Dear SASRIM member,

As you know, a new Executive Committee was elected in July 2015 to serve SASRIM’s needs for the next three years. Since the last AGM where these elections took place, the new ExCo has met twice. I am happy to now be able to report on behalf of the ExCo some developments, changes, news, new directions and ideas, and I welcome all members’ responses.

i) Strategy Document

During the AGM of 17 July 2015, some strong statements were made in regards to particular aspects of SASRIM: our member demographics; the constitution of our conferences; inclusivity and representativeness; SASRIM’s public profile. The ExCo accepted as a mandate that these and other issues needed to be explored and addressed as a matter of urgency. A first step in this process was to develop a ‘strategy document’ for the society, which could clearly articulate specific steps and strategies that the ExCo would take in order to facilitate development and change. Matters addressed in this document include: conference structure and format; the creation of a curatorial brief for conference programming; development of specific recruitment strategies aimed at students, knowledge practitioners, performing artists and individuals not linked with academe; improvement of inter-societal relationships with groups such as New Music SA, the South African Society for Music Teachers, IASPM and others; and ways to increase the visibility and presence of the Society. Over the course of the last two ExCo meetings, the strategy document was discussed and developed, and different action plans have been put into motion to address these issues.

ii) Committee Structure

We were fortunate to have a very smooth change-over between outgoing and incoming ExCos, for which I would like to thank our predecessors! A decision was made to have members of the steering committee also serve on specific committees: Lizabé Lambrechts will serve on the programme Committee, and I have joined the Recruitment Committee. The new ExCo is constituted as follows:

Chair: Mareli Stolp
Vice-Chair: Lizabe Lambrects
Treasurer: Ignatia Madalane
Secretary: Stephanie Vos
Programme Committee: Lizabe Lambrechts, Grant Olwage, Carina Venter; Lee Watkins
Recruitment Committee: Mareli Stolp, Felicia Lesch, Kathryn Olsen
Website, Marketing and Communications Committee: Cara Stacey, Santie de Jongh, Rebekka Sandmeier
Publications Committee: Claudia Jansen van Rensburg, Sylvia Bruinders
SAMUS: Willemien Froneman, Stephanus Muller

iii) SAMUS Volumes 34 and 35

The editors of SAMUS have decided to combine volumes 34 and 35 into a single publication, and I am happy to report that this combined volume should be available very early in 2016. It promises to be a significant publication, as always covering a wide range of topics significant in the field, and with a new and innovative lay-out design which promises to strengthen the already powerful content.

iv) Conference 2016

The keynote speakers for the 2016 conference, taking place from 25-27 August 2016 at the Odeion School of Music in Bloemfontein, have been confirmed. They are Stephanus Muller from Stellenbosch University, and Guthrie Ramsey from the University of Pennsylvania. Their curriculum vitae will be available on the Call for Papers for the 2016 conference, which will be distributed within the month.

v) Membership and fees

This serves as a gentle reminder to all members to please check their records to ensure their membership fees are settled for 2015. When making payments, please use your surname and initials as reference, and do not hesitate to contact our Treasurer (treasurer@sasrim.ac.za) with any queries! More news to follow in the new year – I wish you all a joyous festive season and a well deserved rest!

All best,

Mareli

Dr Mareli Stolp
Postdoctoral Fellow: Unisa
Chair: South African Society for Research in Music
E-mail: chair@sasrim.ac.za