MGS-Phase II is under way, extending the issues that evolved during the first five years of the Music in General Studies program.
Whereas Phase I drew attention to ways of improving the outreach of music departments through introductory music courses for "non-majors," Phase II will draw attention to issues related to new and innovative ways of reaching out to the community, beyond the confines of the campus.
The forum for dialog concerning MGS-Phase II is a major new program for The College Music Society known as College Music and the Community (CMC), a program that will explore the role of music faculty in the social, cultural, and artistic life of the communities that they serve. CMC will be bi-directional-that is, it will explore ways in which colleges can serve community music programs and also how community organizations and musicians can enrich the college music curriculum.
The proposed initial formal CMC activity is to be an invitational Conference on College Music in the Community to take place in the summer of 1988. The Conference will be designed to refine the questions, sharpen the issues, suggest possible areas for continued attention, and formulate recommendations for followup activities and programs.
The first planning meeting for the CMC program took place in Chicago on January 22-23, 1987. Don Funes, CMS Board Member for Music in General Studies, chaired the Planning Committee. To me, it is significant that all those who Don asked to serve agreed to serve—a measure of the feeling of importance that this program has for these individuals and, potentially. for our profession. The Committee members, representing academic institutions and community organizations, were: Richard Burkhardt, Southeastern Community College (North Carolina), Sandra Fury, Urban Gateways (Chicago), Don Funes, Northern Illinois University, Kay Hoke, Butler University (Indiana), Kal Novak, Music Center for North Shore (Illinois), G. Allan O'Conner, Northern Illinois University, Georgia Ryder, Norfolk State University (Virginia), and Robert Steinbauer, Kansas State University.
The Committee explored what the College Music and the Community program will potentially mean for our profession, what relationships and alliances might be appropriate, what professional organizations might be interested in cooperating, how best to identify leaders in college-community activities, and how best to identify innovative, successful programs that currently exist.
Please send any expressions of interest or guidance as to the direction of this program to the CMS National Office in Boulder. We welcome your thoughts and your suggestions.
I believe that a great potential exists for interrelating the CMC program with the dialog that will emanate from the CMS Study Groups on Music Curriculum and on Teacher Preparation. Perhaps when these rather magnanimous, noble efforts culminate, a provocative dialog will have taken place with published results that will stimulate significant improvements in music in higher education, certainly a worthwhile and appropriate goal for The College Music Society.