Overview • Program Committee • Conference Program Content, Development, and Review • Conference Formats • Conference Themes • Special Program Emphases • Presentation Formats, Organization, and Session Chairs • Schedule Development and Presentation • Program Advertising Opportunities • Conference Budget • Conference Promotion and Publicity • Registration Policy • General Operations and Registration Process • Post-Conference Survey • Proposing Future Conference Sites
Mission of The College Music Society
The College Music Society promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. A consortium of college, conservatory, university, and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music, the Society provides leadership and serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education.
The Mission of the Professional Activities of The College Music Society
Through its professional activities, The College Music Society gathers, considers, and disseminates ideas on the philosophy and practice of music. CMS creates forums in which individuals working in the various areas of music can interact and communicate. Recognizing the richness of musical diversity and the challenge of balancing the traditions of the past with the possibilities of the future, the members of The College Music Society are united by a dedication to the science of learning and the art of teaching and are engaged in a dialogue that will shape music teaching in the years ahead. Through its professional activities, CMS fosters the continuing education and renewal of college and university music faculty, shares the fruits of music research, develops and enhances music instruction, and celebrates the importance of teaching.
Mission of the Conferences of The College Music Society
Conferences of The College Music Society provide the opportunity for the membership to sustain dialogue concerning issues on the philosophy and practice of music as an integral part of higher education, to increase communication among the various disciplines of the music profession, and to celebrate the importance of teaching. The purposes of the conferences of The College Music Society are to provide the music and higher education community with opportunities to (1) celebrate the art of music making, teaching, and learning, (2) consider the issues of current urgency and importance to musicians working in higher education, and (3) reach out to and share with the general public the resources of our field.
The programs of the Society are designed for music teachers and scholars in the traditional areas of composition, ethnomusicology/world music, music education, music in general studies, musicology, performance, and theory, as well as new areas which emerge as the profession responds to change.
The Society's program differs from those of discipline-specific organizations by virtue of its greater attention to the art of teaching and its disciplinary inclusiveness. Another distinctive feature is its focus on the historic and current music of the region in which each meeting is held, as a celebration of the richness of the musics of all cultures.
Mission of the International Conferences of The College Music Society
The international conferences of The College Music Society extend the mission of the Society’s conferences by providing opportunities for members for international educational and cultural enrichment.
The Program Committee Chair is appointed by the President in consultation with the Board of Directors. Members of the Program Committee are appointed by the President in consultation with the Program Committee Chair.
Members of the Program Committee are encouraged to attend the conference they have helped organize, regardless of whether or not they are presenting on the program. Their on-site assistance in greeting attendees, presiding over sessions, assiting with live performances and conference operations, and performing other duties when called upon is invaluable.
Members of the National Conference Program Committee, the NAMM/CMS GenNext Program Committee, and the International Conference Program Committee are not eligible to 1) submit proposals for presentation or 2) perform, have their compositions performed, or present at an event for which they serve on the Program Committee. Subcommittee members of the National Conference Program Committee and International Conference Program Committee are not eligible to submit, nor be added as collaborators to, any proposal that will be evaluated by their respective subcommittee; however, Subcommittee members may submit, or be added as collaborators to, proposals that will be evaluated by other subcommittees (e.g., a member of the Composition Subcommittee may not submit an original composition but may be added as a collaborative pianist for a lecture-recital).
Responsibilities of the Program Committee
The Program Committee is responsible for developing the conference to fulfill the mission of the Society to the greatest extent possible. The Program Committee is responsible for all aspects of planning and operations for the conference. The Program Committee (1) serves in an advisory capacity to the Program Committee Chair; (2) issues the Calls for Program Participation; (3) reviews proposals received in response to the Calls; and (4) prepares the final program for the conference. The Program Committee makes all final decisions concerning the conference program.
Responsibilities of the Program Committee Chair
The Chair of the Program Committee (1) chairs meetings of the Committee; (2) provides oversight concerning the work of the Committee and its members; (3) guides and assists with developing the conference program, including invited performers and keynote speakers; (4) and serves as liaison with educational institutions, music faculty, and ethnic communities within the country and region in which the conference is being held.
Meetings of the Committee
The Program Committee meets as needed via video conference to review the conference program, schedule, format, and engagement opportunities.
Subcommittees of the Program Committee: Scholarship, Research, & Pedagogy
The Scholarship, Research, & Pedagogy Committee includes a Chair and at least two persons selected from the current membership and appointed by the Chair who represent the various disciplines within the music field. Generally, the committee will include those with expertise in scholarship and research, teaching and learning, career development, music technology, music business, and other important areas. The committee reviews submissions from CMS members in response to the Call for Papers, Posters, and Demonstrations and Call for Interactive Presentations, and identifies those proposals from individual CMS members that are outstanding and should be programmed. Proposal review is conducted utilizing CMS's online proposal submission system and ensuing recommendations are made via a video conference prior to the meeting of the Program Committee to ratify their work. The Chair of the Scholarship, Research, & Pedagogy Committee will represent the Committee and report on its behalf during meetings of the Program Committee. As is the case with all program matters, the Program Committee makes the final determination for acceptance/non-acceptance.
Subcommittees of the Program Committee: Music Performance
The Performance Committee serves as a subcommittee of the Program Committee. The Committee on Music Performance includes a Chair and at least two persons selected from the current membership and appointed by the Chair who represent various performance styles and approaches to music performance. The Committee seeks to identify outstanding performers for the conference program and to facilitate presentation of those performers on the conference program and within communities in the cities and region in which the conference is held. The Committee reviews proposals in response to the Call for Performances and Lecture-Recitals, as well as any other special calls related to performance. Proposal review is conducted utilizing CMS's online proposal submission system and ensuing recommendations are made via a video conference prior to the meeting of the Program Committee to ratify their work. The Chair of the Music Performance Committee will represent the Committee and report on its behalf during meetings of the Program Committee. As is the case with all program matters, the Program Committee makes the final determination for acceptance/non-acceptance.
Subcommittees of the Program Committee: Composition Committee
The Composition Committee includes a Chair and at least two persons selected from the current membership and appointed by the Chair. CMS encourages representation of various compositional styles and approaches on the subcommittee. Performers should also be considered for this subcommittee, as they may offer a unique perspective.
The purpose of the Composition Committee is to (a) draft the Call(s) for Scores based on available performance resources, (b) review submissions received in response to the Call(s), (c) coordinate performances of accepted works, and (d) serve as resource to the Program Committee. Proposal review is conducted utilizing CMS's online proposal submission system, and ensuing recommendations are made via a video conference prior to the meeting of the Program Committee to ratify their work.
The Composition Chair will represent the Committee and report on its behalf during meetings of the Program Committee. As is the case with all program matters, the Program Committee makes the final determination for acceptance/non-acceptance. It is the job of the Composition Chair to communicate periodically with invited composers regarding all matters related to the performance of their work, including rehearsals, instrument storage, equipment, and should serve as concert manager for concerts which feature works by CMS composers.
Sources of program content typically include (a) Calls for Program Participation; (b) Calls for Scores; and (c) Call for Proposals from CMS Internal Committees & Advisory Councils.
Calls for Program Participation
The Program Committee will issue a Call, or multiple Calls, for Program Participation to the members of the Society. Calls are issued via electronic media in March, approximately sixteen months prior to the conference. At the discretion of the Program Committee, Calls may request proposals of general interest to the music profession; proposals concerning specific areas of interest; proposals related to regional composers, musics, traditions or culture; or proposals highlighting anniversaries of note. It has become common practice to issue a Call for Papers, Posters, and Demonstrations and a separate Call for Interactive Presentations (discussion forums, panels, and workshops).
Special Calls for Program Participation
Special Calls for Program Participation may be issued at the discretion of the Program Committee if specific topics are deemed of such importance as to merit such focus and consideration.
Calls for Scores
The Program Committee will issue a Call, or multiple Calls, for original musical compositions to the members of the Society. Calls are issued via electronic media in March, approximately sixteen months prior to the conference. At the discretion of the Program Committee, and depending on available resources, Calls may request proposals to be performed by composer-supplied performers or pre-arranged soloists/ensembles.
Proposal Submission Process
Proposals in response to published Calls are submitted electronically through the CMS Online Conference System. A memorandum of instruction for review of proposals via the electronic system are provided to the Chair, members of the Program Committee, and members of subcommittees by the Director of Professional Activities.
Proposals submitted in response to each Call are reviewed blindly by the appropriate subcommittee and assigned point values via a rubric system. Following the initial review stage, point totals are calculated by the Executive Office and shared with all members of the appropriate subcommittee for further discussion. Each subcommittee is charged with assembling a prioritized list, which the Chair of each subcommittee then brings to a virtual meeting of the Program Committee. The Program Committee will receive reports by each subcommittee, and take action on each proposal. Proposals may be accepted, accepted with modifications, or rejected with thanks.
The format of the conference is designed by the Program Committee at its discretion and as the Committee believes will best serve the music and higher education community at the present time.
Conferences will be organized over a six to ten day period, typically held in June or July during odd- numbered years. The College Music Society encourages the Program Committee to use its imagination and creativity in developing an appropriate conference format. The College Music Society has from time to time used three conference formats in varying combinations, including the (1) Individual Presentation Model, (2) Workshop Model, and (3) Summit/Think Tank Model. Each model has implications for the involvement of individual Society members, the number of conference presenters, and conference outcomes. In addition, each model offers variations in the difficult-to-describe "feel" that any event has, one criterion by which attendees remember the event and, presumably, evaluate whether or not they intend to return. These formats need not be considered either static or in competition with one another: two or more can be adapted for simultaneous or consecutive use by the Program Committee.
Three conference program models are described below:
Individual Presentation Model
The Individual Presentation Model presents the work of the Society’s members through various presentation session formats. The model enables the Society to celebrate the art of music making, teaching, and learning, presents the work of composers and performers, and considers issues of urgency and importance to musicians working in higher education.
An often-identified sub-theme of The College Music Society is its members shared love for pedagogy, and the Workshop Model emphasizes pedagogy to a greater extent than the Individual Presentation Model. It can inspire a Program Committee to organize master classes that are often suggested as important value-added features to CMS conferences. The Workshop Model is perhaps less flexible at considering issues of urgency and importance to musicians working in higher education.
Summit/Think Tank Model
The Summit/Think Tank Model provides a forum for considering issues of urgency and importance to musicians working in higher education. One goal in using this model is to develop consensus for an action plan and/or position statement on the issue at hand. Following the conference, preliminary plans/positions are submitted to the Board of Directors for approval to continue toward implementation. This model typically includes a plenary session (or sessions) with invited speakers and panelists, followed by open forums.
The Society’s conference is usually a combination of the three conference models described above. The Program Committee strives to provide the greatest variety of program offerings that can be developed.
Whatever presentation format is selected, the Program Committee may at its discretion organize the conference around themes as issues emerge from time to time for the music and higher education community.
Conferences might be organized around the following:
• A major composer, work, anniversary, or genre of music
Examples: Mozart, The Rite of Spring, chamber works of Frescobaldi, 1900 Vienna
• Issues affecting the music environment
Examples: copyright, music business and industry, grants seminar
• Issues within the music and higher education community
Examples: The research-creativity connection, re-energizing the studio teacher, world music performance and the curriculum, technology in the studio and classroom, master teacher presentations, teaching strategies, instructional design
In recent years, the Board of Directors of the Society has identified a common topic that has been addressed significantly across its Regional, National, and International Conferences. This common topic may serve as the theme of a given conference as well.
Specific areas of focus may, at the discretion of the Program Committee, include the following:
The Program Committee is requested to consider developing opportunities for engagement with international faculty, especially with faculty within the region in which the conference is being held.
The Inclusion and Presentation of Local and Regional Musics
The Program Committee may, at its discretion, provide focus during the program on the musics within the region in which the conference is being held. The Program Committee is encouraged to enlist the services of local scholars, performers, and composers whenever possible.
CMS international conferences typically include concerts of new music by CMS composers, demonstrations, forums, lecture-recitals, panels, papers, performances, posters, and workshops. A conference program may include some/all of these, or other appropriate formats, in any combination.
Concerts of New Music by CMS Composers – Depending on available time as well as the quality of submissions, one or more concerts may be programmed to feature original works of music by CMS Composers. These concerts typically are between 55 and 85 minutes in length.
Demonstration – A demonstration enables conference attendees to learn about methods, resources, or products. These differ from workshops in that they are not interactive. Demonstrations are usually 25 minutes in length.
Discussion Forum – Forums allow conference attendees the opportunity to interact and discuss specific topics related to the profession. These 55-minute conversations are open and often informal. Although the moderator may wish to make a short presentation to begin the session, forums do not include multiple presenters and the majority of time should be devoted to discussion and networking.
Lecture-Recital – Lecture-recitals, usually 25 minutes, present scholarship in combination with a live performance component. Lecture-recitals differ from performances in that they involve a significant amount of speaking.
Panel – This 55-minute session provides the opportunity to examine a topic in depth. A panel includes a moderator and at least two, but no more than 5, panel members. The moderator asks questions of the panelists and ensures that all panelists have the opportunity to speak. While panel discussions should generate spontaneous interaction among panelists and between panelists and the audience, panelists must recognize the need for advanced preparation.
Paper – A paper is a presentation of research or a significant discovery. It is usually a spoken presentation but may include significant audio or visual documentation or support. Papers are 25 minutes in length.
Performance – A performance is intended to present live music. Performances are usually 25 minutes and speaking is generally limited to brief, introductory comments. A performance program may contain music by one or more composers. Please note: composers interested in having their own work performed should respond to the Call for Scores for this conference rather than submitting a performance proposal.
Poster – A poster presents an idea or project via a compelling visual display. Posters are typically displayed throughout the conference, with a specific time scheduled for poster presenters to simultaneously interact with a rotating audience.
Workshop – A workshop is a hands-on, interactive session designed to enable conference attendees to learn about methods, resources, or products. Workshops are usually 55 minutes in length.
Organization of Sessions
The Program Committee organizes approved program content at its discretion and through the session formats it believes to be most appropriate to the themes of the conference and subject matter at hand. Time constraints, availability of required technology or equipment, thematic relationships, and overall flow should be considered when programming sessions.
Following the development of conference sessions, members of the Program Committee are responsible for identifying individual persons who will serve as chairs of conference sessions. These persons may include members of the Society, other professional music colleagues, or those from related fields of intellectual endeavor that may, from time to time, enhance the value of the program. Instructions for chairs of conferences sessions will be found in here.
Following the acceptance of program proposals the Program Committee will organize its approved content into conference sessions, generally in the session formats described above. A draft of the conference schedule will then be developed by the Society’s Director of Professional Activities in consultation with the Chair of the Program Committee. After appropriate revisions, the schedule will be circulated to the members of the Program Committee for comment and, if appropriate, discussion in detail. Once the final program schedule has been approved by the Program Committee it will be announced to the members of the Society and the general public.
Generally, the following timeline will be used for schedule development and presentation:
(1) mid-December or early January – Draft of Conference Schedule to the Program Committee Chair
(2) January 15 – Draft of Conference Schedule to the Program Committee for its consideration, discussion, and approval
(3) March 15 – Approved Conference Schedule released to the Society’s members and the general public
The International Conference provides opportunities for program book advertising and registration packet inserts. These opportunities are announced electronically to the music business-industry, higher education, and other appropriate communities.
The Director of Professional Activities will forward a budget draft to the Chair of the Program Committee at least eight months prior to the conference. The budget must consider all planned conference expenses and include a contingency to prevent a deficit in the event of unforseen circumstances.
International Conferences of The College Music Society are promoted and publicized to (1) members of the Society, (2) the music and higher education community, and (3) the general public.
The Society will develop a website that includes all materials related to the conference, including (1) a conference overview; (2) a welcome message from the Program Committee Chair; (3) the conference program and schedule; (4) advertising information; (5) lodging information and travel resources; and (6) registration information.
The Society will direct its members and the general public to the website through electronic and printed announcements.
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.
Two common exceptions: neither (1) invited guest 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, participate in other conference activities, or utilize conference resources, they will be asked to pay the registration fee accordingly.
Operation of the International Conference is the responsibility of the Executive Office staff of The College Music Society. The Executive Office staff will (1) conduct correspondence with presenters and organizers; (2) arrange for facilities and audio-visual equipment; (3) develop a website devoted to the conference; (4) develop the program book and other printed material; (5) coordinate advertising efforts; (6) manage the on-site conference registration desk; (7) arrange special events and any needed supporting transportation; and (8) coordinate other appropriate items in support of the conference and the conference program.
The Executive Office develops and facilitates the registration process, and provides conference attendees with documentation of their conference attendance and participation for their records.
Following the event, a post-conference survey will be distributed electronically to conference registrants from the CMS Executive Office. The results of this survey will be shared with the Program Committee and the CMS Board of Directors.
The following provides guidelines for those interested in proposing a destination to CMS for its international programs. This process outlines the roles and responsibilities of the proposer, CMS International Initiatives Committee, Board of Directors, and CMS Executive Office staff in considering the location.
Any member of CMS may propose a location for a possible CMS International Conference. Those making the proposal should have previous experience with, and an extensive knowledge of, the country’s customs, people, and education system. Ideally, the proposer will have lived in the country for a period of time (either on short- or long-term basis) and can function in the primary language of the region.
A proposal should be submitted to the CMS International Initiatives Committee that addresses the following questions:
a. What compelling reasons are there for pursing the country as a CMS conference site? What makes the country unique from a musical, historical, and educational perspective? Why would CMS conference attendees want to spend a week there?
b. Are there any political, social, economic, or practical obstacles/challenges/problems that CMS would need to acknowledge and address in order to hold a successful conference in the country?
c. In general, how affordable is the country as a destination compared to other conference locations?
d. What contacts does the proposer have in the country who could be helpful during the negotiation and implementation of the conference? Ideally, these persons would be leaders within institutions of learning with contacts to the music and higher/tertiary education community at large.
e. What institutions exist that could be called upon to potentially serve as a host for the conference program? Have they been made aware of the mission of CMS and the purpose of its international conference?
f. What possibilities exist for collaboration with musicians and scholars in the region? These could include institutions of higher learning, performers, composers, folk music ensembles, guest speakers, etc.
g. What other details should the International Initiatives Committee consider when deciding whether or not to further pursue this location?
There is no official deadline for proposals. Ideas will be pursued as deemed appropriate and timely. Realizing the practicalities of assembling such programs, one should expect that programs in selected locations may not be scheduled to take place for several years.
Action on the Proposal
The International Initiatives Committee will review all proposals and make recommendations to the CMS Board of Directors for further action. Proposals which receive a favorable response from the Board will be further investigated by the CMS Executive Office staff. Potential conference hosts will be contacted and a site visit to the country will be organized. Travel costs, hotels, excursions, and venues will be researched by the CMS Conference Planner and a budget will be assembled. Upon return from the site visit, the CMS Conference Planner will make a full report to the Chair of the International Initiatives Committee. The Chair will make a formal recommendation to the Board of Directors and the Board will then take action. Assuming the Board approves the conference location, the conference will be scheduled as part of CMS’s future conference initiatives. The President of the Society will appoint a Program Chair for the conference in consultaiton with the Chair of the International Initiatives Committee and the Board of Directors. The President of the Society will appoint Program Ccommittee members for the conference in consultaiton with the Program Chair, Chair of the International Initiatives Committee, and the Board of Directors. Once the Program Committee has been assembled, planning for the event will fully commence.