Notes from the President

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From the May 2013 issue of the League's newsletter, MUSIC NOW.
Greetings, fellow Composers! I am excited to inform you all that our 2014 Forum will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, hosted by the UT Chattanooga Music Department. The dates will be Feb. 20 - 22. I am still working on the availability of specific ensembles, and will communicate those details later. I am hoping to raise enough money through grants to be able to invite a professional ensemble to do a mini-residency during the Forum; this effort is under way. Most likely, the call for scores will be set for September or October, to give adequate time for score review and repertoire choices. Details for the Salop-Slates Competition will go out earlier as well, with a due date of late November.

Reflections on the 2013 Forum

The 2013 Forum at Morehead State University was a most enjoyable weekend of music and reconnecting with friends and colleagues. The Forum was held in conjunction with Morehead State’s Contemporary Piano Festival. Dr. Chia-Ling Hsieh and her husband, SCL Vice-President Michael Young, were tireless, well-organized, and gracious hosts, as well as gifted performers in the Forum. Even with all that was happening in the joint events, I never saw anyone looking “harried.” The concerts ran smoothly, performances went well, numerous faculty and student musicians participated, and there was even a large lounge area set aside for us to use for the weekend, to hang out between concerts. I must also say a big “thank you” to Dr. Donald Grant, Music Department Chair at Morehead State, for welcoming SCL to his campus.

The Business Meeting this year was well attended, and there was a lot of vigorous, open discussion. Numerous good questions were raised and ideas offered, several of which are either being followed up on already, or will be in the next few months. This was perhaps the most productive business meeting I have attended. Thanks to all who contributed!

The Human Factor

As if it were not already enough to hear a variety of interesting new and recent works presented well, and to have a business meeting that was worth the time, this Forum was enjoyable because of the Human factor. Friends, colleagues, fellow composers, who see each other infrequently, had time between events to chat, get caught up with each other, relax... In a lobby discussion with a few SCL members, it was stated that our ´┐╝Forums are not just about having our music played; indeed, the time and opportunity to just hang out together is of great value. The truth of that statement has really stuck with me. Of the three music conferences or festivals that I attended in February and March this year, the SCL Forum was the most enjoyable, musically and personally. There are wonderful people in SCL who see each other perhaps once per year, if even that, but they are nevertheless friends. Music by SCL members is more stylistically diverse than one may find in some of the other composer organizations, which I think is a strength (not that one group is better than another, just different).

Words of Appreciation to Officers

Thank you to Ken Davies, past-President of SCL, for his leadership over the past two years. Ken’s entrepreneurial skills and energy as an independent composer have been good for SCL, especially since academic posts are increasingly difficult to find and secure. Among other things, Ken helped get us moving two years ago on the matter of updating our website, and this year SCL member Terry Vosbein urged us on to update again with new functionality and a more appealing ‘look,’ which was agreed upon in a vote.
Thank you to Mark Francis, outgoing Treasurer, who served willingly in that post for years. Untangling the membership roster, figuring out who has paid dues and who hasn’t, taking care of writing checks to Salop-Slates winners and the SCL contribution to the Forum host institutions... We appreciate Mark’s devotion to SCL and his contributions as a composer-member as well, as well as having served as a Forum coordinator in the past.

And, I want to thank the incoming new officers for being willing to serve, who include Fred Cohen, a new member, as Treasurer; and Harvey Stokes as Secretary. Michael Young, who has served ably as Secretary the past two years, has moved into the position of Vice-President, and will oversee the Salop-Slates competitions.

Welcome to New Members

I know of two new members from the 2012-13 year, and at least one new member for 2013. Welcome to Fred Cohen, William Price and Lauren McCall! If there are other new members overlooked in this post, my apologies, and please let me know so that we can recognize you on the website and our Facebook page.

— Jonathan McNair