The Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA) was founded in 1956 by music critics as a service organization to promote high standards and ensure the future of classical music criticism in the press of the Americas. MCANA provides a communication network among critics through annual conferences, a quarterly newsletter and a web site. The organization also provides educational programs for professional development as well as advocacy for the field.
Each year MCANA holds a conference in a different city, offering members an opportunity to interact in lively panels and discussions with colleagues as well as to attend world-class performances at events ranging from the Lincoln Center Festival and Charleston's Spoleto Festival to the Santa Fe Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
MCANA Institutes, which take place several times a year, are arranged in connection with significant musical events - festivals or premieres - throughout North America. The three- to four-day Institutes offer backstage views of the workings of arts organizations and music festivals and provide the participating critics opportunities to review performances. Institute activities include meetings with directors and artists, social gatherings and discussions. Some Institutes also feature MCANA's popular "Nuts and Bolts" sessions, in which seasoned critics offer advice to newer members who wish to submit reviews for evaluation. In the past, Institutes have been held in connection with the Ravinia and Blossom festivals, the Los Angeles Opera, the Gilmore Piano Competition and the Banff Centre. MCANA Institutes are made possible by a variety of philanthropic sources; participating critics may be provided travel, accommodations and meals. _________________________________________
“I joined MCANA a few years after I began writing about classical music because it sponsored a seminar on new music that was of interest to me. Now I enjoy being able to "give back" to our profession, and discuss industry news with colleagues I've met at the annual meetings.”
Barbara Jepson, Wall Street Journal
MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS NETWORKING
* ANNUAL CONFERENCE - Meet your fellow critics and editors face to face for three days of symposia, panel discussions, social events and performances. Press tickets are provided to members for official performance events during annual conferences.
* WEB SITE - Keeps you up to date with exchanges between members, breaking news items, and the latest information on conferences and institutes.
* INSTITUTES - Members have the opportunity to travel to music festivals and major musical events and get a behind-the-scene look at an arts institution. Upcoming institute opportunities are announced to members through MCANA's newsletter and web site.
* NUTS AND BOLTS - Hands-on writing workshops bring emerging critics into close contact with some of the finest music editors and writers in our field and offer a chance for professional development.
ADVOCACY & VOTING PRIVILEGES
* As a member of MCANA, your voice is heard and you have full voting privileges in electing the members of the board of directors. Members are encouraged to become involved in serving on committees or running for office and participating in conferences, symposia and educational institutes.
* The MCANA is the only organization that represents the interests of critics of classical music and is an advocate for the art of music criticism. By becoming an MCANA member, you strengthen the field.
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“As editor of MusicalAmerica.com, I find MCANA a good source for writers and story ideas. MCANA's annual meeting is an invaluable time to catch up with colleagues from all over the country, to compare notes, to get a sense of where our profession is headed (for better or for worse). It's also an opportunity to witness first-hand musical events most of us wouldn't otherwise get to attend. The institutes are equally valuable: I attended the National Conductors' Institute in DC facilitated by MCANA. I found it fascinating and it became the subject of several articles.”
Susan Elliott, MusicalAmerica.Com
SHOULD YOU BE A MEMBER OF MCANA?
Who may join MCANA -
Critics, journalists, editors, book authors, commentators and annotators who cover classical music with reasonable frequency as a staff critic or as a freelancer in a variety of media outlets. Students or apprentices, upon submission of unpublished or published writing samples as defined above, may also join. The Membership Committee may periodically review the work of members to confirm that their output continues to meet the admissions criteria. In addition, any member who is rejoining after not having paid dues for four (4) consecutive years may be asked to submit evidence of continued professional activity as noted above.
Who may not join MCANA -
Publicists, full-time performers, full-time administrators with musical organizations, performing arts organizations and concert presenters. _________________________________________
"Membership in MCANA has been an essential link to other music critics throughout the continent - an opportunity to exchange news and information (i.e. gossip), to expand my professional horizons, and simply to get to know people. It makes me feel that I'm not doing this in a vacuum."
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle _________________________________________
Admissions criteria for new members
To join as a new member of MCANA, you must send an application, a professional resume and work samples for review by the Membership Committee. Please submit a completed application form, one copy of your professional resume, and clear photocopies of four (4) bylined, substantive reviews, articles or program notes or broadcast tapes or scripts published within the preceding calendar year, or a book on classical music published within the last five (5) years.(Music calendars, listings or promotional materials, such as press releases are ineligible). If you would like your work samples returned, you must enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope with requisite postage. Also, the name, title and telephone number of one professional reference must be included where indicated on the application form.
The Membership Committee, appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors, includes five (5) members, among them one staff journalist, one editor, one freelancer and, if possible, one life member. Members serve for three (3) years.
Active critics, journalists, editors, book authors, program annotators and retired MCANA Members - $125
Students Members - $ 50
Contact Information Music Critics Association of North America, Inc. 722 Dulaney Valley Road, #259 Baltimore, MD 21204 (410) 435-3881 - phone www.mcana.org firstname.lastname@example.org _________________________________________
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