tribute to Robby as a strong and supportive manager. It is important to acknowledge these seven highly capable staff members for their many years of dedicated service to CMS.

Robby Gunstream, the visionary Executive Director for CMS, has worked with thousands of members, thirteen presidents, an abundance of Board Members, committee and program chairs, editors and staff throughout these twenty-five years. As Richard Green, current Editor of Symposium, writes, Robby is “the heart, soul, history, spirit, energy, and backbone of CMS”. That says it all. The Society looks forward to many more years of his expertise and dedication as Executive Director of The College Music Society. As President of CMS I am pleased to offer on behalf on the Society congratulations and sincere and heartfelt thanks to Robby Gunstream for twenty-five years of outstanding service.

As the 2007–2008 academic year commences, it is time to look ahead to the celebrations of our 50th Anniversary, which begin this fall. The Anniversary Committee, chaired by Bernard Dobroski, is gearing up for launching the year-long celebrations following months and years of organizational work; the excitement mounts as final plans are put into place for the official opening of the 50th celebrations with the National Conference in Salt Lake City this November 15-18. Our meeting site, the Little America Hotel, is a terrifically accommodating and comfortable setting for the kick-off of the anniversary celebrations. We will meet jointly with the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI) and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Some joint sessions with NASM will be held at the Grand America Hotel just across the street from the Little America Hotel. Chaired by James Parakilas, the 2007 Program Committee has planned an exceptional program ranging from historical exhibits of textbooks and the history of music disciplines, to a panel of Past Presidents of CMS who will reflect on the history of the Society, to the Trotter Lecture presented by Past President Robert Werner, to stimulating presentations by CMS members along with a Festival of New Music by CMS composers. Many special events, including the Pre-Conference Technology Workshop on Wednesday, the CMS Reception on Thursday evening, the 50th Anniversary Banquet on Friday evening at the lovely La Caille Restaurant located in the scenic foothills of the mountains just outside of the city, and a performance of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and Coronation Te Deum at the Mormon Tabernacle on Saturday evening presented by ensembles from The University of Utah and Brigham Young University, are only some of the ways the Society will be celebrating 50 years. You will not want to miss the 50th Anniversary celebrations at the National Conference! Start making plans and let’s celebrate together.