At the close of our 61st annual conference, Meredith Snow ended a lengthy eighteen-year tenure as a member of ICSOM’s Governing Board.
When she attended her first ICSOM conference in 2002, Meredith served as the ICSOM delegate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Three years later in San Diego, the delegates elected Meredith as a member-at-large on the Governing Board, a position that she would hold for eleven years before becoming ICSOM chairperson in 2016.
I first got to know Meredith when the Grand Rapids Symphony (GRS) musicians applied for ICSOM membership in 2012. Meredith was a member of the Membership Committee and worked with me on the application process. This photo, from August 2013, was taken at the ICSOM conference in Kansas City right after the GRS was accepted into ICSOM. The photo includes the musicians who became ICSOM’s lead officers four years later: ICSOM Secretary Laura Ross, Meredith, and me (and a photo bomb by ICSOM Treasurer and former Editor Peter de Boor).
The following year Meredith hosted the ICSOM conference in Los Angeles, and two years later she became ICSOM chairperson at our conference in Washington, DC, in 2016. This nearly coincided with my entry into the Governing Board, in 2015 as a member-at-large and in 2017 as ICSOM president.
Our time working together for six years as chairperson and president included attending AFM, International Federation of Musicians (FIM), Sphinx, and League of American Orchestras events as “Team ICSOM.” Occasionally when asked about our roles, I always responded that we functioned as a CEO and COO, with Meredith as the external voice of the organization as I handled the internal matters. But, in all actuality, we worked as a team and handled our duties as one unit.
ICSOM weathered several serious storms during Meredith’s time on the Governing Board: the economic downturn of 2008 and the 2020 pandemic. Her ability to remain calm during adverse times was remarkable, and as a result our organization continues to thrive today. Our hybrid conference in Pittsburgh in 2021 represents an organizational triumph that stemmed directly from Meredith’s no-nonsense leadership (and serves an important touchstone to me, as I was reelected president at the conference—see the inset photo with our ICSOM logo face masks).
Meredith conducts herself directly—and has as long as I have known her. She is not one for insincerity or excessive flattery. Rather, Meredith lays everything out there in an honest way.
At this summer’s annual conference in Milwaukee, my president’s address included the following paragraph to honor Meredith. It is a fitting way to end this article, too.
“Meredith is someone whom I consider to be my ride or die. You know, the pandemic really isolated some people. But, in our case, the pandemic brought the two of us closer together. The countless calls about how ICSOM was going to get through the pandemic, and our concern for all of our membership, and wondering how ICSOM could be the best resource possible, well, those were bonding moments. Meredith has a special and unique style of bringing people together, which has served ICSOM well. Her common sense approach to our challenges got us through a lot. Thank you, Meredith! Your work for ICSOM made a difference and won’t be forgotten.”