For the first time in the nearly fifty-year history of CCM’s musicology program, the department is hosting a national academic conference of the Society for American Music and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-U.S. Branch. The conference takes place March 9 – 13, Wednesday through Sunday, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. Scholars and students will be traveling from 41 of the 50 states, as well as such countries as Brazil, Canada, Finland, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, St. Thomas, Turkey and the West Indies.
Although most of the conference occurs downtown, registrants will be bussed to CCM for two concerts: on Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m. in Werner Recital Hall, the Percussion Group Cincinnati will present a varied program of twentieth-century music, including works by John Luther Adams, John Cage, Colin McPhee, and CCM alumna Moiya Callahan. On Saturday at 12:45 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium the CCM Wind Symphony will offer “A Sousa Spectacular on the Centenary of the World Tour, 1910–1912.” The all-Sousa program features not only three of the composer’s marches, but also suites, dance-based works and occasional pieces, such as Nymphalin – Reverie with Timothy Lee, concertmaster of the CSO. Both concerts are free and open to the public.
The conference program itself features paper sessions, lecture recitals, film screenings and plenary sessions spanning the entire history of American music, on such topics as “Musical Culture in Nineteenth-Century Cincinnati,” “Music and the Mythology of Motown,” “Twentieth-Century American Opera,” “Dolly Parton and the ‘Country’ in the Country Music,” “Immigrant Musical Theater,” “The War of 1812: An Urban Response in Song,” “King Records Remembered” and “Historicizing African American Music.” Four of CCM’s current graduate students are presenting papers (Yu Jueng Dahn, Kevin Lewis, Daniel Mathers, and Meredith Juergens), as well as a former student (Aaron Ziegel) and visiting professor (Melinda Boyd).
The Local Arrangements Committee for the meeting, CCM professors bruce mcclung (chair) and Jeongwon Joe, and Sandra Johnson (Miami University-Hamilton) and Jewel Smith (Xavier University) have spent the past two years planning for the conference, which includes curator-led tours of several of Cincinnati’s museums on Friday afternoon. Cincinnati’s active jazz scene will also be well represented, with CCM faculty member Phil DeGreg and his trio playing for the opening reception, and the Blue Wisp Big Band providing the entertainment for Saturday evening’s banquet. As of this past Thursday, there were 475 people registered for the conference, but walk-up registrations will probably push the final number closer to 500. The full program for the conference is available at www.american-music.org.