2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference

2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference (47th)
March 31–April 1, 2017
Towson University ◊ Towson, Maryland

Conference Schedule

JW TurnerThis is my final conference as president of CMS-MA, and it has been thrilling to have been a part of several significant changes in the organization. Attendance at our conferences has doubled, we have hosted insightful keynote speakers and significant regional composers, added more concerts, and even included a recital by a Steinway artist. Furthermore, both large ensembles and jazz ensembles from the host institutions are becoming a highlight of the conferences, which is equally beneficial to the institutions themselves and to the chapter. These changes have been entirely the work of our outstanding Site Hosts, Program Committees, Composition Committees, and Executive Board members, as well as the fine presenters from the regular, student, and retired membership. A great organization is created by great people, and it has been my privilege to work alongside all of you in the pursuit of a shared vision.

The 2017 Conference will take CMS-MA to a new level. For the first time in over fifteen years, we will be in the state of Maryland; we are delighted to be hosted by Towson University, just north of Baltimore, for what will be our largest and most ambitious conference yet. Our Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Lois Svard, whose research into the neuroscience of music will greatly expand the scope of conference, and we are privileged to welcome special guest Maestro Murry Sidlin on the thirtieth anniversary of his work with Aaron Copland in creating a chamber version of the opera, The Tender Land.

The National Topic, “Reflect – Celebrate – Innovate” is particularly apt for us this year, and I hope you will join me in remembering the history of CMS-MA, reveling in our progress in the past years, and looking forward to a future of even more insightful, relevant, and inspiring conferences. I look forward to seeing you at the conference, and encourage all the membership to get involved in the chapter. Bring your great ideas, your energy, your commitment, and your students. A great organization is created by great people; by working together, how can we improve collegiate music education for everyone?

JW Turner
President, CMS Mid-Atlantic Chapter

Registration Policy
All persons who derive professional benefit from attending a CMS conference (1) must hold current membership in CMS and (2) are required to register. This includes anyone whose name appears in the program: all accompanists, composers, panelists, and presenters. Likewise, any presenter who connects to the conference as by electronic means (e.g., Skype) must hold current membership and register for the event. Co-authors of research papers must register for and attend the conference in order for their name to be listed in the program.

The following are exempted from the membership and registration requirement: (1) guest presenters invited by the program committee (e.g., plenary speakers, workshop leaders), (2) panelists or co-presenters who are non-music professionals (e.g., brain specialists, librarians, university president), and (3) performers on concerts of works by CMS composers. If, however, these individuals wish to attend sessions in addition to the one in which they are presenting or performing, they will be asked to pay the registration fee accordingly. It is the responsibility of the individual who submitted the proposal to make conference planners aware of all non-music professionals involved in their presentation.

Registration Deadlines
Please note the following timeline for conference registration (all deadlines are Mountain Time):

  • Sunday, January 15: All presenters, performers, panelists, accompanists, & composers whose works will be performed on the program must register by 12 noon MDT.
  • Tuesday, February 28 Late fee applies from 12:01 pm MST onward.
  • Thursday, March 16: Last day to cancel and receive a refund (less $20 service fee).
  • Thursday, March 16: Mail-in Registrations must be postmarked by this date.
  • Wednesday, March 22: Online registration closes at 12:00 pm MST. Participants must register on site after this date.

The conference registration fee allows admission to all conference sessions.

Registration (fees apply through 12 noon MDT on February 28):
$135 Non-Member
$ 75 CMS Member
$ 45 CMS Student Member
$ 50 CMS Retired Member

Late Registration (a $25 late fee applies after 12:01 pm MDT on February 28):
$160 Non-Member
$100 CMS Member
$ 70 CMS Student Member
$ 75 CMS Retired Member

Cancellation Policy
Conference registration can be cancelled only in writing to CMS ([email protected]).

  1. Conference registrations cancelled on or before 12:00 noon MST on March 16, 2017 will be entitled to a full refund less a $20 handling & processing charge. Registrations cancelled after 12:01 p.m. MDT on March 16, 2017 will not be entitled to a refund.
  2. All refunds will be issued within one month of the event’s conclusion.
  3. Registrations are non-transferable.


Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel
10 Burke Ave
Towson, MD 21204

The conference rate is $159/night + taxes and fees for single or double occupancy.

* Free High Speed Internet
* Complimentary on-site parking
* This hotel does not provide shuttle service.

To make a reservation, click here.
The deadline to reserve a room at the conference rate is Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Please note that the Center for the Arts is a 10-15 minute walk from the Conference Hotel, and no shuttle service will be available. However, campus parking will be free on Friday after 3:00 PM, and all day on Saturday. The rooms are large enough that conference registrants may consider sharing rooms.

Murry SidlinMurry Sidlin, a conductor with a unique gift for engaging audiences, continues a diverse and distinctive musical career. He is president and creative director of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, an organization that sponsors live concert performances of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín and Hours of Freedom: The Story of the Terezín Composer, as well as other projects including the documentary film, Defiant Requiem, and The Rafael Schächter Institute for Arts and Humanities at Terezín. In addition, he lectures extensively on the arts and humanities as practiced by the prisoners in the Theresienstadt (Terezín) Concentration Camp.

Mr. Sidlin began his career as assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony under Sergiu Comissiona and then was appointed resident conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra by Antal Doráti. He has served as music director of the New Haven and Long Beach (California) Symphonies, the Tulsa Philharmonic, and the Connecticut Ballet. For eight years he was resident conductor of the Oregon Symphony and, from 2002 to 2010, he served as Dean of the School of Music at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He has conducted more than 300 concerts with the San Diego Symphony and conducted 18 consecutive New Year’s Eve Gala concerts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC with the National Symphony Orchestra. For 33 years, Mr. Sidlin was resident artist/teacher and associate director of conducting studies at the Aspen Music Festival where, with conductor David Zinman, he developed the American Academy of Conducting.

Murry Sidlin has also appeared as guest conductor around the world. In the U.S. he has conducted the Atlanta, New Mexico, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras; the Colorado, Honolulu, Houston, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Utah Symphonies; the Florida and Minnesota Orchestras; and the Boston Pops. In Canada he has led orchestras in Edmonton, Quebec, Vancouver, and Victoria. Foreign orchestras Murry Sidlin has worked with include the Czech National, Iceland, Jerusalem, Lithuanian National, MAV (Budapest), and Spanish Radio and Television (Madrid) Symphony Orchestras; the George Enescu Philharmonic, I Solisti Veneti, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orquestra Gulbenkian (Lisbon), among many others.

In 1987, Murry Sidlin collaborated with the celebrated American composer Aaron Copland to orchestrate a new chamber ensemble version of Copland’s full-length opera The Tender Land. Later, he created a suite from the opera to serve as a companion work to Copland’s chamber version of Appalachian Spring. Mr. Sidlin has performed the chamber ensemble version of The Tender Land over 200 times and has also recorded both the full-length opera and the suite for KOCH International.

Mr. Sidlin studied with the legendary pedagogues Leon Barzin and Sergiu Celibidache. He was appointed by Presidents Ford and Carter to serve on the White House Commission of Presidential Scholars. He won national acclaim for the television series Music Is…, a ten-part series about music for children that was seen on PBS for five years. In 1997, the National Association of Independent Schools of Music recognized Mr. Sidlin as Educator of the Year. He has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, and CNN International. In May 2011, Mr. Sidlin received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his  the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. The award honors alumni who have typified the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and brought credit to the University by their personal accomplishments, professional achievement, and humanitarian service. In September 2011, the Archbishop of Prague presented him with the medal of St. Agnes of Bohemia for his dedication to illuminating the legacy of Terezín. In January 2013, Mr. Sidlin was nominated to the International Board of Governors of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Murry Sidlin received the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Medal of Valor on June 11, 2013, for his extraordinary efforts to keep alive the memory of Rafael Schächter.

2017 Keynote Address: The Neuroscience of Teaching and Learning

Many of us had a teacher at some point in our lives whose style of teaching strongly influenced the way in which we interact with our own students, whether it’s a style we try to emulate or avoid. Today, we can also benefit from the wealth of information about teaching and learning that has been discovered by neuroscientists who have been studying musicians and the process of making music for the past three decades. They have found, for example, that nearly every part of the brain is involved when we make music. Knowing a few basics about music and the brain can help us be more effective in the teaching studio, the classroom, and the ensemble rehearsal room.

Some of the issues this Keynote will address: How do students learn - whether in the classroom, studio, or rehearsal room? Why is it important for us as teachers to know about plasticity, the ability of the brain to change in response to practice or learning? Why should we know about mirror neurons, a class of motor neuron that fires both when we perform an action and when we see that same action being performed? Knowledge about the brain is growing exponentially and there are significant implications in some of the research findings for how we learn, how we teach, how a student responds to a professor in class, and even how an audience member hears a performance.

svard loisLois Svard

Pianist Lois Svard has performed at festivals and on concert series across the United States and in Europe and has received critical acclaim for her performances and recordings of contemporary American piano music.

She is also well-known for her work in applying current neuroscience research to the study and performance of music. Results of her work have been presented at national science conferences such as the Society for Music Perception and Cognition and the Performing Arts Medicine Association, and national and international music conferences including the International Society for Music Education, (Beijing, Thessaloniki, Glasgow), several conferences of the Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, the European Piano Teachers Association, and the London International Piano Symposium. She has also taught a university course that explores the applications of current neuroscience research for making music.

She writes The Musician’s Brain, a blog that has introduced readers in more than 120 countries to some of the latest research in neuroscience and music. She is especially interested in how brain research can inform teaching, learning and performance.

Svard is Professor of Music Emerita at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, where she received the 2007 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the 2014 Artistic Achievement Award. She is also the recipient of an NEA award for Arts Commentary and Perspectives on the Arts.

She received her D.M.A. in piano performance from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and is Professor of Music Emerita at Bucknell University.

She is on the Board of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, a member of the Wellness Committee for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and a member of the Musicians’ Health Committee of The College Music Society. She is former Chair of the Music Department at Bucknell and a former Board Member for Performance of The College Music Society.


Questions regarding this conference should be directed to:
Christopher Swanson, 2017 CMS-MA Program Chair
[email protected]