Autumn 2006


Vol. 2, No. 2

Full Reports from the NABMSA Conference


Table of Contents


Annual General

Where: AMS/SMT 2006 meeting, Hyatt Century Hotel, Los Angeles (room TBA)

When: Saturday, November 4,
12:00 p.m.

On the Agenda: location and date of our Third Biennial Meeting, 2008; election results; general proposals, feedback, and discussion.


NABMSA members attending the Second Biennial Conference mourn the loss of Ben & Jerry’s “Cool Britannia” ice cream.

A Word from our President
by Nicholas Temperley

I am still enjoying the afterglow of our second conference, held at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont in August 2006. It was beautifully planned by the Program Committee, and especially well hosted by Nathaniel Lew. As the only NABMSA member for hundreds of miles around, Nat had to make all the local arrangements himself. Everything seemed to go like clockwork, and everybody seemed happy. A memorable event was the dinner cruise on Lake Champlain, where we were favored with perfect weather. When out of range of the piped music, one could enjoy lively conversation in idyllic surroundings, or enter a solitary dream world where even musicology did not intrude.

The Selection Committee had chosen 38 papers and lecture-recitals out of over 50 submissions, a healthy situation for a young organization like ours. I thought the standard was consistently high. The climax came with the closing lecture-concert, in which a brilliant group of performers and scholars gave us a convincing display of how gesture and voice production can enhance the effect of baroque mad songs. They brought the music to life in ways I had not experienced before, and backed up their interpretations with convincing evidence. Earlier, there was a fascinating keynote address by Christina Bashford, who brought new and wide-ranging evidence to refute the conventional “Land ohne Musik” picture of Victorian domestic life.

We are clearly in good shape, socially and intellectually, though it would be nice if we had a more even distribution of interest over the history of British music. Our strongest hub has always been the time on either side of 1900, an exciting period indeed, no matter whether it was a “Renaissance” or when it is held to begin. On the other hand, what used to be called the Golden Age of English music, on either side of 1600, is sparsely represented among us, as are the earlier centuries; but I think this can be partly explained by the existence of long-established organizations giving ample coverage to those periods. It is more surprising to find so few 18th-century scholars in our group. If you can think of possible recruits, especially from the lean periods, do please tell them what a terrific society NABMSA is. We do need new members. (We also need new subscriptions from lapsed members!)

Our annual general meeting will be at 12:00 noon on Saturday, November 4, during the AMS/SMT meeting at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles. It’s a chance to test new ideas and proposals and get a general reaction. Specifically, we need to determine the venue and date of the third biennial conference, set for 2008. We hope also to announce at that time the election of officers and Board members-at-large for the coming year. The election itself will be conducted by Secretary Deborah Heckert by mail and e-mail during the month of October. Meanwhile, if you would like to propose yourself or someone else for the Board, or for one of the offices, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee: Dorothy de Val (, Roberta Marvin (, or Charles McGuire (