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Preface: New Perspectives and Scholarship

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18177/sym.2020.61.1.sr.11523

Issue 61.1 includes important scholarship along with current perspectives pertaining to music careers and instruction. Our featured work this issue is Baruch Whitehead’s essay, “Black Music Matters,” in which he stresses inclusivity and reminds us, “we cannot let our fear and guilt lead us to inaction: there is room in our musical communities for everyone.” Also of note is the Music Business-Industry article by MarQo Patton, “Creative Efficacy Toolbox: Introducing a Professional Development Model for Creatives,” in which Patton reflects upon the “evolving” music industry and introduces a “model for contextualizing professional development for creative professionals.” Lynne Snyder provides another timely contribution with her article on a frequently overlooked topic, “Non-Music Major Participation in College and University Ensembles.” À la Gunther Schuller in 1983 (see Forward to this issue, 61.1), the need to focus on educating future audiences and not just musicians is of the utmost importance, and Snyder reminds us, when approaching non-majors, we might keep in mind that “musical engagement is more important than ability level.”  

Academic leadership and curriculum direction are concepts that flow throughout the publication. Lee and McNaughtan touch on many important aspects in “Understanding the Work and Perspectives of Music Faculty through Positive Leadership.” They inform us that faculty do not place all discontent on leaders, but still, “a college’s structure is seen as a barrier to its vitality, and that leaders are perceived as partial architects of that structure.” Our Forum essays continue in this vein, as Stepniak and Pertl recommend “A Case for Hiring Mischief Makers,” noting that retaining forward thinking, even impatient individuals, can generate much needed change. Gerald Klickstein in his two essays, parts 1 and 2 of “Equipping DMA Candidates to Win Tenure-Track Jobs,” clarifies job skills needed to be a successful music professor and then demonstrates the misalignment of the university curriculum that is supposed to prepare students for these jobs.

The Technology and Online Resource reviews are always topical. Beuher shares with us “The Potential for Sight-Singing Evaluation with SoundCheck,” which is a recording tool that, while displaying the notation, records and assesses the student performance, showing the areas of the passage where the singer was out of tune. Jason Fick reviews the free cloud-based digital audio workstation BandLab, asserting it is among the best of its kind. Atticks and Jester evaluate JamKazam, a live-performance platform where several individuals can play together virtually without latency problems (that is, if they have ethernet).

As for scholarship in issue 61.1, Alfred Colman’s article on Misa folclórica paraguaya by the Paraguayan composer Florentín Giménez explores how Giménez’s liturgical work manifests his cultural identity and nationalism. The article actually might also be viewed as a homage to the composer who died recently, on March 11, 2021. In a private note to the Symposium, Colman, who was close to Giménez, expressed his thoughts on Giménez’s legacy:

The recent passing of Florentín Giménez (March 11, 2021) leaves a deep void in regard to Paraguayan music and culture. Composer, conductor, performer, researcher, educator, recording artist, writer, and advocate for the promotion of Paraguayan culture in general, Mr. Giménez was the last representative of a 20th century generation of Paraguayan musicians searching for a “Paraguayan sound.” Highly influenced by Latin American folk and concert music, as well as the various musical genres of his country and 19th century European nationalism, his eclectic style produced numerous symphonic, chamber, and folk-style compositions exemplifying a musical nationalism committed to illustrate aspects of Paraguayan history and cultural identity. At the time of his passing, Giménez was working on a recording project of newly-composed folk-style songs, orchestrating the first movement of a new symphony, and finishing the publication of his seventh Songbook. (Colman, personal correspondence, March 29, 2021).

Kevin E. Mooney’s article “Erlkönig: Goethe, Schubert, and Resurrecting the Son,” presents a fascinating perspective that the characters in the Erlking poem (father, son, etc.) perhaps should not be viewed literally but rather reflect “the eternal dynamic of the human maturation process from childhood to adulthood” and serve as “signposts along a life’s journey.”

As for our section on Performances, Lectures, Lecture-Recitals (PLL), we have Adam Gaines’ affirming review, with published video, of the Kennesaw State University (KSU) Jazz Ensemble 1 and KSU Symphony Orchestra performing Harlem by Duke Ellington; and Diana Shapiro’s review elucidates the nuances of pianist Yun Ji Kwak’s performances of the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, the Chopin Andante Spianato et Grand Polonaise Brillante, and the Prokofiev Sonata No. 4 Op.29.

Andy Hudson penned the book review of Alex Ross’ “enormously readable” monograph on Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music; and Kimberly Goddard Loeffert reviews Daphne Leong, et al., Performing Knowledge: Twentieth-Century Music in Analysis and Performance, with its accompanying website and a “trove of resources.” Audio Reviews this issue feature acoustic, classical or jazz instrumentations performing innovative, more contemporary works. They include Sarah Rushing’s assessment of The Silence Between: Music for Piano, with Kris Carlisle on piano, that showcases the work of ten modern composers; Joel Love’s review of the “wildly expressive” The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul performed by the Branford Marsalis Quartet; and Andrew Allen’s review of Wax and Wire, performed by the contemporary-classical group Latitude 49. Also, Ariana Wyatt reviews the more varied program (a classical and contemporary mix) with mezzo-soprano and piano in Live from the Cullen: Sasha Cooke and Kirill Kuzmin.

Overall, issue 61.1 is another robust Symposium offering, which is fitting as it commemorates the College Music Symposium’s 60th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary (1961-2021). As we celebrate this historic achievement, we should pause for a moment and thank all of those throughout the decades who have made the journal possible, especially our current crew who, in the past few years, have led the Symposium into a new phase. Thanks goes to the CMS office staff, notably Beth Mast and Executive Director William Pelto, to the countless peer reviewers and to the many committed members of the diverse Symposium Boards. And a note of special gratitudemust go to the dedicated Component editors: Vincent P. Benitez, Brendan McConville, Anna Hersey, Stan Pelkey, Richard Masters, Jacquelyn Sholes, and Rush Hicks, without whom, there would be no journal.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 19/05/2021

Lisa A. Urkevich, General Editor

Lisa Urkevich, PhD is Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology and former founding Division Head (Dean) of Arts and Humanities and founding Chair of the Department of Music and Drama at the American University of Kuwait (AUK). She also regularly serves as an advisor for a myriad of international government and private sector initiatives in the performing arts and education. She specializes in the music of the Arabian Peninsula as well as Renaissance music and is the author of several publications, including Music and Traditions of the Arabian Peninsula (Routledge 2015), and Anne Boleyn’s French Motet Book: A Childhood Gift” (Paris-Sorbonne 2011). Before joining AUK, she was a fulltime professor at Boston University where she held a joint position in the College of Fine Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has taught at several institutions including Bucknell University and the University of Maryland. She is a former editor of the International CPE Bach Edition and for seven years was the Film/Video Reviews Editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music (UNESCO). She is recipient of the Alumna of the Year Award at the University of Maryland and is 2015 Harvard University Fellow. She holds four degrees: PhD University of Maryland; MM Florida State University; BS Towson University; BA University of Maryland Baltimore County.