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CMS February Spotlight - Julie Johnson

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Julie grew up in a very small town in eastern Montana on the Canadian border. Her mother was a kindergarten teacher and her father was a farmer/rancher. Her love for music came early. Her father played piano and loved to play “Let me call you Sweetheart." The summer of her senior year of high school she lived with an exchange family in Omuta, Japan. After high school, she attended the University of Montana and studied music, did a study abroad with the UM Chamber Choral in Vienna Austria, and lived and worked in Brownsville Texas for three years before starting work at The College Music Society in 1994.

We recently had the opportunity to reach out to Julie to talk about her many contributions to CMS through her role as Director of Information Services, and we hope you enjoy reading her responses!

Q: Can you share a bit about your professional background and journey and how that led to your role with CMS?

A: I studied music at the University of Montana and had moved back to Missoula from Brownsville, Texas where I was the BISD staff accompanist. My dear friend and future colleague Beth (Rice) Mast suggested I apply for the part-time reception position, so I did. Robby Gunstream then hired me to answer phones and help the other part-time receptionist. I later took over the Directory of Music Faculties, CMS National Conference exhibits, and helped with the CMS Symposium online platform.

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In Conversation with President Brian Kai Chin

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Hello Friends and Colleagues in The College Music Society,

Traditionally, the CMS Common Topic is established by an incoming president once every two years. The idea behind the concept is that this theme will serve as a frame for the initiatives of this presidency and for the conferences and conversations within. I am honored to have served as Vice President of CMS to both of our most recent Past Presidents, Dr. Eileen Hayes and Dr. Mark Rabideau. Dr. Hayes responded to the national reckoning of the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, and George Floyd by calling for CMS to become an anti-racist organization. Dr. Rabideau led us through the pandemic and brought CMS into this modern era while calling on us to lead change from within the academy. My hope is to continue the legacy of my predecessors by standing upon their shoulders to bring us forward into the era to come.

As you will see below, I am striving to create a Common Topic that can frame the good work of the folks of CMS while turning hard into CMS as a platform for continued growth in professional development and leadership, a safe and welcoming organization for everyone in music higher education, and for bold ideas in teaching and learning in music.

Imagine a performance pedagogy rooted in curiosity, creativity, and joy; that teaches and affirms our unique voices, nurtures our ability to create, and emboldens our responsibility to lead in our communities. The College Music Society can make a positive impact toward a brilliant future in music learning and the power of art in our communities.

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CMS Cohorts

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The College Music Society is excited to announce the implementation of CMS Cohorts, a new initiative that will allow CMS members to connect with one another through shared professional goals, academic affinities, pedagogical initiatives, and career experiences. 

With plans to expand in scope and range of disciplines, the first CMS Cohorts will encompass the following areas of focus:

  1. Aspiring Academic Leaders Cohort - The Aspiring Academic Leaders Cohort aims to nurture and prepare future academic leaders with a music focus in higher education. This cohort will focus on professional development, fostering essential leadership skills, and exploring the responsibilities of academic leadership roles. 
  2. Early-Career Music Faculty Cohort - The Early Music Faculty Cohort aims to support and empower early-career music faculty members in their professional development. For the purposes of this cohort, “early-career” faculty are defined as those who are within 5-7 years of completion of their terminal degree. This cohort will provide a platform for peer mentorship, networking, and skill-building to navigate the challenges of the early stages of an academic career. 
  3. Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort - The Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort aims to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist pedagogy in music education. This cohort will serve as a platform for educators to learn about and discuss inclusive teaching practices, exchange ideas, and collaborate on fostering equitable learning environments. 
  4. Music Administrators Cohort - The Music Administrators Cohort aims to create a supportive network for music administrators within The College Music Society. This cohort will focus on addressing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by administrators in music units, facilitating professional development, and promoting best practices in music administration. 
  5. Collegiate Music Student Cohort - The Collegiate Music Student Cohort aims to bring CMS student members together across disciplines to foster conversation and bring attention to timely issues facing students in institutions of music higher education. This cohort will be facilitated by members of the CMS Student Advisory Council.
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