The Midwest Graduate Music Consortium (MGMC) is a collaborative venture organized by students from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This past academic year, the annual MGMC conference was held here at the University of Chicago, on April 16.
The 2010 conference featured fifteen graduate student papers delivered by students from across North America, a new music concert with five graduate student compositions, and a keynote address by Martin Scherzinger of New York University. The programme committee, chaired by Trent Leipert, chose papers that were not only a balance of the three musical sub-disciplines, but were often internally interdisciplinary as well. This spirit was echoed in Professor Scherzinger’s keynote speech, “Temporal Geometries in an African Music,” which explored theoretical approaches to analyzing rhythm in Mbira music. The conference concluded with a new music concert, featuring excellent performances of the works of 5 graduate composers from across the country. Each composer gave a brief verbal introduction to their piece, and the works performed represented a range of academic backgrounds and stylistic influences.
In addition to hosting the conference, UofC was well represented during the proceedings. Current graduate students Jonathan DeSouza, Shayna Silverstein, Andrew Westerhaus and recent alumnus David Bashwiner presented papers; Trent Leipert and Michael Figueroa chaired paper sessions; and students in the New Music Ensemble, directed by Barbara Schubert, performed the compositions featured in the concert.
As the outgoing MGMC representatives for UofC, Shawn Allison and Martha Sprigge are extremely grateful to the many students, faculty and staff who helped prepare and execute this year’s conference: without their assistance, MGMC 2010 would not have been a success. Particular thanks are due (in alphabetical order!) to Mary Caldwell, Francisco Castillo-Trigueros, Melanie Cloghessy, James Hillis, Kathy Holmes, Erika Honisch, Bob Kendrick, Mariusz Kozak, Trent Leipert, Barbara Schubert, Erin Sullivan and Larry Zbikowski. Shawn and Martha leave MGMC in the capable hands of Francisco Castillo-Trigueros and August Sheehy, who will serve as the UofC coordinators next year when the annual conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Updates for the 2011 conference, scheduled for March 25th and 26th, will be posted on the MGMC website: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/orgs/mgmc.