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Music Library Association-Atlantic Chapter

Annual Report 2001

Last update: August 26, 2003

The annual Fall meeting of the Atlantic Chapter was held October 5-6, 2001 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Many thanks go to Jane Penner, Mary Prendergast, and their colleagues at the University of Virginia for organizing and hosting our meeting.

The timing of the chapter meeting coincided with the opening of a major UVA library exhibit curated by our own Mary Prendergast entitled, "Lift Every Voice: Music in American Life." The Friday afternoon program, "Playing and Collecting Traditional Music," coincided with this theme. Our first speaker was Bruce Penner, composer, percussionist, and co-host of Radio Tropicale, WTJU at the University of Virginia, who talked about collecting African popular music. Bruce discussed and played examples of the various styles of music heard throughout the continent while giving us a musical geography lesson. Our second set of speakers were Kim and Jimbo Carrie, local folk musicians who collect and play music from the celtic revival. They told us of their sheet music and sound recordings collections and played for us a sampling of their favorite pieces. Our closing speaker was Mike Seeger who has committed his life to the collection and remembrance of old-time music. Mike told us stories of his childhood musical experiences--how he was raised on his parents' field recordings and surrounded by the sounds of rural folk music. He treated us to recorded examples from his collection and performed music with gut-strung gourd banjo, auto-harp, jews harp, guitar, and fiddle. Mike helped us to understand the timeless quality of old-time music and its continuity with the past.

The chapter tried something new for this meeting. We made Mike Seeger's talk open to folks outside the chapter and were joined by UVA library staff, music students, and interested musicians and music lovers from the area. It was great to have guests join us and a great way for the chapter to reach out to the wider community.

On Saturday morning, we had our business meeting, a tour of UVA's Digital Media Lab, and our second program entitled, "Digital Frontiers for Music Collections." Our first speaker was Liza Vick, Digital Conversion Specialist at the Library of Congress, who has been working on their digital collection, Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/smhtml/smhome.html. Liza talked about the project workflow and the processes that she was involved in. Our second speaker was Adam Soroka, Technical Assistant, University of Virginia, who is an expert on file formats for digitizing music. Adam has the gift of being able to express highly technical information in such a way that non-technical people can understand it. Adam helped us learn about and hear the differences in sound quality of various formats digitized at various settings. Our third speaker was Amanda Maple, Music Librarian, Penn State University, who talked about her electronic reserves program at Penn State. Amanda, with the help of graduate assistants, has been able to implement e-reserves for a number of music classes at Penn State. They have been especially useful for classes with very large enrollments and have been well received by both faculty and students.

This was an election year for the chapter. Congratulations go to Carl Rahkonen, the new vice chair/chair elect and Mary Prendergast, the new secretary/treasurer. Thanks go to Anne Harlowe and Bonnie Jo Dopp for their willingness to be on the ballot. Thanks also go to Betsy Walker and Brian Cockburn, past chairs and Cathy Dixon, former secretary/treasurer, for their work while in office.

Our next chapter meeting will take place in Fall 2002 at the University of Maryland. We look forward to seeing their new Performing Arts Center. The chapter also looks forward to working on local arrangements for the annual meeting of MLA in Washington, DC in 2004. Deta Davis and Jane Penner are co-chairs for the committee. They will be creating a subcommittee structure and recruiting committee membership.

Donna Fournier
MLA Atlantic Chapter, Chair

Send comments or suggestions to:  Brian Cockburn