December, 1986

Phillip Rhodes

Since this is the last time I shall address the membership as President of the Society, I should like to offer both a report and a summary of our efforts over the last two years. Some of the things I shall mention have been accomplished; some are in mid-stream, while others have only recently been initiated.

College Music Symposium—As you know from previous announcements, a new Editor for Symposium was appointed last March after a thorough and comprehensive search. The search procedure was carefully planned, organized and diligently carried out under the guidance of Stephen Kelly, Chair of the Publications Committee. The new Editor of Symposium, is, of course, Jan Herlinger of Louisiana State University. Professor Herlinger brings extraordinary qualifications as a scholar, teacher, composer, and performer to his new task. A new Editorial Board has also been appointed whose members are: Gerard Behague (University of Texas), David Butler (Ohio State University), Orland Johnson (Washington University of St. Louis), Joel Lester (City College of the City University of New York), Abram Loft (Eastman School of Music), Claude Palisca (Yale University), Janet Schmalfeldt (McGill University), Abraham A. Schwadron (University of California at Los Angeles), Ruth A. Solie (Smith College), Leo Treitler (State University of New York at Stony Brook), Robert Trotter (University of Oregon), and Olly Wilson (University of California at Berkeley). To Theodore Albrecht, Past Editor, and his Editorial Board, the Society offers its thanks for a job well done. To the new Editor and Editorial Board, we say welcome; we look forward to your work with Symposium.

Institutes for Music in General Studies—This summer (July, 1986) the Society sponsored the fifth of its Institutes for Music in General Studies. The consensus is that as long as there is a perceived need for the institutes, we shall continue to sponsor them. I continue to personally regard our programs in this area as among the most important things the Society does. The issue of Music in General Studies—with all its attendant ramifications—must continue to be held up to the profession as one of THE critical issues of our time. It is the Society's business to pursue these concerns with all the energy and strength we can muster. I trust we shall not only continue to do so, but, indeed, expand upon our efforts in the future.

Study Groups—I am sure you are all aware of the great debate raging in higher education today over the issues of teacher preparation, the quality of college teaching, and the integrity of the undergraduate curriculum in particular. Inasmuch as the Society embraces and supports all the disciplines of music, and since the mission of the Society is to gather and disseminate information and ideas concerning the teaching of music in our colleges and universities, we feel that it is our responsibility, and appropriately so, to address these issues on behalf of the music profession.

To that end, the Board of the Society has endorsed the formation of two Study Groups to undertake a lengthy and thorough consideration of these critical issues. First, A Study of the Content of the Undergraduate Music Curriculum; and, second, A Study of the Preparation of College Music Teachers and the Quality of Music Teaching in Higher Education. As reported in October, the Study Groups have been fully staffed. As a measure of just how important these concerns are, I would urge all of us to take note of the fact that every single person we invited to serve has agreed to do so, and this in spite of numerous other commitments and projects.

The members of the Curriculum Group are: Barbara Reeder Lundquist (University of Washington), Frank Tirro (Yale University), Harold M. Best (Wheaton College), Donald Funes (Northern Illinois University), Richard Long (Atlanta University), William P. Malm (University of Michigan), Colin Murdoch (Lawrence University), Georgia A. Ryder (Norfolk State University), and Elliott S. Schwartz (Bowdoin College).

The members of the Teacher Preparation Group are: Jacquelyn Boswell (Arizona State University), Richmond Browne (University of Michigan), Robert Garfias (University of California at Irvine), Robert Glidden (The Florida State University), Bennett Reimer (Northwestern University), James A. Standifer (University of Michigan), Lois Svard (Bucknell University), and Gretchen F. Wheelock (Eastman School of Music).

Following a year of work, we expect the Study Groups' reports to be issued as special "CMS REPORTS" for dissemination to the profession in the fall of 1987.

A Concept for the Annual Meetings—During the last year, the Board also considered and adopted a concept for the presentation and study of indigenous American musics as a major component of the Society's annual meetings. So as to avoid any possible misunderstanding, I should also like to clearly state that this component is NOT intended to replace the normal content of the annual meeting; it will, rather, function as a concurrent track of the meeting program.

The American music component of the meeting program will focus upon the indigenous musics of the city and region in which the Annual Meeting is being held. The goals of this focus will be: 1) to study the musics from the vantage point of each of the music disciplines; 2) to consider the problems inherent in teaching the college students; 3) to present as many authentic performances as possible.

Although this concept will be applied to each city and region in which we meet in the years ahead, three meetings are currently being developed as a biennial "series" intended to view the historical movement of music and culture along the traditional travel routes of the Mississippi Valley region. This series of meetings will take place in New Orleans (1987), St. Louis (1989) and Chicago (1991). The scope of this entire undertaking is, to the best of our knowledge, without precedent among the profession's various societies. It represents an enormously complex challenge that will require careful long-range planning and much hard work. We are convinced, however, that the potential gains are well worth the effort.

In addition, the Members of the Board, in consultation with their Advisory Committees, have been asked to develop long-range plans for other topics, issues and concerns to be addressed at future Annual Meetings. It is our goal to make the Society's Annual Meetings the most informative, the most comprehensive, and the most exciting of any in the profession.

The Ford Foundation—It was with great pleasure—and considerable excitement—that we were able to announce to the membership last month that the Society has received funding from the Ford Foundation to support the work of our Study Group on the Undergraduate Music Curriculum, which I mentioned earlier. The grant also provides, of course, for the publication and dissemination of the Study Group's report. I need not tell you how much attention the support of the Ford Foundation will bring to this project. Moreover, the acquisition of this grant enables CMS to begin to establish a "track record" for securing and carrying through on grant proposals.

And Finally. . . —As I look around me—trying to take stock of the last two years—I see a Society in good health; a Society whose membership stands at an all-time high of 5,923; a Society not only imbued with a sense of purpose, but possessing both the vigor and the organizational ability to pursue its mission. We have reached this rather happy—but not complacent—state on the strong backs, the hard work, and the good sense of many dedicated people, several of whom will leave the Board as of January 1, 1987. I should like to offer our deepest gratitude to Vice-President John Suess, Treasurer Barbara Noel, Richmond Browne (Board Member for Theory), William Mahn (Board Member for Ethnomusicology), and Frank Tirro (Board Member for Musicology) for their dedicated work in service of the profession.

Some of the critical but perhaps less noticeable offices in the Society are vested in the Chairs of our various committees. Much good work is done here which needs to be recognized and applauded. When I was a new President, these good people came to my aid when I asked for assistance: Samuel A. Floyd, Jr., Chair of the Committee on the Status of Minorities; Nancy B. Reich, Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women; Stephen Kelly, Chair of the Publications Committee; Robert V. Sutton, Chair of the Constitution Committee; and K Marie Stolba, Chair of the Resolutions Committee.

No president could survive this job—nor, indeed, could the Society function—without the support, cooperation and hard work of our excellent National Office Staff: Robby D. Gunstream, Executive Director; Catherine Butler, Administrative Assistant for Operations; Morris A. Phibbs, Administrative Assistant for Membership and Publications; and Darlene Symmonds, Administrative Assistant. It is becoming widely recognized that The College Music Society is the best organized and best run society in the profession. In recognition of this remarkable accomplishment, I can only say, congratulations and many thanks.

I must finally admit to you, with a smile on my face, that I am not sorry to be leaving this office. On the other hand, I am most grateful that by virtue of my election, I was given the opportunity to serve both the Society and, I hope, the profession as a whole. To all of the good people mentioned in this report let me say that it has been my great pleasure and privilege to have served with you.