​33rd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME)

A short report from Baku

Prior to the ISME Conference, the PASMAE Executive approved the printing of promotional flyers, which were sent to Baku for insertion in the delegates bags. On arrival, we found that the flyers had arrived, but that they were not in the bags on registration. Benon made immediate contact with the organizers, who responded very quickly, and helped us trace the flyers, which had been moved from the Hilton Hotel to the Music Academy, where registration was taking place. With immediate effect, the flyers were placed into the remaining bags. This started around 14.30 on Sunday 15th. Those who did not register on the Monday morning did not get a PASMAE flyer, but each of us took some and handed them out as we spoke to people. At the end of the Conference there was only a handful left, so nearly all the flyers had been distributed.

An informal social gathering of PASMAE and Friends was held on Sunday from 16.00-18.00 at the Radisson Park Inn Hotel. This was hosted by Benon, Judy and Caroline. A list had been obtained from the conference organizers of all the African delegates who had registered, but unfortunately, there were a few individuals whose names were not received so that we could not issue invitations to them. Nevertheless, seventeen people attended from eight countries (Australia, Botswana, Italy, Kenya, Morocco/UK, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and Uganda). Dorette gave a report on the Southdowns Conference. Drinks and pizza were served and the useful purpose was achieved of introducing people to each other when it transpired that they had not previously met.
On Sunday Benon learned that a delegate from Nigeria had been refused to board his flight to come to ISME and, locally, they were demanding that he pay half the fare again in order to fly to Baku. Benon immediately contacted the Baku organizers and liaised with them and the delegate. Unfortunately, the delegate was unable to attend the ISME Conference and was very disappointed. The Baku organizers are working with Turkish Airlines to get his airfare refunded. We hope and trust this will happen.

Sixteen people attended the ISME African national meeting held on Tuesday 17th at 10.45 from eight countries (Australia, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda). Some who had intended coming did not arrive as they could not find the venue. Benon chaired the meeting for PASMAE on behalf of and with the authority of the PASMAE President, Eze. He welcomed all, including greetings from the Eze. Benon had prepared an agenda which was shown on the screen. Rose asked to speak to the meeting as the ISME Board representative. There was great interest in PASMAE and some attendees joined the Society or renewed their PASMAE membership at the end of the meeting. Agenda attached.
It is estimated that around 18 people from Africa attended the 2018 ISME Conference plus other Africans now living, studying or working elsewhere in the world.

Several meetings were held during the week, on behalf of PASMAE.

  • NAMM – Benon, Caroline and Judy met with Betty Heywood, the NAMM representative. Betty assured Benon that funding to PASMAE would be continued over the next biennium, although the NAMM budgets are not set until September this year. Caroline asked how PASMAE could best serve NAMM. Betty replied that PASMAE could be more active in contacting and communicating with music industry in Africa and connecting them to NAMM.
  • NAMM Follow-up: Benon, Caroline and Judy met to discuss. Benon agreed to gather a list of music retailers throughout Africa. Judy suggested promoting NAMM more on the website, in particular the NAMM Show, and Caroline suggested using facebook.
  • Benon met with the SAGE Publications representative. He presented her with a copy of the PASMAE Journal and requested information on the feasibility of SAGE publishing the Journal.
  • Benon met with Ian Harvey of the ISME administration to try to establish where the payment from ISME to NAMM went, for their support.

At the General Assembly, it was announced that the ISME President Elect is Emily Akuno (Kenya) and that Elizabeth Achieng’ Andang’o (Kenya) was elected to the Board of Directors. Rose Omolo (Kenya) steps down after two terms on the ISME Board.

There was very keen interest in the 2019 PASMAE Conference in the Seychelles from international delegates. The location is clearly very attractive. One person from Italy joined immediately and assured me that three of her colleagues would also be attending next year. It is important therefore that PASMAE sets itself up to host a truly international conference next year. The website information needs to be collected as soon as possible.

Submitted to the PASMAE Executive

  • Benon Kigozi – Immediate Past President
  • Judy Thönell – Honorary President
  • Caroline van Niekerk – Honorary Life Member, Past President, Past Secretary General

August 2018.