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Reports | Fall 2015

Spotlight on Outgoing Board Members

(photo by Susan Drew)

AMY CONLEY

Hometown and Region: Milford, New Hampshire, New England Region.

CMN member since: 1988?

Joined CMN’s Board of Directors (BOD):
Three years, and I was a New England rep for about six years.

What I like most about CMN:
I love the generous people and the fact that we all work toward a common goal of helping children and healing the planet.

Why should people serve on the BOD?
Because you get a chance to give back to this wonderful organization that hopefully is serving your needs, and you get to know some wonderful people.

A favorite CMN memory:
Well, this is not a favorite memory, but it sticks in my mind. I was at a national and developed the world’s worst cold. Instead of singing the Most Fun Fifties Songs until past 2:00 a.m.—led by Sarah Pirtle, Phil Hoose, and others—I was lying in my bed up on the next floor listening, feeling sad I could not be down there but thinking, “Oh well, at least I get to listen to the songs, and pretend I’m there!” Ha! Another favorite: A bunch of us New Hampshire members—Steve Blunt, Scott Kepnes, Diane and Bob Kordas—played the Teddy Bear Picnic in Nashua and had a great time playing our sets and then playing together.

Favorite conference:
Too hard! Chicago, there’s a beach campfire!

Final thoughts:
Thank you to all of you; life without a professional organization like CMN would be...lonely!

Anna Stange

Hometown and Region: Blue Island, Illinois, Midwest Region.

CMN member since: 2001

Joined CMN’s Board of Directors (BOD):
Fall 2009. I also served as Board President, and have co-chaired two annual conferences, including the upcoming one this fall in Zion, Illinois.

What I like most about CMN:
I like the network aspect, even though in my usual day-to-day work, I do not have colleagues to interact with. CMN allows me to have a whole network full of colleagues, and I’ve met some really cool people. Because it’s not only other music teachers, it’s other musicians who are passionate about justice, and I don’t stick out like a sore thumb.

We (the CMN community) are open and accepting and affirming. It’s really a nice way to approach life, and it meshes well with how I like to live my life. You share, you get (you get a lot), which is why I actually ran for the board and stepped up for the presidency. We are a member network, and because of that, we’re only as strong as what we give back. It was my turn to give back.

Why should people serve on the BOD?
It doesn’t take any particular skill to serve on the board. You have to have the best interest for CMN in your heart and be willing to work together to sustain the organization. So what I really like about the board is the consensus model of decision-making—and that means that we don’t move forward on any decision until we have a consensus. Whatever decisions we do make are very strong since everyone is on board. But it only works if you’re willing to listen, share, be open-minded, be honest, and be open to solutions. The kind of people we have at CMN make this model work.

A favorite CMN memory:
Philip Alexander and his family came to the CMN conference for the first time—on the East Coast somewhere. I was in the bunk room, and they were there in the room too with Sophie, who was just a baby. They were feeling a little lost. We started talking together, and it was so nice to make this connection with people that I wouldn’t otherwise have met—completely lovely people. It didn’t have anything to do with my music career; it was a side benefit of being a member in this organization.

Favorite conference:
My favorite conference was at Petaluma. I loved staying in the dorms. That’s where I learned “The Magic Penny” and “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream”—two of my favorite songs. And if it wasn’t for CMN, I never would have learned “Owl Moon”!

Final thoughts:
CMN is a well-respected organization that inspired me to step up. Taking a leadership role in CMN has done more to further my career than almost everything else I have done; it allowed me to gain skills, and I became better at running my business and managing my time. It got me to interact with people a different way, and put me into the public in a different light. I wasn’t promoting myself; I was promoting an organization that was doing good in the world.