News & Announcements

§ Wayne Shirley Research Fellowship

Wayne ShirleyThe Society for American Music has established a Wayne Shirley Fellowship that when endowed will fund an annual research residency at the Library of Congress. The Society's Development Committee invites members and friends to help endow it.

Starting in 1965, Wayne served as a reference librarian and then music specialist in the Music Division at the Library of Congress. During his thirty-seven year tenure there he was also editor of the Society’s first quarterly journal, American Music.

Wayne has been the recipient of our Society’s highest honors: the Distinguished Service Award (1996) and the Lifetime Achievement Award (2010). He has been a loyal, stimulating, and valued presence at conferences for decades, and has assisted and encouraged generations of scholars.

In recognition of Wayne’s inestimable legacy to American music scholarship, please make a donation today!

Contribute $75 to the
Wayne Shirley Fund
Contribute any amount to the
Wayne Shirley Fund

§ SAM/2.0 Campaign Approaching Goal

SAM 2.0 LogoThe four-year SAM/2.0 Campaign is on the cusp of reaching our $1-million goal, and together we can reach that milestone by the time we meet for our 42nd Annual Conference in Boston (9-13 March 2016). The success of the Campaign to date has enhanced the Society’s ability to fund, promote, and reward new scholarship in all music of the Americas. Six new fellowships have already been endowed, and more can be completed with your help. We are on the brink of completing the Anne Dhu McLucas Fund, which will support graduate students pursuing research for fieldwork in traditional or Native American/First Nation music. Pledges to the Eileen Southern Fund will help to endow a fellowship for research on music of the African diaspora. We also wish to complete the Charles Hamm Fund, which will support a popular music research residency at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library & Archives in Cleveland, Ohio. The Society is teaming up with Case Western Reserve University’s Center for Popular Music (which will match donations dollar-for-dollar) to sponsor the Hamm Fellowship. If you have yet to make a donation or pledge, please take a moment and visit, where you will be able to help complete these vital research funds and complete the SAM/2.0 Campaign!

§ 2017 Annual Conference in Montreal, Québec

Montreal in FallThe 43rd Annual Conference will be held in Montreal, Québec (22-26 March 2017). The Call for Seminar Topics has been issued with a deadline of 20 February 2016. The Call for Papers will be announced by Steve Swayne, 2017 Program Chair, at our upcoming meeting in Boston. McGill University will be hosting the Montreal conference, with Lisa Barg serving as chair of local arrangements. This will be the third time our annual conference will be held in Canada, and we hope that our meeting location will encourage submissions that resonate with our society’s dedication to studying all musics in the Americas.

§ 2016 Election Results

The 2016 election produced the following results:

§ Terri Lyne Carrington Named SAM Honorary Member for 2016

The Society for American Music is delighted to announce that Terri Lyne Carrington (drummer, composer, producer, media entrepreneur) will be our Honorary Member at the 42nd annual meeting to be held in Boston in 2016.

Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington
2016 Honorary Member

Terri Lyne Carrington’s career spans nearly forty years, having begun while a child prodigy in a jazz family in the Boston area. Her drum studies began at age 7, her first professional job as a jazz drummer came at age 10, and at age 11 she received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music (where she holds an honorary doctorate and has recently become a professor). Though the “played-with” list of jazz giants continued through her childhood, she quickly became recognized as a first-tier session and touring drummer, especially through her work with genre-bending jazz and fusion artists including Wayne Shorter and David Sanborn, and a long association with Herbie Hancock—she was a member of all three of Hancock’s touring bands (acoustic and electric) from 1997 to 2007. In the late 1980s, she was the house drummer on the Arsenio Hall Show, while also shifting her focus to writing and producing for both her own projects and those of other artists (including Diane Reeves). Her recent work as a musician-producer has tended toward large-scale cross-genre, cross-generational collaborations. She received a 2011 Grammy for Jazz Vocal for her Mosaic Project (2011), a collaboration of women music artists. In 2013 she became the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental album for Money Jungle: Provocation in Blue. A local treasure, Carrington was born in Medford, MA, studied and now teaches at Berklee, and is Artistic Director of Boston’s Beantown Jazz Festival. More extensive information on her musical activities can be found at

2016 Annual Meeting information

§ Anne Dhu McLucas Research Fellowship

Anne Dhu McLucas
Anne Dhu McLucas

Anne Dhu McLucas was a brilliant polymath with wide-ranging interests in all things musical, a wonderful teacher and demanding but supportive mentor, a stellar scholar, a mountain-climber and skier, and a gentle woman with an infectious personality. She was cut down in in the prime of her life, the victim of homicide, but her memory and legacy lives on.

After Anne’s death the Society for American Music created a fellowship in her memory.  We chose to focus on two areas of scholarship that were near to her heart—non-native music in the oral tradition and the music of Native Americans.  The fellowship, when completed, will fund research (either archival or in the field) by a graduate student.

The Society will be meeting next March in Boston—a city with which Anne closely identified. She was a Harvard graduate and faculty member, a scholar who delved deeply into materials in the Harvard Theatre Collection, and an influential faculty member at Boston College. It would be fitting to be able to announce completion of this fellowship at the Boston meeting.  Would you help us do so?

Contribute $75 to the
Anne Dhu McLucas Fund
  Contribute any amount to the
Anne Dhu McLucas Fund

§ Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship

Judith McCulloh
Paul Charosh

The Society for American Music is now accepting applications for the inaugural Paul Charosh Independent Scholar Fellowship. This new award, generously funded by longtime SAM member Paul Charosh, is intended to foster research by independent scholars, and to encourage their participation in Society conferences. For purposes of this award, an “independent scholar” is someone who does not teach at an institution of higher learning, or who does so with a non-renewable contract of one year or less. Applicants are not required to hold any particular degree or certification. They may be current SAM members but others, pursuing a scholarly life outside the academy, are also eligible. These may include journalists, music critics, biographers, and others whose work is of professional value to those working within the academy. The initial award will be in the amount of $1,500. The recipient will be expected to attend and participate in the Society’s 2016 conference in Boston. Specific conditions of the participation will be made in consultation with the award committee and the Society’s Board. The awardee’s name and presence, and nature of their participation in the conference, will be noted in the program. Conference registration fees for the awardee will be waived.  The inaugural fellowship will be presented at the SAM 2016 conference in Boston, and the application deadline is November 1, 2015.

Please visit the Charosh Fellowship page for complete information.

§ Richard Crawford 80th Birthday Wishes

Richard CrawfordFounding member Richard Crawford turns 80 on May 12, 2015, and the SAM Development Committee invites members to mark this milestone with a donation of $80 or $800 gift to the Richard Crawford Fund. 

This fund seeks to recognize Rich’s ground-breaking career, his influential publications on American music, his shaping of the discipline for over forty years, and his service as founding Editor-in-Chief of Music of the United States (MUSA), a pioneering series of scholarly editions. As of May 2015, twenty-five of the projected forty MUSA volumes have been published.  In addition to his landmark publications on figures as diverse as Andrew Law, William Billings, and George Gershwin, Rich has played a key role in shaping how today’s scholars treat the importance of musical performance, the role of musical institutions, and the impact of economic forces on the development of America’s musical life.

When fully endowed, the Richard Crawford Fund will create an annual fellowship to support research by editors of volumes in the MUSA series. Please join us in wishing Rich a very Happy 80th Birthday by helping to complete this fund in his honor!

Contribute $80 to the
Richard Crawford Fund
  Contribute $800 to the
Richard Crawford Fund
  Contribute any amount to the
Richard Crawford Fund

§ 2015 Society for American Music Conference

Olly Wilson

Olly Wilson (l), with wife Eloise, after being presented with the 2015 Honorary Membership Award.

Josephine Wright

Josephine Wright (l), winner of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, with Judy Tsou and Judith Tick.

Dan Blim

Dan Blim (c), winner of the 2015 Housewright Dissertation Award, with Gwynne Kuhner Brown and Judy Tsou.
All photos by Michael Broyles

The Society for American Music is pleased to announce the 2015 winners of the following awards and subventions. Congratulations!




§ Hats Off Recognition Program Announced

The Society for American Music is pleased to announce the arrival of the Hats Off program! Hats Off is designed to celebrate individuals or groups doing exceptional work within their local community that intersects with some aspect of American Music. Do you know of someone in your community who should be recognized? Send in a submission! See our Hats Off page for more info!

Give a JSAM Gift Subscription

The Society for American Music is pleased to announce that it is now possible for you to share the in-depth and quality research presented in each issue of the Journal of the Society for American Music with family and friends. Gift subscriptions are only $50.00 per year! These are only available to current members of SAM and can be renewed annually. We'll even send the recipient a card letting them know about your gift! Simply complete the JSAM Gift Subscription Form and mail or fax it back to us.

Our Mission

The mission of the Society for American Music is to stimulate the appreciation, performance, creation and study of American musics of all eras and in all their diversity, including the full range of activities and institutions associated with these musics throughout the world.

Oscar Sonneck (1873-1928)
Oscar SonneckThe Society for American Music was founded in honor of and originally named for the first critical scholar and bibliographer of American Music, Oscar G. T. Sonneck.

The Sonneck Circle was established in 2003 to honor the memory of Oscar Sonneck, and offers its members additional benefits. To see a list of contributors and read more about the Sonneck Circle click here.