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Departments | Fall 2015

Letter from the Editors

Autumn is a season of transitions; leaves turn colors, the days darken, and temperatures modulate from warm embrace to a crisp edge. The season also heralds change for PIO! as we assume the editorship from Hassaun Jones-Bey and Caroline Presnell, who have guided this publication with great care over the last many years.

One of us is a longtime member and writer (Brigid Finucane) and one of us a playwright and college professor (Ginger Lazarus). Both of us deeply believe in CMN’s mission and are committed to continue, strengthen, and broaden PIO!’s legacy. In preparation for our new roles, we had the opportunity to “shadow” Hassaun and Caroline while they were putting the spring issue together, and even after its publication they remained a phone call or e-mail away when counsel was sought or clarification needed. We are so grateful for their goodwill and talent in the service of CMN.

Carl Foote, CMN’s webmaster, has also been invaluable during this time. The gift of his insights, guidance, institutional memory, and formidable technical skills is only equaled by his unflappable demeanor. Thanks to Carl and Caroline, who shepherded and refined the digitization of PIO!, a tap of a mouse or click of a cursor easily opens a song, column, feature article, or report! Read more about our remarkable collaborator in the aptly titled “In Praise of Carl Foote.”

In this issue that we’ve called “Culture, Community, and Connection,” we announce our intent to embrace the new while honoring the old. We tune into the voice of our 2015 Conference Keynote speaker, Stuart Stotts, in Carole Peterson’s up close and personal interview on his inspiring career. We also initiate the inclusion of “CMN Anthems.” This baker’s dozen of songs, gathered in response to a listserv query, will be featured in the next several issues or on the CMN blog. We’re starting off with Frank Hernandez and Ted Warmbrand’s “Open the Circle,” the theme song of the upcoming conference; “Building a Better World” by Ellen Allard; and “We’ll Pass Them On” by Sally Rogers. New members, get ready for a treat! These are songs often sung at openings and closings of our gatherings and offer a sonic embrace like no other.

Beyond the conference, the sharing continues. Lisa Heintz’s article introduces the new CMN Song Library, a fabulous online scrapbooking of our collective musical history. Here you’ll find all the songs from our Song Resources page—searchable by category and augmented with audio files and more—plus the ability to submit your songs electronically.

Social media has expanded our methods of communication in a way that is as fascinating as it is challenging. It’s a brave new world, and we’re here to help navigate the new terrain. Alina Celeste, who is the force behind CMN’s Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog, inaugurates a new technology column that explores how to use various platforms and highlights those who have cracked the code. In this issue, she interviews Katie Wardrobe, an Australian musician who provides music and technology resources worldwide. And Kayte Deioma’s feature expands her “how to tweet” 2014 post-conference listserv post into an indispensable roadmap that not only demystifies Twitter but examines why it is of use to our community.

Taking a page from our editorial predecessors, we’re also including “classic reprints” from our archives. The content is as current as when they were written. Joseph Bruchac’s “Seeking Out the Real Roots” partners seamlessly with Barbara Rice’s feature on learning and teaching about Native American music, while Lisa Garrison’s column about Ruth Crawford Seeger supports our celebration of Pete Seeger, 2015 Magic Penny recipient. Mining the archives and connecting the new with the old honors CMN’s history and contributes to the richness of the present.

We are so grateful to our contributors, all of whom volunteered their time and considerable expertise, and thank each and every one of them! We recognize the extraordinary value the journal provides to this community. It is the heart of CMN. In its eighty issues, both printed and electronic, lie the history, dreams, songs, and stories of this organization. We are honored to help highlight its collective wisdom.