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First Vice President Bios
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Tong-soon LEE

Tong Soon Lee teaches ethnomusicology at Emory University and previously taught at the University of Durham (U.K.). He has served as the editor of the SEM Newsletter (2000-2006), Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the SEM 2005 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Member-at-Large on the SEM Board (2007-2009), and as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the SEM Translation Series. Tong-Soon has also served on the Advisory Committee for Ethnomusicology of the College Music Society (2008-2010) and as the President of the Society for Asian Music (2007-2011). He is the author of Chinese Street Opera in Singapore (University of Illinois Press, 2009) and editor of the Routledge Handbook on Asian Music: Cultural Intersections (forthcoming).


I received my Ph.D. in Music (Ethnomusicology) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, in 1993, and am currently Professor of Music at Smith College, Massachusetts, and Chair of the Five College Ethnomusicology Program. I am the author of D’Albuquerque’s Children: Performing Tradition in Malaysia’s Portuguese Settlement (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), Kantiga di Padri să Chang (CD and booklet, vol. 5 in the series a viagem dos sons / the journey of sounds; Lisbon: Tradisom and EXPO ’98, 1998), and assorted articles on the music and dance of the Portuguese and Straits Chinese communities in Malaysia, music and gender, brass instruments around the world, and Islamic popular music in Malaysia.

I joined SEM when I came to the United States as a graduate student in 1984. I began active service as the Midwest Chapter Representative to the Student Concerns Committee (1987-88) and was later elected to the SEM Council as a student representative (1992-95). I was elected to two further terms on the Council (1997-2000 and 2007-10) and one term on the Executive Board as Member-at-Large, Odd Year (2001-03). I have also served on the Council Nominating Committee (1998), the Board Nominating Committee (2000 and 2012), and chaired the Jaap Kunst Prize Committee (2005). At the local level, I have served as President of NECSEM (Northeast Chapter of SEM, 1994-96), member of the Program and Local Arrangement Committees (1996, 2001), and chair of the Koetting Prize Committee (1995).

I have a good deal of editorial experience that would stand me in good stead for the position of First Vice President, the principal duty of which is to oversee all publications of the Society. I was the assistant to the editor of our journal Ethnomusicology (1987-90), copy editor of the SEM publication Women in North American Indian Music: Six Essays (1989), and Audio Review Editor for the Yearbook for Traditional Music (2002-10). I have also worked in various editorial capacities for the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, the University of Illinois Press, and The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments.

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