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38th Annual ARSC/SAM Conference (Cleveland, Ohio, March 10-14, 2004)

Cleveland, Ohio montageARSC and SAM held their first joint conference in Cleveland, Ohio

Conference Information

Local Information and Arrangements

SAM - Society of American MusicThe Association for Recorded Sound Collections and the Society for American Music welcome members and friends to our first joint conference, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, in the heart of the city. Opened in 1918 as Hotel Cleveland and thoroughly renovated in 2002, this elegant hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A short passageway connects the Renaissance to Tower City Center—a lively complex of fashionable retail stores, boutiques, gourmet coffee stands, restaurants, and a multiplex cinema. A food court offers numerous choices for fast, inexpensive meals.

The underground Tower City Station of the Cleveland rapid-transit system provides convenient, direct transport to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. For a fare of just $1.50, you can get from the airport to the conference hotel without going outdoors at all!

Anyone who last visited Cleveland in the 1970s or knows the city solely by its dated reputation should rest assured that the only “Burning River” to be found in town these days is a tasty microbrew produced by the Great Lakes Brewing Company. Today, Cleveland’s cultural scene is rich and thriving. However, the conference schedule is so full that you may find it difficult to break away from the sessions and special events that we have planned.

The camaraderie starts on Wednesday evening, March 10th, with a Welcome Reception at the hotel, in the Ambassador Ballroom, from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. On Thursday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum invites all conference attendees to a private, after-hours event. We will tour the building and all exhibits, free of charge, and participate in a discussion with senior staff including Warren Zanes (VP, Education) and Jim Henke (VP, Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs). We are delighted to have the Rock Hall as one of the Official Sponsors of the 2004 ARSC-SAM Conference.

In keeping with SAM tradition, we have planned a Friday afternoon bus excursion. Everyone registered for the conference can join our outing to University Circle, at no extra charge. University Circle is an extraordinary concentration of more than seventy cultural, educational, medical, and social service organizations, situated in a park-like setting. “The only cluster of its kind in the world” includes the campus of Case Western Reserve University, the world-class Cleveland Museum of Art, the Western Reserve Historical Society and Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Severance Hall (home of the Cleveland Orchestra). All of these institutions are within walking distance of each other, so conference goers can visit whichever destination(s) they like.

Another option for Friday afternoon, at University Circle, is a special session highlighting the Cleveland Orchestra—featuring speakers who have been associated with the orchestra for decades. The excursion will be capped by a late-afternoon reception hosted by the Case Department of Music.

Prior to our gala banquet on Saturday evening, the SAM Brass Band will perform during a joint ARSC-SAM reception. SAM and ARSC musicians (of any ability level) are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in.

A reminder to ARSC members: To accommodate the tremendous wealth of papers proposed for the Cleveland conference, ARSC sessions will continue into Friday evening and on Sunday morning. Schedule your travel plans accordingly!

Remember, too, that all registered attendees can freely attend any ARSC or SAM session, regardless of membership in one organization or the other. Three joint ARSC-SAM sessions may be of particular interest:

  • Music Downloading and File Swapping: Differing Views
  • Recording the History of Folk and Traditional Music
  • Collections and Archiving

This is a mere sample of what awaits in Cleveland. For more details, see the Preliminary Conference Schedule and keep an eye on the Conference Web Pages, accessible from or from

Don’t procrastinate! The deadline for discounted Early Registration and lodging reservations is Monday, February 9, 2004.

Mary Davis (SAM) and Bill Klinger (ARSC), Local Arrangements Chairs

Past ARSC Conference home pages:


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