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Associate Professor of Music Business Courtney C. Blankenship
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WIU Associate Professor of Music Business Elected to National Board for College Music Society

October 1, 2021

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MACOMB, IL -- Courtney Blankenship, associate professor of music business in the Western Illinois University School of Music, has recently been elected to serve a two-year term (2022-2024) as the Board Member for Music Industry Studies for the College Music Society.

The mission of the College Music Society (CMS) is to promote music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. A consortium of college, conservatory, university and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music, the Society provides leadership and serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education.

Over 1,860 educational institutions are members as well as over 42,000 administrators and faculty across the United States.

Her colleagues on the 2022-2024 CMS Board include:

President-Elect — Michael Stepniak (Shenandoah Conservatory)
Treasurer — Bonnie Sneed (McLennan Community College)
Board Member at Large — Alisha Nypaver (Temple University)
Board Member for Jazz/Commercial Music — Aaron Flagg (The Juilliard School)
Board Member for Music Education — Suzanne Hall (Temple University)
Board Member for Performance — Sarah Chan (California State University, Stanislaus)
Board Member for Music Industry Studies — Courtney Blankenship (WIU)

Blankenship has been a member of College Music Society since 2014, served as co-chair of NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants)/CMS Generation Next Program for college students across the U.S. in 2017 and 2018 and served on the steering committee for the last six years. At the 2016 CMS National Summit in Columbia, SC she co-presented "Innovation by Discipline – Music Business and Entrepreneurship" with James Doser, Eastman School of Music/Director of Institute for Music Leadership.

"I'm interested in being an advocate for and serving the CMS, both broadly and giving voice to my area of specialty," said Blankenship. "I believe in the ongoing promotion of music in higher education and exploring areas of expansion and overlap of the music industry studies area with other music disciplines. I'm familiar with public education and the importance of music everywhere, but particularly in rural, underserved communities."

Blankenship believes the strengths of CMS include a well-established network of music educators across diverse educational settings, who are committed to teaching and shared respect and support for innovative music education in higher education.

"The challenges facing us all include creating online/hybrid music learning within a field that still requires traditional face-to-face experiences for musicianship and performance, continuing to fill our classrooms and institutions as we try and recover from lower enrollment and effects of the pandemic while acknowledging the ongoing efforts to increase equity and inclusion in our places of work," she added. "I would welcome continued dialogue, leading to committed steps of action on all fronts during my term."

Blankenship joined WIU in 2008 as director of Music Business in the School of Music. She served as a board member of Music Entertainment Industry and Educators Association (MEIEA) from 2015-2019. In her current faculty position, she has taken over 115 WIU students to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show in Anaheim, CA every year since 2008, continuing a longstanding tradition for WIU's 35-year-old degree program.

She is an advocate for women in the music industry, career preparedness and entrepreneurship across music disciplines, and building connections with community colleges in her region for 2+2 programs in music business. In 2017, Blankenship received the WIU College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean's Award of Teaching Excellence.

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