Dear friends and colleagues from all over the world!
It is a great pleasure, a privilege, an honour, as well as a huge challenge for me to greet you from the position of the Chair of the next ISME World Conference!
On behalf of the Conference Organizing Group (COG) and the host organizer the Greek Society for Music Education (G.S.M.E.), I would like to extend my warmest invitation to all of you to the 30th ISME World Conference that will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece, July 15-20, 2012. As our Chinese colleagues very well used the metaphor earlier, we will now transfer –through the paths of the silk road- the flame of the Music Education Olympics back to Greece!
Greece is an ancient civilization with thousands of years of music history. We have a long tradition of sharing and exchanging our music and culture with different nations. The city of Thessaloniki, in which the 30th ISME World Conference will be held, is the capital city of northern Greece. Archeological findings show that people lived in the area since the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. So, Thessaloniki was built on the remains of an older city. It was founded in 316 BC by Kassandros, who gave to the city the name of his wife Thessaloniki, the sister of Alexander the Great and has been a crossroads of cultures and civilizations since then. The city's atmosphere is a fusion of Greek, Balkan and Southeastern European influences that co-exist harmoniously, creating a multicultural and cosmopolitan environment, where visitors from all over the world feel comfortable and welcome.
Our Conference Theme: Music Pædeia: From Ancient Greek Philosophers Toward Global Music Communities, links today with Ancient Greece and will give a great opportunity to everyone to be expressed in their own, distinctive way, by also connecting the past with the present and the future. The host and local organizer of the 2012 ISME World Conference, the Greek Society for Music Education, was founded in March 1997. It is a non-profit, scientific organization, with the main purpose of promoting music education and of developing it further as a field of scientific enquiry. G.S.M.E. collaborates with other societies that work on the same purpose in Europe and in the other continents and has been closely working with ISME from the beginnings as an ISME National Affiliated Organization since 1998. Our Society organizes workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences and publishes books, journals, and newsletters.
The Thessaloniki Concert Hall where the conference will take place, with its two buildings, is the ideal venue for an ISME Conference. It is one of the most advanced concert venues in Europe and a Convention and Congress centre, with facilities that can host large international conventions, cultural and scientific events as well as exhibitions. GSME have had a fantastic collaboration with the Thessaloniki Concert Hall while organizing there the 5th G.S.M.E. Conference in 2007.
Most of the members of the 2012 Conference Organizing Group have participated in organizing many different G.S.M.E. events: seminars, concerts, workshops and conferences and constitute an experienced, hard-working team of organizers. I have been working with this team for years and I can promise that we will all give our best selves in organizing this huge event too!
Organizing the 30th ISME World Conference is one more of the ways that GSME is serving the vision of supporting quality music education for all. It is an honourable and glorious mission and we wish also to give to everyone the opportunity and any possible help to explore the Greek culture and music.
Furthermore, there are two more reasons to celebrate in 2012 together with the 30th ISME World Conference!
- 2012 is the year that the city of Thessaloniki will celebrate the 100th Anniversary from its Liberation!
- 2012 is also the year that G.S.M.E. will celebrate its 15th Anniversary!
Once more, we are honoured to host the 30th ISME World Conference and ready to welcome you with renowned Greek hospitality in a journey for all, and a conference to remember!
Welcome to the 2012 ISME Thessaloniki Conference
Welcome to Greece, the country that gave birth to great philosophers, to democracy and of course, to the Olympic Games!
Dr Polyvios Androutsos
Chair, ISME 2012 Conference Organizing Group