Austin, the self-dubbed “Live Music Capital of the World,” was abuzz with music librarians last month, when they arrived on February 12th for the annual meeting and conference of the Music Library Association (MLA). Music librarians are a crucial component of the American music community. They are dedicated proponents to making scores, recordings, books, and articles available in the most up-to-date technological systems, and their own scholarship in music has been substantive. The MLA was founded in 1931 with the mission to assure that “users of music materials will be well served by their libraries.” A professional membership organization, the MLA offers a number of services to its members including career development, job placement, and a forum to discuss issues that advance librarianship as well as scholarship.
At the February conference, three new board members were introduced: Pauline Bayne (University of Tennessee), Richard LeSueur (Ann Arbor District Library), and Renée McBride (UCLA). The selection of Nancy Nuzzo (State University of New York at Buffalo) as the new Treasurer/Executive Secretary of the MLA was also announced. In addition to these appointments, several awards were given recognizing outstanding achievement in music librarianship.
Paula Matthews (Princeton University) was honored with the MLA Special Achievement Award and the MLA Citation in recognition of her contributions to the profession of music librarianship. In addition to her numerous scholarly and library-related publications and membership in a number of music and library-related organizations, she has been involved with the MLA since 1998 in the capacities of committee member, board member, and organization president among others.
The Walter Gerboth Award, which is given annually to a member in the first 5 years of his/her professional library career to assist research-in-progress, was granted to another Princeton librarian, Daniel Boomhower for his project: “Bärenreiter-Verlag‘s Bach Publications: 1923-1954.” This project aims to examine how changes in the German publisher’s presentation of Bach’s music reflected changes in musical interests over 31 years. The award will assist Boomhower to travel to the Bärenreiter archive in Kassel, Germany to continue his research.
While this work takes Boomhower out of the country, two doctoral candidates received Dena Epstein Awards for Archival and Library Research in American Music. Ayden Adler (Eastman School of Music) is looking into the development of an American phenomenon: pops concerts; and Ryan Jones (Brandeis University) will be doing an in-depth analysis of the compositional processes used in Aaron Copland‘s only full-length opera, The Tender Land.
Two young librarians, Kirstin Dougan (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Rachel Rogers (Canadian Broadcasting Company), and Stacie Traill (a student at University of Minnesota [MA-Musicology] and the University of Wisconsin-Madison [M.L.I.S]) were beneficiaries of the Kevin Freeman Travel Grant Award that covered their travel expenses to come to Austin for the conference.