May, 1989

Elliott S. Schwartz

This is my first column, in my new role as President, for the Newsletter. I'm delighted to have this opportunity to share a few thoughts with the membership.

As I write, I have been in this job for all of three months. During that time—as one might expect—I've become much more closely involved with CMS affairs than ever before, and from an interesting variety of perspectives. I'd like to mention four in particular. First of all, I was privileged to attend the February meeting of the Program Committee, at which virtually all details of the 1989 national meeting were decided upon. That meeting, scheduled for St. Louis in October, promises to be a most exciting occasion! The Program Committee, under the direction of Patricia Shehan, has done an outstanding job. Secondly, I've begun looking into the possible creation of special CMS-sponsored institutes, seminars, or workshops that might be of professional interest to certain groups of our members. (I hope to report on some of these in a later Newsletter). In this context, I've had a number of informal meetings and discussions with Board members Ruth Rendleman (performance), Anne Dhu Shapiro (musicology), and Edwin London (composition).

Thirdly, on a more "formal" level, I've discovered that the earliest duties of a beginning CMS President seem to consist largely of appointments: in particular, naming chairs for standing committees, and creating ad hoc committees to work on special projects. The Society is fortunate that a number of outstanding individuals have agreed to serve as committee chairs: Nohema Fernandez (University of California, Santa Cruz) as Chair of the Committee on the Status of Minorities, Kay Hoke (Butler University) as Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, and David Butler (The Ohio State University) as Chair of the Publications Committee. In addition, a special steering committee has been created to move ahead with the next step in the Society's continuing concern for College Music in the Community (CMC). The results of our recent questionnaire/survey—created and implemented by Past-President David Willoughby and Secretary Douglass Seaton—will be of great help to this committee as it plans for a Society-sponsored CMC conference, tentatively scheduled for the spring of 1990. This committee consists of Board members for performance and music education (Ruth Rendleman and David Woods), Nohema Fernandez, CMS Treasurer Roger Foltz, and Past-President David Willoughby.

In all of these experiences, I've come away increasingly impressed by the rich pool of talent and ability that resides in our CMS membership. It goes without saying that the individuals mentioned in the above paragraphs are extremely capable; they all possess vision, determination, and a wealth of experience in teaching and administration. What's most remarkable, though, is their dedication of vast quantities of time and energy to the furtherance of CMS projects. I found those identical qualities of individual talent, ability, and dedication—in abundance—during my fourth "Presidential experience" thus far in 1989: my visit to Seattle Pacific University to attend the inaugural meeting of the Pacific Northwest Chapter. As one might imagine, a lot of hard work preceded that initial meeting, involving both long-time Northwest residents with strong ties to CMS, such as Barbara Reeder Lundquist and Robert Trotter, and relative newcomers to the area (such as Bernard Dobroski). Their efforts obviously paid off, not only in attendance (more than 70 people by my unofficial count), but in the variety and quality of presentations.

With that much creative energy, goodwill, ability, and grit in evidence - individually and collectively, on the national and the regional level - The College Music Society can't help but succeed in its activities.