Interest Groups
Cecilia Sun, Board Liaison

Interest Groups are formed by members to share common interests and organize special sessions at annual conferences. More information on Interest Groups can be found in the SAM Handbook.


American Band History Research
Patrick Hennessey, chair

The American Band History Interest Group welcomes all who share an interest in, and a passion for the research and dissemination of any aspect of the history of bands. Our group seeks to serve as a forum for shared ideas, resource for scholars in any area of research, but with particular focus on bands and wind literature, and fellowship in a shared band community.


American Orchestral Institutions
Sarah Neill, chair

The IG on American Orchestral Institutions discusses historical and contemporary aspects of how symphony orchestras have shaped the American listening experience from the 19th through 21st centuries. Potential topics will include: repertoire and programming choices; community outreach; audience studies; leading figures; American cultural identity, including the role of orchestras in creating and performing American nationalism; American orchestras and U.S. diplomacy; and the past, present, and future of the symphonic tradition in the United States.


Connecting Outside the Academy
Joseph Horowitz, chair

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Natalia Perez and Anne Searcy, co-chairs

The Dance Interest Group is an organization for SAM members who want to incorporate dance (broadly defined) into their research and/or pedagogy. Our meetings are open, and we welcome new members, including students and scholars from all intellectual, disciplinary, and cultural backgrounds.


Early American Music
Glenda Goodman, chair

We are interested in music from the colonial to Antebellum eras. We recognize that early American music is foundational at SAM (Oscar Sonneck was an early Americanist), and seek to advance the study of early American music, and its circulation, in new directions. Since 2013 we have had formal sessions on transatlanticism and interdisciplinarity, and informal discussions of research methods and the role of race in early American music. We welcome those who work on North America, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean (and welcome collaboration from those who are affiliated with other Interest Groups). Those who wish to be added to the mailing list or have questions about the group can email IG Chair.


Experimental Music
Megan Murph and Charissa Noble, co-chairs

Our interest group explores the meanings (and possible of meanings) of "experimentalism" from a variety of cultural identities, perspectives, and practices. We ask questions such as: What is experimentalism? What can experimentalism mean from a variety of cultural perspectives (including performance art, sound art, popular music, and "vernacular experimentalism")? How can we as scholars advocate for experimental artists and communities from radically diverse traditions?


Folk and Traditional Music
Kevin Kehrberg, chair

The Folk & Traditional Music Interest Group promotes the research and performance of vernacular, folk, and traditional music and dance of the Americas. Its biennial sessions foster recognition and understanding of such traditions among the membership of SAM. It also sponsors the SAM Jam and the SAM Sacred Harp Sing, which have become fixtures at annual meetings. In its engagement with all peoples, the FTMIG’s work necessarily resonates with the work of many other IGs and welcomes collaboration and joint sessions.


Scott Everette Smith, chair

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) study group is a special interest group of the Society for American Music. Comprised of individuals whose musicological research intersects with Queer studies, as well as LGBTQ identifying individuals and allies, this group seeks to be a significant contributor to the field of LGBTQ musicological study in music of the Americas.


Gospel and Sacred Music
Birgitta Johnson and Deborah Smith Pollard, co-chairs

The Gospel and Sacred Music Interest Group promotes and supports the research of gospel music and various traditions of sacred and religious musics in the Americas. This includes ceremonial, ritual, devotional, religious, and spiritual music traditions and repertoires. Currently, the Gospel and Sacred Music Interest Group meets and hosts a roundtable biennially at the national meeting for the Society of American Music.


Jewish Studies
Erica K. Argyropoulos, chair

The Society for American Music’s Jewish Studies Special Interest Group brings together scholars focused on a wide range of issues related to Jewish music and sound studies in and of the Americas. The IG recognizes the importance of historical, ethnographic, and other analytical methods in broadly approaching a variety of social and cultural contexts for musical engagement in Jewish American life and in reference to Jewish ethnic and religious identities. By sponsoring panels as well as encouraging and facilitating the interaction of scholars in all stages of their careers, the IG aims to be a useful resource for the scholarship of music and sound in Jewish American culture and religion.


Music of Latin America and the Caribbean
Chelsea Burns, chair

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Music, Sound, and Media
Mary Simonson and James Deaville, co-chairs

The Music, Sound, and Media interest group is comprised of individuals whose research and practice touches on sound in film and other media, including television, radio, video, and digital media.  The group explores research issues and methodologies unique to the study of music within the context of film and other media, generating a dialogue with existing film and media theory, historiography, and trends in film and media studies, and serving as a hub in which to share scholarship and bibliography on music and sound in media. 


Music Theatre
Jessica Sternfeld, Chair

This group brings together scholars and practitioners of musical theater on stage and screen, to discuss the scholarship and performance practice of musical theater broadly defined (including Broadway, regional and international stages, school and community theater, film musicals, TV musicals, internet musicals, and more).  The interest group shares work in progress, hosts guest speakers, and explores themes of musical theater in cultural context (both historical and current).  If you work in any area of musical theater as a scholar (music, theater, dance, and beyond), performer, director, creator, or other discipline, please join us to discuss and share the latest in musical theater creation and study.


Jeffrey Wright, chair

The Pedagogy Interest Group of the Society for American Music is open to all members of the Society with an interest in the teaching of American music. The group discusses best practices in classroom teaching, fosters scholarship of teaching and learning, and maintains a repository of syllabi for courses related to music of the Americas.


Research on Gender in American Music
Sarah Gerk, chair

Members of the Research on Gender in American Music Interest Group share interests in the intersections of US music and gender, broadly conceived. Our members support all gender identities and value the intersections of race, social class, sexuality, and other identity characteristics in work on gender.


Research Resources
Jonathan Sauceda, chair

Members of RRIG are interested in the changing nature of scholarly communication and its impact on American music research. The group convenes discussions of emerging and traditional resources, digital collections, and archives and special collections--often with particular emphasis on the holdings of institutions in conference locations.


Sheet Music
Michael Saffle, chair

Formed in 2016, the group identifies and evaluates the significance of American sheet music. The group convened at the 2016 (Boston) and 2018 (Kansas City) national meetings, the latter under the leadership of James Deaville.