Awards of The Society
for American Music
Irving Lowens Award for Best
Irving Lowens Award for Best
Housewright Dissertation Award
Mark Tucker Award for Outstanding
H. Earle Johnson Bequest for Book
Sight and Sound
Student Travel Endowment Fund
H. Earle Johnson Bequest for Book Publication
H. Earle Johnson, pioneer scholar of music in America, was a founding
member, former Vice President, and first Chairman of the Publications
Committee of the Sonneck Society (now the Society for American
Music). He served the Society with enthusiasm and dedication tempered
by realistic vision and sound judgment. His contributions to scholarly
study of music in America are numerous, the quality and significance
of which are reflected by ubiquitous references to his works in
scholarly publications. Johnson was a member of the music faculty
at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 1937-1942
and 1946-1953, a visiting professor of music at Temple University
in Philadelphia, and a professor in the Eminent Scholars Program
of the College of William Mary in 1975, He continued at William
and Mary as a visiting professor until his retirement in 1983.
Early in his career, as a critic for the New Haven Register,
Earle developed an ear and heart for the performers of music.
Though music criticism ceased to serve as his means of livelihood,
he retained an avid interest in concert life and continued to
be charitable in supporting and encouraging performers and organizations.
In recognition of his many contributions to the history of American
music and his service to the Society, H. Earle Johnson was elected
as an Honorary Member in 1986.
The H. Earle Johson Book Publication Subvention Award of the
Society for American Music is intended to support the costs of
the publication of a significant monograph on an important topic
in American Music.
This fund is administered
by the Book Publications Committee and provides two subventions
up to $2,500 annually. The deadline for application is 15 November.
Sight and Sound
This subvention fund is administered by the
Sight and Sound Committee and provides annual subventions of approximately
$700-$900. The deadline for application is 15 November.
Works Published with the Assistance
of SAM Subventions
Irving Lowens Memorial
Irving Lowens' research and
writing in American music not only form a cornerstone for American
music history, but also are largely responsible for making the
study of American music a respected and thriving area in musicology
today. As the principal founder of the Sonneck Society (now the
Society for American Music) and its first president from 1974
to 1981, Irving Lowens has often been regarded as the guiding
spirit for the Society. During his remarkable career he became
distinguished in music criticism, musicology, and music librarianship.
In his positions as music critic for the Washington Star
(1953-1977), music reference librarian at the Library of Congress
(1962-1966), and as Dean at the Peabody Conservatory of Music
(1977-1982), he served in turn the public, the scholar, and the
music student. The Irving Lowens Memorial Awards commemorate this
remarkable man and his contributions to the study of American
These awards consist of a plaque and cash award given annually
for a book and an article that make outstanding contributions
to American music studies.
The Society annually awards the prize for the book judged as the
best in the field of American music. The Lowens Book Award represents
our most prestigious honor and carries with it a monetary prize
as well as a citation which is presented at the National Conference
in the Spring.
Award Application Information.
The Irving Lowens Article Award is offered by
the Society for American Music each year for an article that,
in the judgment of the awards committee, makes an outstanding
contribution to the study of American music
or music in America.
Article Award Application
Irving Lowens Awards
Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award
The Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award is designed
to recognize a single dissertation on American music for its exceptional
depth, clarity, significance, and overall contribution to the
field. "American" is understood here to embrace all
of North America, including Central America and the Caribbean,
and aspects of its cultures elsewhere in the world.
Dissertations from American Studies, American history,
and other fields beyond theory, musicology, and ethnomusicology
are welcome as long as the primary focus of the work is a musical
This award consists of a plaque and cash award presented
at the National Conference in the Spring.
Student Travel Endowment
Grants are available for
student members who wish to attend the annual conference. These
funds are intended to help with the cost of travel.
Mark Tucker, Vice President
of the Society for American Music at the time of his death in
December 2000, is known to most SAM members as a leading jazz
scholar; his Ellington: The Early Years and his Duke
Ellington Reader are landmarks in Ellington scholarship and
models of musical biography. Recognizing Mark's gift for nurturing
and inspiring his own students and the high value he placed on
skillful and communicative scholarly writing, and wishing to honor
his memory, the Board of the Society for American Music has established
the Mark Tucker Award, to be presented at the Business Meeting
of the annual SAM conference to a student presenter who has written
an outstanding paper for delivery at that conference.