​Coming Together: The DSA’s National Events Committee

Since our founding, the Dalcroze Society of America has been organizing events that bring us together as a community. Of all the events the DSA creates, our national conference may be the one that most embodies our vision statement, which states:

The Dalcroze Society of America works to ensure that a strong and vibrant community of practitioners and participants flourishes in the United States and benefits from the unique music and movement opportunities that the Dalcroze experience has offered the world for over 100 years.

Until fairly recently, the complex job of organizing the DSA’s signature event fell to the entire DSA Board, which consisted of just four officers and the American Dalcroze Journal editor, with the Vice-President leading the charge. Since 2016, our expanded Board has been appointing a task force to plan and execute our biennial conference during conference years.

Gamble Auditorium at Baldwin Wallace University, our 2022 Conference site

Last year, in recognition of the critical importance of national events to the practice of Dalcroze Education, our Board of Trustees voted to amend the Bylaws to establish a standing committee within the organization called the “National Events Committee.” As the name suggests, this committee’s activities could expand someday to include the production of additional national events. In the foreseeable future, we will focus all of our energies on the conference, which is coming up just a year from now. Establishing a committee dedicated to this work will enable us to seamlessly move through the planning process throughout the entire two-year cycle.

By designing and organizing national events—and primarily the national conference—this standing committee works to advance the DSA’s mission, helping to “sustain and expand the professional practice of Dalcroze Education in the USA and the world…strengthen the extended global community of practitioners and institutions dedicated to Dalcroze Education…and raise the general public’s awareness and appreciation of Dalcroze Education.” The 2020-2023 strategic plan that the Board developed outlines the specific ways we will work to reach these objectives. In line with the role historically played by the Vice President (a title that no longer exists, but has been replaced with Vice-Chair), I am chairing this committee in my capacity as the DSA Board’s Vice-Chair. Here’s what we’ve been up to: 

Our 2022 National Conference (January 14-16, 2022) will be hosted through the Baldwin Wallace University Community Arts School, located near Cleveland, Ohio. In our planning, we are making provisions for the possibility that the conference will have to take place remotely, in case restrictions on travel and social interaction are in place in response to the pandemic. We are currently researching options for live-stream conference registration and attendance.

The Boesel Musical Arts Center at Baldwin Wallace

Several factors led the Board to select this site, key among them being the fact that three current Trustees work at BW. Diplôme Mary Dobrea-Grindahl has been a professor of piano at Baldwin Wallace University and has taught piano, piano pedagogy, eurhythmics, and solfège at BW for many years. DSA Treasurer, Adam Sheldon is currently the director of the Community Arts School and outreach programs. I am an instructor of piano and Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the Community Arts School and a proud graduate of BW.  It has been incredibly useful to work together locally to facilitate the high degree of coordination this grand project requires.

After holding our last two national conferences in Florida and California (which were both wonderful locales), we’re excited to be holding this event in a more centrally located site, hoping that it will enable more of our membership to come. Additionally, we hope to attract students and faculty from the universities and colleges located within driving distance of the BW campus, including Oberlin, Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, and others. 

Let me end by introducing the rest of the team: my fellow Trustees, Cassandra Eisenreich (who chaired the National Conference Task Force for the 2020 conference in Miami) and Mary Dobrea-Grindahl, Terry Boyarsky, Sonia Hu, and former Executive Director Bill Bauer. As members of the DSA’s Professional Development Committee, Mary and Bill will help to make sure the conference reflects the high standards the PDC sets for Dalcroze Education in the USA. To anyone who wants to pitch in, we are extending a warm welcome. Email me at lauren[at]dalcrozeusa.org to let me know of your interest. 

I’m thrilled to say that we have already selected our keynote speaker and this individual has graciously accepted our invitation. We will announce it with other important news as we update the membership of the conference. We look forward to coming together at BW in a year!

The DSA Board of Trustees envisions the DSA’s future and enacts policies to ensure that its programs fulfill its stated purpose and meet the community’s evolving needs. Meet the rest of the Board and find out more about their work.

About Lauren Hodgson

Lauren Hodgson is a Dalcroze educator and pianist in Cleveland, Ohio. She oversees the Dalcroze program and maintains a private piano studio at the Baldwin Wallace Community Music School, and is on the summer faculty at the Dalcroze School of the Rockies Dalcroze Academy.