Revised September 11, 2013
• Deadlnes Calendar
• Staffing, Directing, & Oversight
• Pre-Conference Planning
• Conference Personnel
• Conference Announcements
• No-Show Policy
• Post-Conference Procedure
• Support from the Board of Directors & Executive Office
This Handbook is intended to provide an overview of the essential components of Regional Conference management. Although the Handbook does not pretend to describe every possible situation, it will provide a general overview of the steps necessary to develop well-run conferences. The Society encourages Regional Chapters to plan for conferences as far in advance as possible. Decisions made well in advance of events and deadlines will help the process run smoothly and efficiently.
A deadlines calendar related to the duties of conference personnel for each Regional Conferences may be found by clicking here. Please note: There is overlap between the two calendars, as regional conference planning is essentially a 2-year process. These calendars provide a working timeframe for planning and executing Regional Conferences. The appropriate calendar should be shared with committee members, the local arrangements hosts, and anyone else involved in the program's success. If these deadlines are noted and adhered to, it will provide a framework for decision making, and will permit all resources of the Society, both human and financial, to be used to maximum advantage. If planning is behind schedule, we urge the officers of the Chapter to catch up as quickly as possible. It is important to phase into the deadlines calendars as soon as possible.
With a deadlines calendar in place and a clear set of guidelines available, the next steps are to:
1. Make appointments to fill the needed roles;
2. Direct and guide those persons in accomplishing their assigned tasks;
3. Keep the work moving forward so that deadlines are met, people feel involved and an integral part of the process, and the event will be a success.
To accomplish this, the Society insists that the Chapter President stay in touch regularly with key individuals for progress reports, making sure the deadlines calendar is adhered to in accomplishing the required tasks. One missed deadline can hold up dozens of people and an entire conference. With clear deadlines and carefully placed reminders, the entire enterprise has a good chance of moving forward on time and to the satisfaction of all.
Selecting Conference Dates & Sites
The Chapter President should lead the effort to secure the dates and locations for Regional Conferences. Each conference should be held on a campus or conference center located within the Chapter's boundaries between late February and early April. A Friday morning through Saturday or noon on Sunday is a good working time frame. Although it is impossible to check every institutional calendar within the region, it is a good idea to review a few calendars of institutions to try to determine the best weekend available. Over a period of years, the Society suggests moving the Regional Conference site to various locations and various types of institutions within the region. The President may approach potential host institutions or suggestions may be proposed by the membership.
When first and second site choices are determined, it may be useful to call, write, or visit the Dean or Department Chair to propose that the institution serve as the host for the conference. Beyond the conference space and support (e.g., pianos and audio/visual equipment), virtually no financial commitment is required of the institution; however, if a host can provide additional support, such as program book printing or refreshments, this is always greatly appreciated. During this stage of planning, the Chapter President should discuss potential opportunities for collaboration (e.g., featuring the institution's faculty or student performers on the program) and carefully note how the host feels a CMS presence on their campus might be mutually beneficial. After settling on a site and confirming it in writing, be sure to reconfirm the arrangements with the institution at the beginning of the academic year during which the conference will be held. The Society suggests inviting the Dean or Department Chair to greet conference attendees during the course of the conference.
Announcing Conference Dates & Sites
Please notify the Executive Office as soon as conference sites and dates are finalized, but no later than mid-October two years preceding the conference. The date and location will then be added to the CMS website. The President should also make an announcement to the membership regarding the details of the following year's conference during the annual business meeting of the Regional Chapter.
Anniversaries can provide a unique opportunity for members to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the Chapter. Such dates might be considered when planning a conference, and special activities may be organized to mark the occasion. Please note the following founding and anniversary dates:
|Mid-Atlantic||1970||50th Conference+||51st Conference+|
|Northeast||1979||43rd Conference||44th Conference|
|Southern||1979||43rd Conference||44th Conference|
|Central||1982||40th Conference||41st Conference|
|Great Lakes||1983||39th Conference||40th Conference|
|South Central||1986||37th Conference||38th Conference|
|Northwest||1988||34th Conference||35th Conference|
+ Chapter did not hold a conference in 2019 or 2020
* Chapter did not hold a conference 2013—2017; 2019
Keynote Speakers/Special Guests
Regional Chapters are encouraged to invite special guests to Regional Conferences in order to build enthusiasm and to draw attendees. A keynote speaker, workshop leader(s), ensemble, and/or performers, or other special guest(s) can be used to enhance Regional Conference programs. All costs associated with keynote speakers are the responsiblity of the chapter.
Several appointments need to be made to marshal the resources necessary to organize each conference. The Program Chair, Program Committee, Composition Chair, Composition Committee, Local Arrangements Host, and Program Book Editor should be identified from persons within the chapter and should share in the planning and execution of the event.
The Chapter President
Let it be noted that the Chapter President must not also serve as the Program Chair. The Chapter President’s primary responsibilities related to the conference include establishing conference dates and locations, appointing key personnel, engaging the keynote speaker(s) for the program, assisting with promoting the conference, and chairing the annual business meeting of the membership during the conference. The President is also charged with providing a response to the annual common topic as part of their annual report to the CMS Board of Directors following the program, so s/he should pay close attention to how the common topic is addressed. The President ensures that the Program Chair is meeting established deadlines and that the Chapter Treasurer and Board assemble an annual budget by July 1 of each year for reference by conference personnel. Further details regarding the Chapter President’s role and responsibilities are outlined in the Handbook for Chapter Presidents.
The Program Chair
The Chair of the Program Committee should be selected from the current chapter membership and appointed by the President of the Chapter. The Program Chair is responsible for:
1. Overseeing Conference Planning and Execution – It is helpful to think of the Program Chair as essentially the conference planner. The Chair oversees the work of the Program Committee, Composition Chair, Local Arrangements Host, and Program Book Editor to ensure that deadlines are met and that all conference details are handled.
2. Directing the Work of the Program Committee – The Chair should actively lead the Program Committee’s efforts to assemble the Call for Program Participation, review proposals submitted in response to the Call, determine program content, and construct a conference schedule according to established deadlines. The Chair should determine a timeline for each stage of the process, including setting deadlines for proposal review and notification. Further details are found in the description of Program Committee duties.
3. Communicating with Conference Applicants – Following the review process by both the Program Committee and Composition Committee, the Program Chair should communicate with all proposers and composers regarding the status of their submissions. Those invited to present their work on the program should be notified by electronic mail and be provided with a hard copy of the acceptance letter for their files. An electronic notification will suffice for those not accepted onto the program. The CMS Executive Office will supply the Chair with contact information for proposers upon being given the results of the program committee’s decisions. The Program chair may also obtain an electronic file of the chapter’s logo from the Executive Office in order to create letterhead.
4. Communicating with Program Presenters – The Chair should inform all invited presenters, collaborative pianists, composers, panelists,and performers of conference details. Presenters should be asked to confirm their participation by registering for the conference by a deadline that falls well in advance of the registration deadline established for non-presenting participants. It is the job of the Chair to monitor the program roster as registrations are received (the Chair receives copies of registration forms in real time as they are submitted). Presenters must also be informed of the date, time, and place of their presentation and the name of their session chair. A list of provided audio-visual equipment for each room should be given to all presenters well in advance of the conference to avoid last-minute surprises.
5. Communicating with the Membership – Periodic reminders should be sent to the membership by the Program Chair regarding deadlines for proposal submission and conference registration. The Chair is also responsible for announcing the conference schedule and other program details. The section “Conference Announcements” contains information regarding the procedure and deadlines for disseminating information.
6. Communicating with the Host Institution – As the main point of contact between the Program Committee and on-site conference personnel, the Chair must keep the Local Arrangements Host apprised of all equipment, A/V, instrument, and catering needs for the program. The Chair and Host should work together to reserve an area, including a table, chairs, and access to electricity, for on-site registration, and consult with the Chapter Treasurer to schedule periods of time for on-site registration. It is the purview of the Chair to also invite important delegates from the host campus (President, Chair, or Dean) to greet conference attendees during the program.
7. Communicating with the Program Book Editor – The Program Chair is responsible for supplying the Program Book Editor with materials for publication. This includes, but is not limited to, an accurate schedule, presenter/composer abstracts and bios, details regarding keynote speaker/s, campus maps, and driving directions. The Executive Office can assist the Chair by providing appropriate abstract and biographical information when called upon.
8. Finalizing the Conference Registration Form – The Chair, in consultation with the Chapter Treasurer, is responsible for working with the CMS Executive Office to make sure that the online conference registration form is complete. While the registration fees will be aleady have been decided during the development of the chapter's budget (prior to July 1), the form should include any add-on options, such as meals, tours, concerts, and other special events related to the program. It may also ask registrants to select meal choices, list severe food allergies/dietary issues, or indicate their anticipated attendance at certain functions, such as receptions or special concerts—any data which the Committee can use to plan efficiently. The Chair should send registration details to the Executive Office no later than September 1 of the year preceding the conference. This way, the form will be operational prior to the notification of acceptance to the program. The closing deadline for online registration will be at 12 noon Mountain Time on the Thursday two weeks prior to the start of the conference (remember that presenters should be asked to register far in advance of this deadline). The Executive Office will post the registration form on the Chapter’s website and the Chair is further encouraged to assemble a message to the chapter's membership to announce it, once activated (which the Executive Office can send of their behalf).
9. Preparing Conference Registration Materials – Because the Chair will have access to conference records, s/he is the appropriate person to print name badges for all registrants, invited guests, & performers and deliver these materials to the Local Arrangements Host.
10. Attending the Conference – As the key representative of the Chapter for this event, the Program Chair must attend the conference. The Chair should plan to assist the Local Arrangements Host on site by ensuring that presentation rooms are set up appropriately, that presenters’ A/V needs are met, that the program stays on schedule, and that any last-minute problems are resolved.
The Program Committee
To develop a program for your conference, it is helpful to have a Program Committee that includes a manageable number of members representing a broad range of disciplines. The members of the Program Committee should be selected from the current chapter membership and appointed by the President of the Chapter in consultation with the Program Chair. The Program Committee is responsible for:
1. Issuing a Call for Oral & Poster Presentations [Click here for an example] – Once completed, the Program Chair should forward the Call to the CMS Executive Office for posting on the conference website.
This purpose of this Call is to solicit proposals related to all aspects of music creation, performance, scholarship, teaching, learning, career considerations, and other areas of interest to the music professional. The Call could be broad or may request proposals with a specific topical emphasis. Proposals which address the history, culture, or uniqueness of the conference locale might be of particular interest. When appropriate and desirable, Program Committees are asked to consider the guidelines used by CMS national conference program committees in developing emphases on American regional musics [See prospectus here]. Calls should specify which types of presentations will be programmed and should clarify the duration for each. The most common presentation formats requested in this Call include demonstrations, discussion forums, panels, research papers, posters, and workshops; however, Program Committees should feel free to explore other creative means of engaging with the membership as well. Each Program Committee should welcome proposals from the entire membership of CMS, including full-time, adjunct, and retired faculty; graduate students; and independent musicians and scholars. It should be clear to proposers that all submissions must be anonymous, and explicit instructions for completing applications should be outlined. Deadlines for submission should never fall on a Monday or Friday, as CMS staff is generally unavailable to assist members over the weekend.
2. Issuing a Call for Lecture-Recitals & Performances [Click here for an example] – Once completed, the Program Chair should forward the Call to the CMS Executive Office for posting on the conference website.
Performances and lecture-recitals are solicited separately because specific details must be collected which are not applicable to other types of proposals (e.g., performance timings, program notes, music stand needs, contact information for involved performers, etc...). Chapters may wish to establish a separate subcommittee for performance to evaluate and select these proposals.
Performances are intended to present live music, and speaking is generally limited to brief introductory comments. While these can feature new music, this is not the appropriate submission venue for works by CMS composers. Two types of performances are possible, and chapters may offer either or both formats:
a. Stand-alone Performance: A 25-minute program from a single performer or ensemble may be proposed that features music by one or more composers. The time limit is inclusive of set-up and tear-down.
b. Showcase Performance: Brief performances of 10 minutes or less may be proposed which will be included on a larger concert organized by the Program Committee. The time limit is inclusive of set-up and tear-down.
Lecture-recitals differ from performances in that they provide opportunities for performing combined with a significant amount of speaking.
Submission deadlines for lecture-recitals and performances should align with the submission deadline for the Call for Program Participation to ensure that all proposers may be notified of their acceptance/non-acceptance at the same time.
3. Reviewing and Rating Program Proposals – The College Music Society utilizes an online system called Submittable for collecting and reviewing conference submissions. This system allows each member of the Program Committee to independently review and score proposals. Program Committee members view submitted abstracts and supporting materials, and they may use the “Notes” feature of the online system to communicate with fellow committee members concerning proposals. Complete instructions for use of the online system will be provided to members of the Program Committee by the Executive Office after the proposal submission deadline. The Committee will be asked to complete their ratings by a deadline established by the Program Chair. Following this deadline, the results of ratings will be compiled and shared with the Committee for further deliberation and final selection.
4. Determining Program Content – Program content should avoid overspecializations most appropriate to other professional organizations. The program for all CMS conferences, both regional and national, should conform to the spirit of the Society’s general mission. National and regional concerns, issues, and uniqueness should be explored in the regional programs. Much can be done with imaginative program planning at an early stage. What should be avoided is a duplication of the type of content found on the programs of our colleague organizations. Programs that include events which must be heard or experienced, such as panels, lecture-recitals, and concerts of CMS composers, will encourage attendance at conferences.
5. Assembling the Schedule – Once program content has been selected, the Program Committee, under the guidance of the Program Chair, should complete the schedule. The schedule should include all events planned during the conference, such as the annual business meeting of the Chapter membership, discussion of the common topic, concerts, receptions and other special activities, as well as room assignments for presenters/performers. The Composition Review Committee should be consulted regarding the scheduling details and equipment needs for the composers’ concert/s. It is important that the Program Committee communicate with the Chapter President and Treasurer to ensure that all conference plans conform to pre-established budgetary guidelines.
6. Recruiting Session/Presentation Chairs – The Program Committee is responsible for obtaining chairs to introduce speakers. Chairs should be informed of the time and place of their session, the names and affiliations of presenters on the session, be given brief biographical sketches of each presenter, and reminded to begin and end the session on time. Chapter board members are excellent candidates for session chairs.
7. Attending the Conference – As representatives of the Chapter and leaders within the organization, members of the Program Committee should make every effort to attend the conference they have organized, regardless of whether or not they are presenting on the program. The Program Chair and Local Arrangements Host will appreciate their on-site assistance in greeting attendees, chairing sessions, leading forum discussions, or performing other duties when called upon.
The Composition Chair
The Chair of the Composition Committee should be a composer selected from the current chapter membership and appointed by the President of the Chapter. The Composition Chair is responsible for:
1. Assembling a Composition Committee – The CMS online conference system allows each proposal to be reviewed by two persons plus the Composition Chair. With this in mind, it is recommended that the Composition Committee not exceed a total of 3 persons so that each member of the Committee can review every score submission. It is wise to select members not already serving on the Program Committee for this purpose.
2. Directing the Work of the Composition Committee – The Composition Chair should actively lead the Composition Committee’s efforts in assembling the Call for Scores, reviewing proposals submitted in response to the Call, making final selections, and constructing a concert schedule according to the total amount of time allotted for presentation of composers’ work. The Composition Chair should determine a timeline for the score review process and inform committee members of this when approaching them to serve. Further details are found in the description of Composition Committee duties.
3. Communicating with the Program Chair – Following the review and selection of scores, the Composition Chair should inform the Program Chair of the Composition Committee’s choices. The Program Chair will then notify all submitters of their status and will invite accepted composers to register. It is important to provide the Program Chair with materials for the program book, including performers’ names, biographies, and concert schedules.
4. Communicating with Composers and Performers – The Composition Chair should communicate periodically with invited composers regarding all matters related to the performance of their work. Composers and their performers must be informed of the date, time, and place their piece will be presented. A list of available instruments and audio-visual equipment for each concert should also be provided well in advance of the conference, so interaction with the Local Arrangements host is critical.
5. Serving as Concert Manager – The Composition Chair should act as concert manager for performances of works by CMS composers. This includes scheduling rehearsals, making arrangements for instrument storage, moving equipment, and emceeing during composers’ concerts.
The Composition Committee
Members of the Composition Committee should be composers selected from the current chapter membership and invited to serve by the Composition Chair. This group comprises 2–3 individuals not already serving on the Program Committee. The Composition Committee is responsible for:
1. Issuing a Call for Scores [Click here for an example] – Once completed, the Program Chair should forward the Call to the CMS Executive Office for posting on the conference website.
The Program Committee may structure the performance of works of CMS composers in one of three ways:
a. by first securing the services of an ensemble in the region and issuing a Call for Scores for works for this ensemble; or
b. by issuing a general Call for Scores with Performance and requiring that the composer provide the performer/s; or
c. featuring both volunteer and composer-provided performers.
It is important that the Composition Chair communicate with the Program Chair regarding the amount of time available on the program to showcase composers’ works. The Local Arrangements Host should also be consulted in advance regarding the availability of instruments, equipment, and the possibility of volunteer performers from the host school.
Submission deadlines for scores should align with the submission deadline for the Call for Program Participation to ensure that all proposers may be notified of their acceptance/non-acceptance at the same time.
2. Reviewing and Rating Program Proposals – The College Music Society utilizes an online system called Submittable for collecting and reviewing conference submissions. This system allows each member of the Composition Committee to independently review and score proposals. Committee members view submitted abstracts and supporting materials, and they may use the “Notes” feature of the online system to communicate with fellow committee members concerning proposals. Complete instructions for use of the online system will be provided to members of the Composition Committee by the Executive Office after the proposal submission deadline. The Committee will be asked to complete their ratings by a deadline established by the Composition Chair. Following this deadline, the results of ratings will be compiled and shared with the Committee for further deliberation and final selection.
3. Determining a Concert Schedule – The Composition Committee should work with the Composition Chair to determine the order of works for each performance. Interesting programs can be constructed by alternating works of varying tempi, dynamic range, and instrumentation, or by grouping works along common themes. Once finalized, the Composition Chair should share concert schedules with the Program Chair for inclusion in the master schedule.
4. Attending the Conference – As representatives of the Chapter and leaders within the organization, members of the Composition Committee should make every effort to attend the conference they have organized, regardless of whether or not they are presenting on the program. The Composition Chair will appreciate their on-site assistance in greeting composers, managing the stage during concerts, moving and setting up equipment, or performing other duties when called upon.
The Local Arrangements Host
A Local Arrangements Host should be selected from the current chapter membership and should reside at or near the location of the Regional Conference. Let it be noted that the Local Arrangements Host should not also serve as the Program Chair. The Host is appointed by the President of the Chapter and is responsible for:
1. Securing Adequate Conference Space in Support of the Conference Program – This usually includes a registration area; rooms for plenary sessions, paper presentations, and panels; break areas; rehearsal space; and a hall for concerts.
2. Arranging for Conference Lodging – The Local Arrangements Host should reserve room blocks in area hotels and dormitories (if possible) at various price points for the convenience of conference attendees. When negotiating hotel contracts, it is important to state that any unsold rooms may be released without penalty or expense to the Chapter. A clear hotel registration deadline should be established and advertised on the conference website.
3. Arranging for Audio-visual Equipment – The Program Chair should advise the Local Arrangements Host regarding equipment and A/V needs for the program as soon as the program has been assembled. All needed equipment should be secured no later than January 15 of the conference year and confirmed several weeks prior to the start of the conference. It is important that expenditures for rental of needed equipment conform to the established budget.
4. Arranging for Catering and Refreshments – The Program Chair should advise the Local Arrangements Host regarding all catering needs for the program as soon as the program has been assembled. Meals and breaks may take place either on- or off-campus, and it is important that expenditures for these events conform to the established budget. Catering should be arranged no later than January 15 of the conference year and confirmed several weeks prior to the start of the conference.
5. Arranging for any Security – If needed, the Local Arrangements Host should hire security for conference areas. Security can often be arranged through on-campus services.
6. Obtaining Campus Information – Conference attendees should be provided with campus maps, driving directions, & a list of local attractions well in advance of the event. The Local Arrangements Host should forward such information to the Program Chair for posting on the conference website and inclusion in the program book.
7. Recruiting Needed Volunteers – The Host should recruit reliable, competent volunteers from within the membership or from the host venue to perform tasks such as managing the registration desk, ushering during concerts, greeting guests, serving as guides, etc..., and should produce a volunteer schedule.
8. Establishing a Procedure for Practice Room Reservation – Conference attendees should be given information regarding rehearsal times and available space several weeks in advance of the conference. A sign-up sheet for practice rooms should be constructed and available at the registration desk.
9. Establishing and Managing On-site Registration – The Executive Office will provide the Chair with a master list of pre-registrants. Registrants should receive a name badge, conference schedule, and registration receipt when checking in [Click here for a sample receipt form]. Working together with the Program Chair and Chapter Treasurer, a procedure for on-site registration should be established. See sample registration form for on-site registrants. An announcement board should also be made available in the registration area. For a list of items it is helpful to have at the registration desk, please click here.
The Program Book Editor
If a printed program will be published for the conference, a Program Book Editor should be selected from the current chapter membership and appointed by the President of the Chapter in consultation with the Program Chair. The Program Book Editor is responsible for:
1. Collecting and Preparing Materials for the Conference Program Book – In addition to the conference schedule and room assignments, the Chapter may wish to include brief abstracts, concert program notes, presenter biographies, venue maps, or other appropriate details in the program book. It is the responsibility of the Program Book Editor to collect these materials from the Program Chair at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the conference and edit them for content and length.
2. Assembling the Program Book – The Program Book Editor should prepare the program book for publication. This includes developing a basic design as well as carefully proofing the content. Upon request from the Program Book Editor, the CMS Executive Office can provide a cover for the book. It is important that printing costs conform to the established budget, and it should be determined early in the process whether the book will be in color or use black ink only.
3. Arranging for Printing and Delivery of the Program Book – The Program Book Editor should consult with the Program Chair in order to determine the quantity of books needed. Once known, the Editor should take bids to determine the most economical means of printing. In some cases, the Host institution may offer to absorb the cost of the printing; however, such arrangements are not expected and must be clarified well in advance for budgeting purposes. Once the program has been printed, the Editor should make the necessary arrangements to see they are delivered to the registration desk personnel prior to the start of the event. In some cases, the Editor may wish to pick up and deliver the programs personally.
The Chapter Treasurer
The Chapter Treasurer serves as the financial administrator for the conferences. A separate Handbook for Chapter Treasurers provides a complete description of the Treasurer’s duties. To clarify procedure, the Treasurer is responsible for:
1. Developing the Budget – In consultation with the Chapter Officers, the Treasurer leads the effort to construct a budget, by July 1 of the year prior to the conference, that considers all anticipated expenses and revenue. Conference fees are established through this process and the Treasurer must communicate these fees to the Executive Office so that a registration form can be constructed.
2. Collaborating on Registration Form Development – see "The Program Chair, 8. Finalizing the Conference Registration Form" above.
3. Monitoring and Payment of Conference Expenses – All invoices for conference expenses should be sent to the Chapter Treasurer, who will approve and account for them before forwarding them to the Executive Office for payment. It is critical that the Treasurer be informed of all expenses, including speaker honoraria, travel reimbursements, catering, venue/equipment rental, printing, and supply purchases.
4. Collection of Conference Revenue – All monies received on site for registration fees, meals, and other items must be collected by the Chapter Treasurer. The Treasurer will account for all revenue and forward it to the Executive Office within 3 days after the conference for deposit in the Chapter’s account.
5. Assisting with Conference Registration – The Treasurer communicates the details of the Chapter’s budget with the Program Chair so that the Chair may construct a conference registration form by September 1 of the year prior to the conference. During the pre-registration process, the Treasurer will receive copies of online registration submissions in order to monitor the revenue stream. The Chapter Treasurer should also attend the conference and assist with on-site registration.
6. Ensuring that Keynote Speakers Receive Payment – Provided the Chapter President has supplied the required information regarding keynote speakers, the Executive Office will provide payment to the keynote speaker(s) on the Tuesday following the event. Should additional travel reimbursement be required, it is the responsibility of the Treasurer to ensure that receipts are filed with the CMS Executive Office for such reimbursement after the event.
7. Ensuring that Awardees Receive Payment – In cases where the Chapter offers incentive awards to its membership, the Chapter Treasurer must collect completed IRS W-9 forms from each of the winners and send these to the Executive Office following the conference for payment processing.
8. Reporting on the Chapter’s Finances – In consultation with the CMS Executive Office, the Treasurer should prepare a financial report to share during the annual meeting of the Chapter’s membership.
The Role of Chapter Board Members
The Board of Directors for the Chapter are elected by the membership. Insofar as the conference is concerned, Board Members are responsible for:
1. Developing the Budget – With guidance from the Treasurer, the Board of Directors contributes to the construction of a budget, by July 1 of the year prior to the conference, that considers all anticipated expenses and revenue.
2. Attending the Conference – As representatives of the Chapter and leaders within the organization, members of the Board should make every effort to attend the conference they have organized, regardless of whether or not they are presenting on the program. The Chapter President, Program Chair, and Treasurer will appreciate their on-site assistance in greeting attendees, chairing sessions, leading forum discussions, or performing other duties when called upon.
Let it be noted that the Board of Directors and the Program Committee are separate entities with unique responsibilities. The Program Committee is not to be comprised of current Board members.
CMS Director of Professional Activities
The CMS Director of Professional Activities serves as the primary administrative contact for CMS Regional Conferences and is responsible for:
1. Assisting the Program Chair – The Director of Professional Activities will assist the Program Chair with posting Calls for Participation, assigning proposals to readers, assembling ratings reports, and providing the Program Chair with contact information for all proposers following the review process. In partnership with other members of the CMS staff, the Director of Professional Activities will also work with the Chair to post the schedule, registration form, speaker information, and lodging/travel details to the conference website.
2. Assisting the Composition Chair – The Director of Professional Activities will assist the Composition Chair with posting and announcing the Call for Scores, assigning score proposals to readers, assembling ratings reports, and providing the Composition Chair with contact information for all composers following the review process.
3. Assisting the Program and Score Review Committees – Following the deadline for submissions, the Director of Professional Activities will provide the Program and Score Review Committees with review instructions and assist them as needed in using the online conference system.
4. Assisting the CMS Membership – If members encounter difficulty during the online submission process, or if they have questions regarding where to find specific conference information, the Director of Professional Activities will assist as needed.
The responsibility for disseminating all information concerning Chapter activities lies with the Chapter’s President and Regional Conference Program Chair. Please note the following distinction: The President's role is to communicate information with the membership regarding governance of the chapter, while the Program Chair is responsible for transmitting information related to the Chapter's annual regional conference. A noteable exception is that the President will advise the CMS Executive Office regarding any keynote speaker(s) or invited guest(s) who receive payment for their services.
The CMS Executive Office will assist chapters with publicity in the following ways:
1. Regional Conference Website – Space has been dedicated on the CMS website for each chapter to post information related to its annual conference. The Program Chair is responsible for providing the CMS Executive Office with content to be posted on these pages as outlined above. Materials should be sent as soon as they become available; however, preliminary conference details (travel, lodging, parking, guest speaker info, special events, etc...) should be posted no later than November 1 of each year, and the conference schedule should be posted by mid-January. Text content should be sent in Microsoft Word format and accompanying photos or graphics should be sent as attachments (not embedded in a Word document).
2. Upcoming CMS Events – To keep its membership constantly aware of its events, CMS maintains a highlighted list of upcoming programs on its home page. Regional conferences are included on this list. Kindly note the following links:
Emails & Reminders
1. Professional Notices – Professional notices are targeted email messages sent from the CMS Executive Office to its membership. Program Chairs may send up to six professional notices per year to disseminate information regarding conference details or to call for specific action (e.g., call announcements, deadline reminders, program updates, etc...). In all cases, the Program Chair should construct and forward the message to the CMS Executive Office as a Word document. Such announcements should be brief and refer the reader to the conference webpage for complete information. Please note that graphics or attachments will not be included in these announcements, thus only text is required. There is also no need to stylize the layout, as the Executive Office will format the message into a standardized template.
2. This Month at CMS – The CMS Executive Office will include a reminder of each regional conference in This Month at CMS—the official CMS monthly news bulletin. This reminder message will link to the conference website.
3. Approaching Deadlines – The CMS Executive Office will include a reminder of each regional conference in This Month at CMS—the official CMS monthly news bulletin. This reminder message will link to the conference website.
The following policy regarding was adopted by the CMS Board of Directors on April 1, 2011:
1. If a proposal is accepted, the presenter agrees to register for the conference and present in person. A presenter may not assign someone else to give their presentation.
2. If a presenter is unable to attend the conference and present in person, s/he is expected to contact the Program Chair or the CMS Executive Office and withdraw at least 30 days in advance of the conference so that an alternate paper may be substituted on the program.
3. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent the presenter from contacting CMS by the above deadline, it is expected that s/he will still contact the Program Chair or the CMS Executive Office as soon as possible to notify that s/he will be unable to attend the conference.
4. A presenter who has made no contact with the Program Chair or the CMS Executive Office and does not present in person will be considered a “No Show” and will be prohibited from submitting proposals in the next year to CMS Regional and National conferences, and to the following International Conference.
Concerning who must register for the conference and pay appropriate registration fees, the following general policy guidelines apply:
1. 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 collaborative pianists, composers, panelists, and presenters. Likewise, any presenter or attendee who connects to the conference by virtual or electronic means (e.g., Skype/Zoom) must hold current membership and register for the event. Co-authors of research papers must register for, and attend, the conference for their name to be listed in the program.
2. Two common exceptions: neither (1) invited guests presenters (e.g., plenary speakers, workshop leaders) nor (2) performers on concerts of works by CMS composers are required to be members or pay registration fees. If, however, these persons plan to attend sessions in addition to the one in which they are presenting or performing, they will be expected to pay the full registration fee accordingly.
At its discretion, the Program Committee may also exempt from the membership and registration fee requirements specific individuals, such as guest panelists, who are not primarily involved in music in higher education. These expectations should be made clear at the time invitations for participation are extended.
As noted above, registration fees are established by the Chapter’s Board of Directors in conjunction with the development of the Chapter’s budget (by July 1 of the year preceding the conference). Registration fees must finance the entire event unless outside funding has been secured. Registration rates may be determined by dividing the total anticipated expenses by the number of planned participants and adding a required $10 administrative surcharge per attendee. A discount for CMS student and retired members should be offered, and a higher rate for non-members should also apply. In all categories, a late fee should apply for those who do not register online in advance. The Chapter Treasurer must communicate with the Program Chair to ensure that s/he has the proper information to construct the registration form before invitations for conference participation are sent.
Requests for refunds will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Refunds may be offered to persons who have registered for the conference but who are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances and who have communicated in advance with the Program Chair. Presenters who fail to show for their assigned presentation without contacting the Program Chair are not entitled to a refund. All refunds will be issued following the Conference and within two months of its conclusion.
The Chapter President is responsible for submitting a brief event narrative report along with the total number of regular and student attendees to the Executive Office no later than July 15 of the conference year. S/he may also wish to forward photos or video footage from the conference to the Executive Office for the CMS archives. If the Program Committee has designed a post-conference survey, the Executive Office will provide the Committee with the results following the response deadline.
The Executive Office staff and CMS Vice-President are always delighted to be of help to Regional Chapters with conference planning. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with and of the following persons: