Supplemental Call for Special Initiatives

Submission Deadline: 12 noon Mountain Time / 2 pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The College Music Society (CMS) is pleased to announce its 67th National Conference in Washington, D.C., November 7–9, 2024, in conjunction with the 2024 National Conference of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI), the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI), and Pi Kappa Lambda (PKL).

CMS’s 2024 Conference Theme is “Advancing Democracy: Empowering Action Through Music.” Continuing to uphold and advance The College Music Society’s commitment to leading change, the 2024 Conference aims to explore musical leadership through the broad lens of democracy in action through our teaching, research, performance, and lives, now and into the future.

The 2024 CMS Program Committee welcomes proposals for Special Initiatives concerning issues of importance to the Society and field of music, with a specific focus on the location of the conference and the relationship of politics to the field of music higher education. The Program Committee particularly encourages, and will give priority to, proposals that: 

  1. Provide examples of and showcase a wide perspective of musical democracy in action, including community projects, new pedagogical approaches, surveys, research, and performances; 

  2. Promote ethical scholarship, performance, and teaching of musical cultures of marginalized populations, particularly Indigenous, Black, and LGBTQIA individuals;

  3. Welcome all musical voices into CMS conversations, including those from the fields of Jazz, Contemporary and Commercial Music, Music of the Americas, African American Music, Electronic Music, Film Music, Musical Theater, and Wellness (including music therapy, music as care, and music within disability studies);

  4. Propose methods of sustaining curricular diversification and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, during a time when the viability of those initiatives is in question;

  5. Provide ways for musicians, whether engaging with music as a seasoned professional or impassioned amateur, to meaningfully engage with unique learning, critical thinking, and professional development opportunities; and 

  6. Elevate presentations and conference delivery formats by rethinking how we can engage audiences through participation, playfulness, and music-making.

Proposals are welcome for discussion forums, “Leading Change” presentations, panels, performance programs, and workshops that center the 2024 National Conference theme, intentionally incorporate the conference location, and/or actively engage CMS conference attendees through cultural and community events with local collaborators.

Discussion Forums create a venue for attendees to interact and discuss specific topics related to the profession. While moderated, most of the information and knowledge sharing is generated by the audience rather than the presenter. Forums are less formal than speaker-led presentations. Forums are 55 minutes in length.

Leading Change Sessions are a 75-minute presentation/workshop/reflection sequence that addresses a pressing problem or promising opportunity facing the profession (15 minutes); facilitates small group engagement that workshops the challenge (45 minutes); then provides time for reflection by attendees (15 minutes) in order to crowd-source the wisdom of our committees, councils, and membership toward leading change.

Panels provide an opportunity to examine a topic in depth. A panel comprises at least two panelists and is facilitated by a moderator. The moderator (usually the proposer) may either engage panelists with curated questions or may provide initial remarks before inviting each panelist to share their perspective within a pre-established time frame. Panels might conclude with an audience Q&A session, a summation of key points, and acknowledgments. Panels are usually 55 minutes in length, although 85-minute panels may be considered.

Workshops enable conference attendees to learn about specific methods, tools, resources, or projects through hands-on interaction and are generally designed to teach something or develop a specific skill, or set of skills, rather than present original research. Workshops are 55 minutes in length.

Performance programs include chamber or group performances that are intentionally programmed in collaboration with local DC-based artists, organizations, or institutions. Performance programs should be centered around the conference theme and may range from 30-75 minutes in length. Please note that CMS may not be able to accommodate specific technical and instrumental needs; rather, any auxiliary equipment needs will be the responsibility of the proposer. 


  • If the program must be moved from an in-person to an online venue for any reason, the Program Committee reserves the right to request that presenters alter the duration and structure of their presentations to better accommodate the virtual format.

  • Prior to submission, proposers must communicate with all co-presenters regarding their interest and availability. Proposals not listing all participants will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered.

  • All persons whose work is selected for inclusion on the program are expected to register for and attend the full conference. If the proposal is accepted, proposers will be asked to communicate with all participants in the presentation to ensure their registration by early summer 2024. At its discretion, the Program Committee may exempt specific individuals, such as non-music professionals, from the registration and membership requirements. It is the responsibility of the individual who submits the proposal to, upon acceptance, make conference planners aware of any non-music professionals involved in their presentation and to request such an exemption.

  • The College Music Society does not fund travel expenses of accepted presenters.

  • Proposers must submit their own work and may not submit proposals on behalf of their students or others.

  • Proposals of a commercial nature that promote products and services will not be considered. Companies, organizations, or individuals interested in presenting a session of this nature should contact CMS Director of Operations Hannah Pearson for information surrounding conference sponsorships and exhibiting opportunities for industry partners.



  • The Primary proposer must be a current member of The College Music Society. Persons interested in submitting a proposal should check their membership status well in advance of the submission deadline.

  • Please note the processing time for membership applications and/or renewals is 1–2 business days.

  • It is not necessary for the co-facilitator(s) to be a current member of CMS at the time of submission; however, if invited to the program, they must join the organization.

  • Not a CMS Member yet? You can register for a CMS Trial Membership for just $20



  • The CMS Program Committee has issued five Supplemental Calls for inclusion in the 2024 National Conference. Members are permitted to submit one response per call (for example, one proposal for film scores, one proposal for special initiatives, and one proposal for commercial music performance).  

  • If a member submits more than one proposal to the conference, each submission should be unique and content may not be duplicated, either in response to this Call or any other Calls for this conference, including proposals submitted to ATMI, NACWPI, and/or PKL. 

  • Members may give a maximum number of two presentations, in total, at the 2024 National Conference, regardless of the organization on behalf of which they are presenting (for example, two presentations associated with CMS, or one presentation on behalf of CMS and one presentation on behalf of NACWPI, or two presentations on behalf of ATMI, etc.). Questions surrounding this policy should be directed to CMS Director of Operations Hannah Pearson.

  • Submitters may not send the same or very similar proposals to both CMS and 2024 National Conference partner organizations (ATMI, NACWPI, and PKL).



  • To support the anonymous review process, the name(s) or affiliation(s) of anyone involved in the presentation should not appear in the title or abstract, nor in the file names or body of submitted supplementary materials, as submissions are evaluated anonymously. Proposals identifying the proposer or co-presenters will be disqualified. Names and affiliations may appear in the “Co-Facilitator” section of the proposal and in submitted biographies, however, as the review committee will not have access to this information.

  • The College Music Society’s conference submission process is powered by Submittable. To submit a proposal, please (1) log in to the CMS members-only website using your username and password and then (2) click the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of this Call. You will be directed to Submittable to complete your proposal. If you don’t already have a Submittable account, you will be prompted to establish one. (Click here for help using Submittable and to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions.) 

A complete proposal includes:

  1. The proposal’s title.

  2. An abstract of 250 words or less. The Program Committee chooses presentations based primarily on the abstract as submitted, so it is important to write an abstract that the Committee will understand and can evaluate fairly. The purpose of the abstract is to convey to the reader what will be said in the presentation. Do not merely describe the subject or list the topics to be covered. Rather, state the main point of the presentation, outline the subsidiary points, and summarize the evidence offered, so that someone who has not heard the presentation can know in brief what it will say and can evaluate its contribution to our knowledge and understanding of music. The abstract, like the presentation itself, should be clear to an audience of musicians and music educators of all kinds, not just to those with a narrow specialty. While it may be necessary to set the context or lay out the problem to be addressed, this should be kept to a minimum. 

  3. You may add up to 3 supporting materials to your proposal (optional). These might include printed music examples, photos, statistics, or relevant data. Do not include lengthy documents, dissertations, CVs, resumes, or PowerPoint presentations. Neither file names nor uploaded materials should identify the proposer or any collaborators.

  4. A list of required equipment and Internet needs (Internet connections may include a fee).

  5. A biography of the proposer and each co-facilitator (250-word maximum per person).

  6. Contact details for all co-facilitators, including an email address, mailing address, and phone number for each person, as well as an institutional affiliation, if applicable. 



Proposals must be submitted by 12 noon Mountain Time on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

Proposers will be notified of their status by Thursday, May 23, 2024.



Questions regarding this Call should be directed to: 

Rachel Roberts, 2024 Program Chair


Questions concerning conference operations should be directed to:

Charlie Chadwell, CMS Conference Planner

You must be a CMS member to submit a proposal.
Please log in and the 'Submit' button will appear in this location. Or, click here to join CMS.