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The American Musical Instrument Society


34th Annual Meeting of the AMIS
Las Vegas, Nevada
19-22 May 2005



The 34th annual conference of the American Musical Instrument Society will take place from May 19-21, 2005, in Las Vegas, NV. The conference will be hosted by the Department of Music and the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada and will take place mainly on the university campus, with a few forays into surrounding areas. The local arrangements chair for the meeting is Isabelle Emerson (Department of Music, UNLV; telephone: (702) 895-3114; e-mail: emerson@

Registration will begin Thursday afternoon in the lobby of the Beam Music Center recital hall, where a number of instruments will be on display, including a Tromlitz flute, a reproduction of a Cristofori piano, several Turkish instruments, and a Hindustani cello. Jane Hettrick has graciously agreed to demonstrate on Thursday afternoon the new pipe organ built by the Beckerath firm of Hamburg and installed this past summer. The three-manual, mechanical-action instrument has thirty-eight stops and fifty-three ranks. At 5:00 PM AMIS members will be guests for a tour of the nearby Liberace Museum, followed by a reception hosted by Joel Strote, Chair of the Liberace Museum Board of Directors, and Jeffrey Koep, Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Transportation will be provided.

The conference begins in earnest on Friday morning, with coffee and doughnuts at 8:00 a.m. The first paper presentations are followed (after a coffee break) by three papers on Turkish instruments and style. Members will then walk (or be transported) to a nearby café for a Turkish lunch with an appropriately Mediterranean ambiance. Friday afternoon, there will be a lecture-demonstration featuring a copy of a Cristofori piano and a paper on the cello in North Indian classical music. After dinner on your own (a substantial annotated list of restaurants will be provided), the UNLV contemporary music ensemble, Nextet, will offer a concert in the Doc Rando Recital Hall.

Saturday will again begin with coffee and doughnuts followed by papers. The morning will be devoted to instruments in culture and, a symposium on tuning, intonation, and temperament will be presented. A box lunch will be provided, to be consumed during the business meeting. Afternoon papers will be followed by a lecture-demonstration on Tromlitz flutes.

Items for the silent auction will be on display in the Green Room behind the recital hall with the bidding ending at 3:15. The traditional concluding banquet will take place in the lobby of the recital hall at 7:00 PM and will be preceded by a cash bar.

For those conference attendees staying on for a day or so, we will have information about various tours and places of interest to visit in Las Vegas. Tours are available to take visitors to the Hoover Dam, the Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston (ca. 12,000 feet), or even the Las Vegas Strip.

Several natural wonders are within a short driving distance: the Grand Canyon south rim is about 4.5 hours; the north rim is about 7 hours distant. Zion National Park is a 2.5- 3-hour drive from Las Vegas; Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon are a couple of hours farther.

Las Vegas is a large modern city, which literally never sleeps. Supermarkets are open 24 hours per day, as is the airport. A walk on the Strip is entertaining; the city now has a huge variety of casino-resorts, from the "family-oriented," slightly kitschy Excalibur, to the huge Mandalay Bay with a number of restaurants (including a Russian lounge with an all-ice bar) and a fascinating aquarium, to the rather elegant (and expensive) Bellagio. Excellent restaurants are available all around the city; Zagat’s restaurant guide is informative and fairly accurate. Public transportation is minimal, so a car is the best way to explore the city. There is, however, plenty to do and see in the vicinity of the university.

We at UNLV look forward to welcoming AMIS to our university and to our city of amazing contrasts.

~Isabelle Emerson

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