Minneapolis 2020 - General Information

46th Annual Conference

Minneapolis, Minnesota

March 25-29, 2020


Important information concerning the conference

The annual conference has been canceled. Click here to read President Kernodle’s message and for earlier updates concerning the conference and the current coronavirus situation.



Click here for updates concerning the conference and the current coronavirus situation.

If your plans have changed and you are no longer able to attend the conference in person, please fill out this survey.


Hotel Accommodations

Radisson Blu Minneapolis
35 South Seventh Street
Minnesota 55402 
(612) 339-4900

There are three ways to receive the conference rate ($159-$209) for our Minneapolis Meeting:

(1) use this link (make sure to modify the check-in and check-out dates to your specific needs)

(2) access the booking window on the main webpage www.radissonbluminneapolis.com, choose the event dates (March 25-29, 2020), and use the promotional code SAM320 or

(3) call the hotel directly at 1-612-339-4900 and ask for the Society for American Music room block.

Reservations must be made by February 22, 2020 to receive the conference rate.

Registration Information

Click here to register.

Excursion Information

The Local Arrangements Committee for the 2020 Minneapolis meeting will sponsor four guided and one unguided excursion for SAM members.

Guided Excursions

  1. The Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota

    Meeting Time: 2:00 (registration desk)

    Return Time: 5:00

    Cost: $10 per person (includes light rail tickets)

    Size: <20

    Description: The Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota is a public repository for the papers of a number of noted professional music, dance, and theater organizations, from the Minnesota Orchestra to the Guthrie Theater, as well as the archives of composers, costume and set designers and playwrights. Members will make a short, twenty-minute commute from the conference hotel to the archives on light rail. An archivist will provide an introduction to materials from the collections of the Stanislav Skrowaczewski, Dominick Argento, and American Composers Forum archives, and lead a visit to state-of-the-art underground caverns where the collections are stored.

    Location: University of Minnesota Libraries Performing Arts. Archives, Elmer L. Andersen Library, 222 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis 55455.

  2. Walker Art Center Archives

    Meeting Time: 1:45 (hotel lobby)

    Return Time: 5:00

    Cost: $10 per person (includes van transportation, museum admission)

    Size: <12

    Description: The Walker Art Center is the largest center for contemporary art in the Twin Cities. It houses an art museum, sculpture garden and theater. The Walker has long been a champion of experimental music and performance art. Members will take a short van ride to the museum and have a short time to view the galleries. They will also meet with Head of Archives and Library Jill Vuchetich, who will discuss a number of selected holdings. Subjects might include materials related to David Tudor's Rainforest IV, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Collection, artists across the Walker's collections like John Cage, or materials related to New Music America 1980 hosted by the Walker Art Center.

  3. Paisley Park

    Meeting Time: 1:30 (hotel lobby)

    Return Time: 5:00

    Cost: $75 per person (includes bus transportation)

    Size: <30

    Description: Paisley Park is Prince's extraordinary private estate and production complex in Chanhassen, MN. Fans have the unprecedented opportunity to experience first-hand what it was like for Prince to create, produce and perform inside this private sanctuary and remarkable production complex. Throughout the experience, visitors will see artifacts from Prince's personal archives, including iconic concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments, artwork, motorcycles, rare music and video recordings. SAM members will take a 45-minute coach shuttle to the complex and participate as a group in the ninety-minute “Paisley Park Experience” tour.

  4. Malcolm Willey House

Meeting Time: 2:00 (hotel lobby)

Return Time: 5:00

Cost: 45$ per person (includes app-based transportation)

Size: 12

Description: The Malcolm Willey House is a mid-career Frank Lloyd Wright design in St. Paul epitomizing his principals of organic architecture. It is a rare extant example of a total work of art by Frank Lloyd Wright—it is unmodified and complete, with all the original furniture produced for the home, as well as additional furniture and built-ins designed by Wright for the house during the 1930s, but left uncompleted by the original owners, due to financial constraints. SAM members will share app-based car services to make the fifteen-minute drive from the conference hotel to the house. A guide will offer a presentation of the ideas behind the architecture and historical stories regarding the Willey’s and their relationship with the Wright’s. The length of the tour is typically 90 minutes which includes a 10 minute interpretive introduction followed by an interior presentation of the house filled with unpublished stories related to Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1930s, Nancy Willey and the current owners’ museum quality restoration. It ends with time to wander freely, ask questions and take photographs for personal use.

Unguided Excursion

  1. Mall of America: The famous all-indoor shopping center is easily accessible from the conference hotel by light rail. We will provide clear instructions for members to take the 45-minute journey on their own. The Mall of America is nearly 5 million square feet. It houses hundreds of mall stores, a small amusement park, an aquarium, cinemas and many other activities. Cost: ~$6 (light rail tickets).

Honorary Member: Philip Brunelle

Philip Brunelle
2019 SAM Honorary Member

Induction ceremony

Friday, March 27, 7:15 p.m. (during the Vivian Perlis Concert)

Please join us as we honor our 2019 Honorary Member Philip Brunelle, one of the most influential and stalwart choral conductors in the United States. Brunelle has spent his entire career among a crowded field of conductors in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul who specialize in choral music.

Brunelle claims that his “lifelong mission” is “the promotion of the choral art in all its forms, especially rarely heard works of the past and outstanding new music.” He has commissioned hundreds of works and been a champion for a variety of American composers. He has also conducted symphonies (New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra among others) as well as choral festivals and operas on six continents. He has also been actively internationally, serving as Executive Director for the 2014 World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, Artistic Advisor for the 2017 World Choral Symposium in Barcelona, and Artistic Director of the 2017 China (Qiandongnan) International Folk Song Choral Festival in Kaili, China. He has served on the national boards of the National Council for the Arts (NEA), Chorus America, and the American Guild of Organists. He edits two choral series for Boosey & Hawkes and is chairman of the review committee for Walton Music. In his day job, Philip is Organist-Choirmaster at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, where the Vivian Perlis concert and award ceremony will be held. Many SAM members will also know Brunelle’s work as guest conductor and pianist on American Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” He appeared on the very first and the final broadcasts and many in between for more than 40 years.

Brunelle is the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards from organizations like the North Central American Choral Directors Association, the American Choral Directors Association-Minnesota Chapter, and Chorus America. He holds many honorary doctorates and has been recognized for his commitment to choral music by Norway (Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit), the United Kingdom (Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire), Hungary (Kodály Medal), Sweden (Royal Order of the Polar Star) and Mexico (Ohtli Recognition Award).

Program Committee

The preliminary program can be found here.

Abstracts can be found here.

Marian Wilson Kimber, chair
Nancy Rao
Anthony Bushard
Drew Edward Davies
Rosita Sands
Megan Murph

Local Arrangements Committee

Andrew Flory, Chair
Ron Rodman
Melinda Russell
Peter Mercer-Taylor
Louis Epstein,
Sarah Schmalenberger
Jonas Westover.

Exhibitor Registration

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Advertisement Registration

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One-Day Registration

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