March, 1988

David Willoughby

Why Santa Fe for 1988? Our Annual Meetings are typically held in hotels in major metropolitan areas such as Miami, Washington, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, or St. Louis. Santa Fe is a city with a population of less than 55,000; it lies at an altitude of 7,000 feet at the southernmost end of the Rocky Mountains in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Range. I can share only my personal perspective on why the CMS Board voted unanimously and without controversy to hold the 1988 Annual Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. If you have been to Santa Fe, you most likely will share this perspective.

First, Santa Fe is an historic city. The Pueblo peoples have lived in the area since pre-historic times and still live there today. The Spaniards formally established the City of Santa Fe as their colonial capital in 1610, laying out a traditional central plaza with a characteristic Spanish street pattern around it.

Second, Santa Fe now enjoys a unique, multicultural environment that displays the best of its Spanish, Indian, and Anglo cultures in its architecture, arts, cuisine, and its people. It is a city of adobe houses, products of earth, trees and sunshine; it has narrow, winding streets; and its surrounding hills and mountains are covered with pinon and juniper trees and Ponderosa pine in the higher elevations.

Finally, Santa Fe is an art center second only to New York City in dollars expended. It has many museums and art galleries; the Santa Fe Opera, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Desert Chorale are included among its many performing arts organizations; and authentic arts and crafts can always be seen and purchased on the Plaza and at the regularly scheduled Indian and Spanish markets. One of the most alluring sites is Canyon Road, a two-mile, picturesque street that attracts artists, art-lovers, and strollers to its many art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Canyon Road was once an Indian trail that led east to the Pecos Pueblos.

The Annual Meeting will take place in the Eldorado Hotel, an elegant new facility reflecting a Spanish-Indian ambiance. It is located close to St. Francis Auditorium, a unique facility of Spanish design located in the Museum of New Mexico. This auditorium, the home of the Santa Fe Chamber Festival, will house most of the musical performances at the meeting. I have asked David Woods, Program Chair for the 1988 Annual Meeting, to give a preview of the program in a future issue of the Newsletter. You will be impressed at what David, his contacts in the Santa Fe area, and the Program Committee have put together.

Why is all this important to CMS? The College Music Society in the 1980s is an organization committed to raising issues about music in higher education with the intention of stimulating discussion about cur-ricula, teacher preparation, music courses for non-music majors, and repertoire for music study. CMS has not been hesitant to be provocative and to challenge long-held assumptions. One facet of this that has provoked considerable interest and response is the matter of repertoire and culture.

Dating from the 1984 Annual Meeting in Nashville when Past-President Phillip Rhodes was Program Chair, a series of presentations at Annual Meetings has focused on regional musics and their place in the local culture. The Nashville Meeting included traditional folk music of the Appalachians and the southern mountains; the 1986 Meeting in Miami concentrated on music of Latin America and the Caribbean; and the 1987 Meeting in New Orleans featured Black, Creole, and Cajun music. In each of these cities CMS recommended restaurants featuring local or regional cuisine; it sponsored non-commercial tours to visit interesting sites reflective of local music and culture; and it presented unique cultural opportunities for participants to see and hear. In doing this CMS was careful not to minimize the importance of the many traditional involvements of CMS members at Annual Meetings.

It is with this background that Santa Fe seemed like a natural location for music teachers in higher education to be stimulated not only in the realm of traditional concert music but by the music of the Hispanics and the Native Americans, purposes for which Santa Fe will provide unusual opportunities.