By Beth Wiemann
Hello, and welcome to SCI
As the incoming President of the Society of Composer, Inc., I’d like to greet all those already in our organization, and all those with an interest in contemporary composers and their work. We at SCI are working to further living composers and their new music colleagues as a community, and we hope that our activities are inspiring that community.
Even in these particularly unstable times, SCI is working on adapting, maintaining contemporary music in the public sphere as much as possible, and in the process keep our community of composers, performers, and listeners engaged. Before the pandemic hit, SCI was beginning efforts to diversify our community, efforts that include recruiting new Board members and highlighting our student chapters’ efforts. We have continued with these efforts in light of the national movement against institutionalized racism, and will make regular steps forward in the future, with regular consultations with our membership. This past summer, we revamped out dues payments requirements, and we hope that this change leads to increased membership and connections within our community. While we and many or our fellow performing organizations are unable to host live conferences or concerts while under the various COVID restrictions across the U.S., we are moving forward with virtual offerings, particularly around the SCI composition contests. I encourage all of you to keep in contact with SCI, either through the website or our social media, to follow these activities as they are put together.
I want to thank Mark Phillips and Carter Rice for all their work at the head of the organization over the last few years, and particularly for their work since Gerald Warfield’s illness and death this past spring. Gerald will be difficult to replace, both as a historian of SCI and a pillar of the necessary background work for the group. We will be in touch with everyone as we plan on ways to assign his duties for the short and long term.
For those new to SCI, there is a lot of information about the group’s history and activities on the site where you’ve found this welcome message. But perhaps the scope of the group can be seen best through the archive of its conferences found at the University of Texas at Arlington, online at https://library.uta.edu/sci/. This major compendium was completed in 2018, and shows the commitment of the volunteers involved in making it happen. I hope the level of activities shown there will lead some of you to take on hosting conferences when we can all do this safely again.
I look forward to working with you all, and wish you the best of luck for the rest of 2020 and beyond. – Beth Wiemann