Graduate Students in Musicology at Eastman

PhD Students, by Entrance Year

entered 2019

Lauren Berlin graduated with a BA in Philosophy and History of Math and Science from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD.  There she wrote her thesis entitled Unbewußt, Höchste Lust: On the Experience of Resolution in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, for which she received the Susan Irene Roberts prize for the best senior thesis. Lauren’s research interests include aesthetics in German Romantic lieder, phenomenology, and notions of parody in American television music.

Eleanor Price graduated summa cum laude from DePauw University in 2017 with a dual BM and BA in flute performance and English literature. She has worked as a Graduate Fellow at the Prindle Institute for Ethics, serving as the editor of the national ethics news publication The Prindle Post and as a co-producer of the ethics podcast Examining Ethics. As an Honor Scholar, Eleanor completed a year-long undergraduate thesis entitled The Art of Borrowing: Intertextuality in the French Motet of the Late Middle Ages. Her research interests include questions of genre, authorship, and temporality in the Middle Ages. 

entered 2018

Ryan Blakeley holds a B.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences and an M.A. in Music from the University of Ottawa, Canada. His Master’s thesis is titled Genre and Influence: Tracing the Lineage of Timbre and Form in Steven Wilson’s Progressive Rock. His research primarily focuses on popular music, genre fusion, and the boundaries between high art and low art.

Bronwen McVeigh holds degrees in piano performance and composition from Michigan State University, where she was also honored as the class of 2017’s most outstanding graduating senior. Additionally, Bronwen is a recipient of the Sudler prize for excellence in the arts and the first prize winner of the Mary Anderson Award for Best Undergraduate Paper (MSU department of Sociology). In 2016, a grant from the Presser foundation supported Italian language study and independent research about contemporary Italian poetry and music. In addition to a PhD in musicology, Bronwen is pursuing an M.S in Medical Humanities and Bioethics. Her research interests include musical hypnosis in the gothic novel and musical activity in Occupied Paris (1940-1945). 

Emmalouise St. Amand holds a B. M. in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College and an M. M. in Vocal Performance from Frost School of Music. Her research interests include American popular music in the twentieth century, music, labor, and capitalism, and issues of gender and the body. A former k-12 classroom teacher, she maintains a voice studio at the Eastman Community Music School.

entered 2017

Stephen Johnson received his B.M. in Music Education and M.A. in Musicology from Indiana University. His dissertation will cover North Korean revolutionary opera and the ways it both constructs and responds to juche ideology across the twentieth century. He has presented on the topic at the American Musicological Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the New York Conference on Asian Studies. When he is not researching, he is an active public musicologist, hosting musical programming on Classical 91.5 and running an award-winning musicological web series. His research is supported by a Sproull Fellowship.

Anthony LaLena holds a B.M. from The State University of New York at Fredonia and a M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music in classical guitar performance. He is currently enrolled in both the D.M.A. and Ph.D. programs at the Eastman School of Music. His research interests include music and politics in early 20th century Spain, the aesthetics of fascism, and negotiations of national identity through music. As an active guitarist and chamber musician he has performed at home in New York as well as in France, Spain and Germany.

Pallas Catenella Riedler received her B.A. in Music and English Literature from Wellesley College in 2017. At Eastman, she is pursuing an M.A. in Ethnomusicology and Ph.D. in Historical Musicology. Her master’s thesis, Synthesizing Archives of the Sea: Nautical Identity in the Maritime Music Collection, examines the social and historical impacts of nautical preservation during the late-nineteenth-century decline of deep-water sailing culture. This project is supported by fellowships from the Mystic Seaport Museum and Society for American Music. Pallas’s doctoral work focuses on virtuality and immersive technology in nineteenth-century opera.

Suraj Saifullah earned a B.A. in Music (with a concentration in Theory) and a B.S. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University. While at CWRU, he completed his undergraduate thesis on multimedia metaphor, Nature, Technology, and Metaphor in Björk’s Biophilia (2011) and Vulnicura (2015). At previous conferences, Suraj has presented on the relationship between routes of circulation and musical practice, especially as this relationship manifests on new multimedia platforms and social networks. His dissertation investigates how this relationship informs ways that people navigate presentations of gender, sexuality, and other forms of identity. A founding member of Eastman’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Student-Faculty Alliance, Suraj is dedicated to promoting equity within academia. Suraj’s doctoral research is supported by the University of Rochester’s Provost Fellowship.

entered 2016

Trevor Nelson comes to Eastman with an M.A. in Musicology and Interdisciplinary Graduate Specialization in Women’s and Gender Studies from Michigan State University, and a B.M. in Instrumental Music Education from Appalachian State University. At MSU, he penned his thesis, The Dissident Dame: Alternative Feminist Methodologies and the Music of Ethel Smyth, which explored and proposed unconventional ways of understanding music associated with women’s suffrage movements. In addition to feminist political campaigns, he is interested in queer studies, as well as bodies in colonial spaces. Trevor is an active and passionate teacher, having won pedagogy awards at both Appalachian and MSU. His doctoral studies are supported by a Sproull Fellowship.

Dani Osterman completed a B.S. in Math and a B.A. in Music at The Ohio State University.  Her interests include Russian liturgical music from antiquity to the late 18th c. and looking at American musical theater as a taste-making agent with a specific interest towards the medium’s interaction with the historical eras and events depicted.

entered 2015

Stephen Armstrong completed his master’s degrees in musicology and piano performance at Michigan State University, where he submitted a thesis on the historiography of Franz Liszt’s piano music. A chapter of his thesis is forthcoming (2015) in the Journal of the American Liszt Society. He has presented papers at AMS chapter meetings, the North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, the North American Conference on Video Game Music, and at the “Music, Narrative, and the Moving Image” conference held by the International Association for Word and Music Studies. An avid pianist and rock keyboardist, he has performed throughout his native Michigan and in Italy. His research interests include virtuosity, mysticism, and music and literature studies. He holds a Sproull Fellowship.

Mary McArthur received her B.M. in Piano Performance and Philosophy from Furman University and her M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Eastman. Her master’s thesis, The Beating Heart of Bali: Contemporary Resonances of the “Great Gong,” examines the gong as a rich signifier within the Balinese contemporary music scene. Mary remains an active member of Eastman’s Gamelan Sanjiwani while pursuing her Ph.D. in Historical Musicology. She is currently writing her dissertation on Carolina beach music, a regional tradition native to her home state of South Carolina. Examining beach music within a system of state heritage construction, she is particularly interested in how sounds function in dialogue with ecological processes and cultural memory to create a sense of place.

Jane Sylvester completed her B.M. in Saxophone Performance and a B.M. in Music Education with High Honors at Michigan State University. Inspired by her sixteen years as a saxophonist, Jane is fascinated by issues concerning the performative body.

entered 2014

Austin Richey received an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Eastman School of Music in 2014. His research interests include diasporic and transnational musics, with a particular focus on the emergent Zimbabwean diaspora. Austin is active as a performer and is a member of Eastman’s Gamelan Lila Muni and the Serevende Mbira Ensemble.

entered 2013

Alexis VanZalen is a candidate for the Ph.D. in musicology at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. Alexis has long been interested in historical keyboard music, both as a scholar and performer, and she has completed Bachelors degrees in history and organ performance from Lawrence University and Masters degrees in musicology and early music performance from Eastman. She has presented her work on topics ranging from Hildegard to Buxtehude, Lully, and Nivers at several leading conferences in her field, including those hosted by the American Musicological Society, the Institute de Recherche en Musicologie, the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, and the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies. Grants from the Presser Foundation and Eastman’s Elsa T. Johnson fellowship have supported Alexis’s dissertation, which is titled “Beyond Registration; Timbral Variety and the Rhetoric of Attention in French Baroque Organ Music.” Here Alexis explores the influence of the French Catholic Reformation, as well as contemporary rhetorical and sensory theories, on the compositions of Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers and other late seventeenth-century organists.

entered 2012

Gail Lowther completed an MM in Music History and an MM in Music Education at Bowling Green State University. Her current research interests include twentieth-century French music and opera.

entered 2006

Naomi Gregory completed the BA and MPhil at Cambridge University. She is a double-degree student, PhD in Musicology and DMA in organ, and she is a Sproull Fellow. In 2008 she received one of Eastman’s teaching assistant awards.[return to top]

MA Students in Musicology

entered 2018

Miles Greenberg graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in music (piano and music history concentration) from Temple University in 2014. Following graduation, he worked as a research manager for OPERA America and as an arts manager and booking agent at Dispeker Artists. Miles’ scholarly interests include voice and opera studies with a focus on timbre, vocality and aural politics. In his free time, Miles enjoys experimenting with new recipes and taking care of his poodle, Charlie. 

MA Students in Ethnomusicology

entered 2019

Julia Egan holds a B.M. in Classical Guitar Performance from the Eastman School of Music. In 2016, she received a World Music Certificate upon completion of her independent study on Zimbabwean Mbira music as part of the Musical Arts Major. She has worked as a research assistant transcribing the Zimbabwean guitar songs of Sekuru Tute Wincil Chigamba for Jennifer Kyker’s (PhD) digital humanities project Sekuru’s Stories: Telling ‘Sekuru’s Stories’ Through Music. She has also performed in several invited lectures on Zimbabwean mbira music at the University of Rochester (‘16), and Nazareth College (‘18). Julia’s research interests focus on music, gender, and social change of the nomadic Tuareg people in the Sahel. 

Shiyu Tu holds a B.M. in erhu performance from China Conservatory of Music in 2019. She has learned Chinese traditional music for fifteen years and possessed a high skill of erhu performance. She is pursuing an M.A. in Ethnomusicology at Eastman School of Music. Shiyu’s scholarly interests include the mediation of music in the cross-cultural field, Chinese hip-hop, and Chinese traditional music. She intends to conduct the fieldwork of Chinese hip-hop music in Beijing this summer for her MA thesis.

Eva (Yi) Yang graduated from Wheaton College (MA) with a B.A. in Economics and Music. During her time at Wheaton, she completed her research papers entitled Chinese Music During the Cultural Revolution and In the Shadow of Globalization: Sex Workers in China. She plays both traditional Chinese and Western musical instruments including dizi and piano. Her research interests include Chinese pop and traditional music associated with minority ethnic groups, cultural identity and nationalism, religion, media, gender studies, and globalization. Her current project at Eastman focuses on the music of minority ethnic groups in Yunnan Province, southwestern China. 


[return to top]