Dear Sasrim member,

On behalf of the Sasrim Executive Committee, best wishes to you for 2015! I hope the year will bring continued innovative, quality and critical discussions, not only in your work environment, but also at conferences and in publishing. 2014 has sped by during which Sasrim has continued its annual activities that include hosting the 2014 conference (at Wits in September), the planning of this year’s conference (at UCT in July) as well as the publishing of our accredited journal, Samus. To achieve this, the society continues to rely on the unselfish input from the executive committee members, and I would like to thank them for their time and energy! A bit more on each of the above in this bulletin.

For the day-to-day functioning of the executive committee, a number of routines have been put in place over the past year to ensure its effective functioning. Being spread throughout the country (currently members of the executive committee reside in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Grahamstown and Durban) the committee normally convenes 3 times a year: twice per telephone conference and once face to face, traditionally on the evening before the start of each conference. Most of the work is orientated towards administrative tasks. For some of the tasks, especially with regard to the programme committee and arrangements for the conference, formal procedures have been drawn up in order to facilitate proper functioning. 2014 has brought its own unique situations and challenges to these functions and as the committee gains experience, our procedures are adjusted and updated according to the needs at hand. All of this work happens during the free time available to committee members.

The formal composition of the committee has slightly changed in 2014. Jaco Kruger (North-West University) has resigned from the committee. He served on the publications committee and later on the programme committee. I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to him for his contribution to Sasrim over the past five years. In the case of resignations before official elections take place, the committee may appoint a suitable candidate as replacement. Ignatia Madalane (Unisa) joined the executive committee as new member in August 2014. We welcome her to our midst and we are grateful for the enthusiasm that she brings to the team. The current committee consists of Etienne Viviers, Rebekka Sandmeier, Alvin Petersen, Isaac Machafa, Marie Jorritsma, Ignatia Madalane, Willemien Froneman, Santie de Jongh, Jeffrey Brukman, Claudia Jansen van Rensburg, Annemie Behr, Brett Pyper and myself.

With regard to SAMUS, the expectation is that Volume 34 (for 2014) as well as Volume 35 will be published in the course of 2015. Volume 34, with Kathryn Olsen as guest-editor, is planned as a themed issue, dedicated to Andrew Tracey. While a number of articles for this volume are secure, more submissions are still welcome. It is not required that these articles be directly related to Andrew Tracey or his work. Work on Volume 35, with Willemien Froneman and Stephanus Muller as joint editors, is already making progress.

The 2014 Conference at Wits was a successful and memorable event. A big thank you goes to Grant Olwage and his team for making sure that the conference was so well organized. The Wits team were able to combine the Sasrim conference with the Unyazi New Music Festival which provided ample opportunities to hear and discuss live new music. On the scholarly front, the keynote address by London educationalist Lucy Green was described by many attendees as most inspirational and a highlight. The conference also addressed a number of contentious and sensitive issues relevant to the society as well as the academy in general. These include the panel discussion on Research Ethics with which the conference opened. Most attendees will agree that the sessions where the issue came up were surprisingly tough and it is expected that the topic will continue to be debated at future conferences. At the Annual General Meeting held during the conference, the Executive Committee was tasked with drafting a code of conduct to be presented to the AGM at the 2015 conference. Another issue that prompted a vigorous debate during the AGM was the possible introduction of Study/Interest Groups to Sasrim. Grant Olwage was tasked with convening a panel to debate this issue at the next conference. It was also decided that the programme committee would accommodate members’ proposals for activities by Study/Interest groups on the programme for the 2015 conference.

Sasrim’s Ninth Annual Congress will be held from 16-18 July 2015 at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town. For this event the executive committee invited a keynote speaker from South Africa as well as one from abroad, this in order to place the work of both local and international scholarship in special focus during our conferences. We have approached the well-known expert on South African music Christopher Ballantine (emeritus professor, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal) and Lydia Goehr (professor, Columbia University) whose fields of interest include music philosophy and aesthetics. Both speakers have accepted the invitation. Lydia Goehr’s visit is still dependent on available funding for her travel expenses to South Africa. Should we be able to secure funding now and in the coming years, we will continue to invite a local and international scholar as keynotes.

The Call for Papers has been sent to you and the deadline for submission of proposals is 16 February 2015. Please email your proposals to abstracts@sasrim.ac.za. Do take note that membership of Sasrim is not a prerequisite for attending or presenting at our conferences. We appeal all postgraduate supervisors to encourage their students to submit abstracts for papers, and to attend the conference. While Sasrim has in the past offered token financial support to students and will continue to do so in future, we request that this be a last resort and that departments share responsibility for enabling students to participate in our national congress.

As you may know, the term of the existing committee expires this year and the society’s members will have the opportunity to elect a new executive committee at the upcoming conference at UCT in July 2015. In this regard I would like to bring to your attention that a number of key positions in the executive committee will become vacant. This is due to some of the current members who either need time to pursue studies, devote energies to other time consuming tasks within the Sasrim infrastructure, or having served on the committee for an extended period of time already, need to step down. Ensuring continuity of experience as well as the need for new initiatives and energies to serve on the Sasrim executive committee, I would like to urge members to seriously consider making themselves available for the positions on the committee when these come up for election as next year’s conference.

Finally, we would like to remind members of membership fees. The fee structure is as follows:
Ordinary member: ZAR275
Overseas member/library subscriptions: ZAR450
Student member/pensioner: ZAR150 (Students to provide proof of registration)

Payments can be deposited into Sasrim’s bank account at First National Bank, Stellenbosch branch (200610) and account number 62439200768. Our treasurer, Claudia Jansen van Rensburg, will send out reminders in due course, but should you have any queries regarding payments for your membership, do contact her on treasurer@sasrim.ac.za.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Sasrim Conference in Cape Town in July!

Best regards,

Hilde Roos (Sasrim Chair)