Conference Format Update

Update on the CCMC 2021 conference format

After lengthy discussion as a committee, we have made the difficult decision that the 2021 Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives conference will take place online. There are a number of reasons for taking this decision.
  • Due to the current pandemic, there are numerous travel restrictions in place around the world and, as a highly international conference, these present significant hurdles for many of our delegates
  • We are aware, too that university funding for travel is currently, for many, difficult to obtain
  • Despite recent vaccine announcements and rollouts, large-scale rollout of these to non-vulnerable groups seems unlikely before spring 2021. We do not want to put on an event which puts anyone at unnecessary risk, and the current timetable is not certain enough for us to plan an in-person event with any degree of confidence
  • Our conference usually begins to accept registrations in February and March, and in asking for commitments from delegates to international travel at that point in time, we would be asking you to make decisions which would pose significant dilemmas for many of you.

So what will this look like?

We have exciting plans for how this online event might work, and we are working hard to put together a format which will be both enjoyable and practicable for you all to attend. We are aware that many of you come to Cuddesdon for the atmosphere, and we hope to reproduce as much of this atmosphere as possible within a different format, whilst also enjoying the new opportunities this opens up to experiment with possibilities we haven’t yet had the chance to try out.

We are learning from the different events that have been put together over the course of 2020 and are already beginning to put the systems in place for this to happen smoothly. We plan to spread the conference out over two weeks instead of the usual one. There will, thus, be an additional week built into the timetable prior to the dates already advertised.

Week One is likely to be asynchronous, giving the opportunity to watch and listen to pre-uploaded video presentations from delegates. Simultaneous with this, we will open up discussion channels on Slack which enable the opportunity to engage with other presenters about their content as it’s still fresh in your mind. This will be a relaxed time for you to explore what other delegates are working on, whilst nevertheless opening up the chance for encounter and conversation.

Week Two is likely to be live on Zoom, and will include presentations, discussions and workshops from our invited speakers, book launches and roundtables, social events, and the opportunity for presenters to discuss their work and presentations with other delegates. We will try to focus content within a manageable timetable each day, giving the chance to get together and celebrate some exciting scholarship, whilst also letting you get away from the computer when you need to, for refreshment, home life or to go for a walk. 

Our plans are still in the process of development. So if you have thoughts, offers of help, suggestions, problems, queries please get in touch either with me or with another member of the conference committee.