SEAMUS Board — Minutes of January 9, 2024, Meeting 11am – 1pm).
The form of these Minutes is a synopsis of the Board’s more detailed full Minutes.
The SEAMUS Board convened its regular quarterly meeting via Zoom, spread across two meetings on consecutive days.
Ted Coffey (TC), Elizabeth Hoffman (Liz), Becky Brown (BB), Heather Mease (HM), Mark Vaughn (MV), Scott Miller (SM), Abby Aresty (AA), Eli Fieldsteel (EF), Leah Reid (LR), and Drake Andersen (DA).
- The SEAMUS CD series Report:
Volume 33 should arrive in mailboxes in May 2024. SEAMUS cds are a new imprint on the New Focus label. There is a one-time lifetime cost to publish and distribute through Naxos U.S.A. New Focus sends cd publications to various reviewers and radio stations. SEAMUS has switched to cardboard wallets, toward environmental conscientiousness and reduced mailing costs. The cd replicator currently does fulfillment. The majority of SEAMUS members continue to opt in (option implemented in 2016) to receive the physical cd.
- Re-releases project:
These are jewel-case cds that span 25 years of publication, left-overs that no one had purchased. The re-release project is in progress but currently paused; its goal is to create digital distribution through Naxos. SEAMUS has 15 left to release, which would be 8 years, at two per year. Discussion of using the warehoused physical jewel-cased cds for fund-raising or other promotion.
- Report on Budget: Discussion of annual administrative expenses and student award expenses. Agreement that the newly created CREATE grants need to be figured into the budget, and advocacy for attention to featured thematic cd releases like the ‘miniatures’ of the past. Board concurrence around strong preference for weighting or funding activities that serve the younger, marginalized membership.
Board consensus is to put the re-release plan on hold until mid-Spring.
4. Conference Report:
SEAMUS had 179 Conference submissions, just shy of the 200 mark of 2021. Judging is going well overall. Discussion of how to vote on pieces which will form the next SEAMUS cd. Discussion of putting all pieces online for all members to vote; discussion of alternate method of having the voting happen at the live events by attendees and/or streamed events with membership overall as well.
5. Community Virtual Forums and Mentorship: Discussion of very successful Conference Webinar series created by Leah Reid, VP for Projects and Programs, and endorsement of a regular community forum, virtually, for SEAMUS members to meet and discuss ideas. Presentation of state of Mentor-Mentee program created by Abby Aresty, VP for membership, this past Fall 2023 – which attracted 11 mentors and 11 mentees.
6. Journal Report: discussion of specific solicitations to attract members to share aspects of their creative lives, for photo essays and other very creative journal pieces. SEAMUS welcomes a new Asstistant Editor, Kramer Elwell.
7. Brief discussion of SEAMUS’ attention to DEI serving as a valuable model for the international community.
Meeting adjourned, 1pm EST/noon CST
Liz Hoffman, standing in for John Gibson, Secretary
SEAMUS Board — Minutes of January 10, 2024, Meeting (11am – 1pm)
The SEAMUS Board convened its regular quarterly meeting via Zoom, spread across two meetings on consecutive days. These minutes cover the second meeting, which began at 11:07 a.m. EST.
John Gibson (JG), Elizabeth Hoffman (Liz), Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner (EHT), Heather Mease (HM), Mark Vaughn (MV).
- Upcoming Board election status (JG)
– Discussion of draft of a nomination solicitation email. Discussion of importance of candidates knowing the organization mission statement and bylaws, and understanding the time commitment.
- Voting for the CD
– Idea presented that voting should happen in proximity to the live events, as it used to be for the traditional conference (normally immediately following the last concert).
Post meeting working group decided to ask each host to have voting during their Event, either with a hard copy ballot form or via a google form online. Each host will send their top two selections to Mark, Director of Communications, who will put these pieces online for all members to listen to and vote on. Scott, Director of Recordings, will then curate the cd from this final ranking.
- Budget – continued, and expanding membership:
– SEAMUS reserves are lower than we assess as healthy for all ongoing expenses and expanding programs, mostly from hosting the NYC conference. SEAMUS has two immediate goals: expanding membership and returning to a single 3-day conference (as often as possible).
– Some members have worked on grant submissions. Nothing has yielded funds thus far aside from our present ongoing conversation with the Sweetwater company. This was prompted by ASCAP’s withdrawal of support several years ago.
– Counter discussion of how much we should really want to expand. We should want to be mindful of economic and professional equity issues, as well as encouraging stylistic diversity as part of an expanding membership. The traditional events that center concert music might not be the best way to expand membership.
– This year there are opportunities that reflect stylistic diversity, including the NYC events that feature live sets, the involvement of the rapper RTSNeutral, the Soundscapes of Inner Peace concert, Living Room Music, etc. Keenan Zach’s efforts go beyond giving concerts, to helping people learn to write for double bass (so offering a benefit beyond a performance).
- Finding conference hosts
– How can we encourage people to host? The three-day approach requiring two simultaneously active venues is a lot for people and institutions to take on.
– Each Board member should make a list of two institutions to whom we can reach out with encouragement to host. Ask what they might be able to do, if not a traditional conference.
The meeting was adjourned around 1 p.m. EST.
John Gibson, Secretary
Board Meeting Minutes, 6/13/2023
Liz (current Pres)
Scott (Dir Recordings)
Becky (Technical Dir)
Drake (Ed Journal)
Mark (Communications Dir)
Elizabeth (EHT) (Diversity and Inclusion)
Ralph (MAL, outreach)
Ted (past Pres)
Leah (VP for Programs and Projects)
Discussion of financial impact of producing the 2023 Conference, the first time SEAMUS has produced the annual conference. Clarifications on annual budget moving forward with more Board distributed oversight and involvement. Agreement about need for more outlets for interactive engagement of membership throughout the year. General agreement to abandon SEAMUS Twitter account but investigate Discord and perhaps a YouTube channel. Consensus that SEAMUS continue relying upon Submittables, the company/app we use for adjudication.
Reports from DEI Board sub-committee include information about outreach to HCBU’s. Idea of applying for an Aaron Copland grant.
SEAMUS Board — Minutes of June 28, 2023, Members’ Meeting
The SEAMUS Board convened its annual members’ meeting via Zoom at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
Abby Aresty (AA), Ted Coffey (TC), John Gibson (JG), Elizabeth Hoffman (Liz), Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner (EHT), Ralph Lewis (RL), Heather Meese (HM), Scott Miller (SM), Leah Reid (LR), Mark Vaughn (MV), Cecilia Wu (CW).
Eight members attended.
Reiteration of Board goal to make SEAMUS more transparent regarding what it does as an organization, and to enable it to better reflect the will of its members.
– What else can SEAMUS most usefully offer its current members? Can the organization better understand EAM music that doesn’t typically appear on SEAMUS programs and ensure fewer impediments?
– Covid forced us into unprecedented modes of outreach. This had some beneficial effects: a successful 2021 entirely online conference, which brought in other kinds of content than that normally featured at SEAMUS conferences. Seamus is more aware of DEI concerns for subsequent in-person conferences: making space for pronouns, eliminating institutions on nametags, eliminating the banquet, which was unaffordable for many — all of this to break down barriers and make people feel more comfortable.
– Going forward, Seamus is committed to striving for more opportunities which are virtual events, online open access publications, competitions targeted to specific groups, and other ways to recognize people who don’t have the benefits afforded by stable academic positions.
– Decision made to establish a mentorship program.
A sample of member comments:
XYZ would welcome more opportunities for undergraduates of varying backgrounds to get involved in SEAMUS activities.
XYZ noted that many non-US composers aren’t used to the idea of paying for opportunities to have their music played/performed.
XYZ shared that they like the regional model where events lower costs and raise efficiency. They also bring electroacoustic music to the local community.
Board consensus that the form of “the SEAMUS conference” doesn’t have to be the same every year. It could be national or a set of regional events; it could be in-person or online, perhaps oscillating amongst these different models. The 2021 fully-online conference fostered a strong sense of community, so could be worth considering again. General consideration that there may be an upside in enabling disparate kinds of conference models which may rotate as pragmatic factors dictate year to year.
One of the functions the conference serves is for professional development and advancement within academia. CREATE grants also provide a direct professional benefit.