In September, The College Music Society will distribute a College/Community Survey to the heads of music units in colleges, universities, and junior/community colleges throughout the nation. This is the first major activity pertaining to the Society's new College Music and the Community program (CMC). The results will assist in shaping the overall thrust of the CMC program and in planning the proposed Conference on College Music and the Community.
The purpose of the Survey is to obtain information about the nature and extent of involvement that music units have with their communities. It will identify innovative and exemplary programs and key leaders of college/community interaction, will reveal much about how music units perceive, even define, their community constituencies, and will aid CMS in delimiting this diffuse topic in order to develop a manageable and efficient CMC program.
I encourage you as interested CMS members to confirm, first, that your music unit received the Survey document and, second, that it is completed and returned by the stated deadline. Additional copies may be obtained from the CMS national office.
Concurrent with inaugurating the CMC program, the Society is reassessing its MGS program — Music in General Studies. This program began in 1981 with the Wingspread Conference and has progressed through seven summer Institutes in Boulder, the Dearborn Conference of 1983, which was co-sponsored by the National Association of Schools of Music, and three MGS publications.
During the next few months, the Officers and Board of the Society will consider such questions as:
(1) Has MGS run its course for CMS and thus should be dropped as a high priority program? (2) Is there still a need for the summer MGS Institutes? (3) Should CMS retain the MGS program but shift its focus? (4) Is the College Music and Community program a logical extension of MGS; should it receive a high priority claim on the Society's financial and human resources, perhaps in lieu of MGS? (5) What are current and projected needs in the area of general studies that CMS can and should address? I ask the membership to participate in this dialog and to send any thoughts and suggestions to the national office.
An outgrowth of the MGS Institutes was the inauguration in June 1988 of a different kind of Institute —the Institute for Music Theory Pedagogy Studies, held in Boulder. It was a huge success, with over one hundred participants enrolling to improve their knowledge and skills in teaching lower division theory.
The organizers of this Institute were Gary Wittlich, CMS Board Member for Music Theory, and Roger Foltz, CMS Treasurer. On behalf of the Society, I wish to express my deepest appreciation to Gary and Roger for their outstanding efforts and to congratulate them for their success.
In light of this success, it should come as no surprise that the CMS Executive Committee has approved a second Institute for Music Theory Pedagogy Studies for Summer, 1989; the Newsletter will provide information as it becomes available.
Finally, I wish to comment on College Music Symposium, the journal of The College Music Society. I have just received Volume Twenty-seven, an issue that has prompted a few thoughts which I wish to share. I am impressed with the visual impact of the journal, both inside and out, and am proud that CMS can offer this prestigious collection of diverse thoughts and information to the profession; it is the notion of this diversity on which I wish to comment.
I looked at this issue of Symposium with the specific objective of determining the extent to which it reflects the goals of CMS and the makeup and character of its membership. CMS is an umbrella organization comprised of members who represent every teaching specialization. Its members are diverse in their specializations and interests, and it is no easy task to produce an academically respectable journal that reflects this diversity while maintaining interest for all readers.
I noticed not only the breadth of topics that were included but the many types of institutions represented among the authors—from nationally recognized, doctoral degree-granting state institutions, to prestigious, private liberal arts colleges, to regional state institutions, to small church-related colleges. In addition, the authors came from almost every region of the continental USA as well as from Canada and England. I am not assuming that the editor was giving the highest priority to these representations rather than to the quality of research and of writing, but the diversity of these articles nd their authors nevertheless reflects in a substantial way the goals and the membership of the Society.
I feel that Jan Herlinger, Symposium editor, and his editorial board have produced a journal with a high level of quality and an appropriate diversity reflective of the nature and character of CMS. On behalf of the Society, I wish to express my appreciation to Jan and his colleagues—and to the authors—for this successful effort. I look forward to receiving Volume Twenty-eight.