Society for American Music

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The Society for American Music (SAM) was founded in 1975 and was first named the Sonneck Society in honor of Oscar George Theodore Sonneck, early Chief of the Music Division in the Library of Congress and pioneer scholar of American music. The Society for American Music is a non-profit scholarly and educational organization incorporated in the District of Columbia as a 501 (c) (3) and is a constituent member of the American Council of Learned Societies. It is based at the Stephen Foster Memorial on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


The mission of the Society for American Music is to stimulate the appreciation, performance, creation, and study of American music in all its diversity. "America" is understood to embrace both American, including North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean, as well as aspects of these cultures everywhere in the world.

The Society holds an annual conference, usually in March, featuring scholarly talks, exhibits, and performances.


In 2007, the Society began publishing its own journal, the Journal of the Society for American Music (JSAM). From 1983 through 2006, the Society had published the journal American Music in collaboration with the University of Illinois Press.

Lifetime Achievement Award[edit]

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the Society "in recognition of the recipient's significant and substantial lifetime achievement in scholarship, performance, teaching, and/or support of American Music."[1]

Award recipients are:[1]

Year Recipient
2020 Marva Griffin Carter[2]
2019 John Graziano
2019 Raoul Camus
2018 Deane Root
2017 Randy Weston
2016 Dale Cockrell
2015 Josephine Wright[3]
2014 Pete Seeger
2013 Judith Tick
2012 Donald Krummel
2011 Paul E. Bierley and Kate Van Winkle Keller
2010 Wayne Shirley
2009 Horace Clarence Boyer
2008 Bill C. Malone[4]
2007 Vivian Perlis
2006 Samuel A. Floyd, Jr.
2005 Dena Epstein
2004 Adrienne Fried Block
2003 H. Wiley Hitchcock
2002 Charles Hamm[5]
2001 Richard Crawford
2000 Billy Taylor and Eileen Southern
1999 Robert Stevenson


  1. ^ a b "Lifetime Achievement Awards". Society for American Music. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  2. ^ "2020 Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Marva Griffin Carter – Georgia State University News – College of the Arts, Faculty, Music". Georgia State News Hub. 2020-06-22. Retrieved 2023-03-24.
  3. ^ "COW professor earns one of highest honors in field of musicology". The Daily Record. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  4. ^ Moe, Doug (2020-06-15). "A fond farewell to Bill and Bobbie Malone". Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  5. ^ Woolfe, Zachary (2011-10-23). "Charles Hamm, Author on American Popular Music, Dies at 86". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-02.

External links[edit]