At past conferences, attendees received printed copies of repertoire for the reading sessions, sessions handouts and a multi-page program book. This year, the Conference Planning Committee is exploring a new delivery system. Materials will be offered digitally and attendees may choose whether to bring a device on which to view them or to request an iPad to use for the week.

From the Planning Committee:

The reasons for our "all-digital" repertory decisions for this conference are many, but cost was definitely among those reasons. Over the course of our previous conferences we've had to dispose of literally thousands of dollars worth of hard copies of music on-site—and that doesn't even begin to address the paper copies of unwanted AUUMM repertoire that are languishing unused in individual libraries across the globe. Your Conference Planning Committee agreed this year that the time has come to seek an alternative to using all that paper year after year after year. Please trust that we did not make this decision hastily.

One of the themes of this conference will be the ways in which people of privilege are called to examine their comfortable habits, considering the ways in which those habits impact others—whether those "others" be the communities of color whose music is under-represented in the catalogs of large, popular publishing and distribution companies; or the ecological systems that are impacted by casual use of paper and other resources, from planting to harvest to use to disposal.

This is a leading-edge approach. No other music entity has asked ever asked for paperless deliver and the music publishers are being challenged to think in new ways regarding licensing. However, they are assuming that this is the trend of the future and appreciate the motivation to work through the logistics. In other words, UU musicians are having a direct impact on the entire music publishing business.

Of course, individual concerns may supersede the thought and care we've put into this year's conference plan. But we do hope that conference attendees will challenge themselves to explore ways in which their comfortable patterns are detrimental to the interconnected web of which we are a part, and to seek other behaviors that might model greater accountability and respect. Change is rarely comfortable or easy, but as religious professionals we are called, if nothing else, to change the world for the better, starting with ourselves.

Questions which have arisen:

I don't own a tablet or laptop. How will I see the materials?

AUUMM will be renting iPads for any attendees who request one on their order form.

What if I don't know how to use an iPad?

On the registration form you will be given a chance to request an iPad mentor. You will be paired with a volunteer who has indicated a willingness to assist with the technology.

Is there an additional cost to attendees who request an iPad?

No, AUUMM will be picking up the cost of all rented iPads. They are surprisingly reasonable to rent.

How will the materials be delivered?

The repertoire and schedule will be saved as pdf files which easily be read on any device. They will be stored in a Google folder and attendees will receive a link to that folder. The rented iPads will come with the documents already installed.

I'm bringing a PC device, not an iPad. Will that work?

You do not need to have a particular kind of device to access the materials. If you can read pdf files on your tablet or laptop, then you will be able to view conference materials.

I requested an iPad but now will not need it. (Or...I didn't request an iPad but now I need one.) Can I change my iPad request?

On July 12, the iPads will be shipped. If you have decided that you do or don't want one, we can change our order without penalty through July 11. Just send your request to Julie Enersen,

I like to makes notes on my music. How will I do that with digital copies?

Apps exist which allow you to view pdfs and make notes on them. We will suggest some useful ones as the conference dates get closer.

Don't you worry about clogging up the church's bandwidth with the use of all of these devices?

That is definitely a concern. We will encourage everyone to download the materials so that they can be accessed offline.

When we sing in the conference choir, will we all be holding electronic devices?

The material for the Sunday morning performance will likely be delivered as hard copies or taught by rote.

It may be physically uncomfortable for me to hold an iPad for extended periods. Can you help?

Just let us know and we will find a stand for you to use.