Research Presentations & Performance by Students & Recent Graduates

Friday, October 8
1:30–3:10 p.m.
Highland E, Rochester Riverside Convention Center

Students and recent graduates will have the opportunity to present their research and a performance after having received guidance from faculty mentors who are senior researchers and performers in the field. The goal of this session is to give space for all CMS student members to learn from, and with, each other, as well as to extend the networking web facilitated by CMS. All students are encouraged to attend!

Performance:

Prometheus, by Marc Mellits
UNCG Clarinet Octet: John Griffin, Lucas Gianini, Chelsea Karpeh, Sophie Kass, Joanna McCoskey, Carlos Pastran, Roderick Andrew Terrell II, & Andrea Tiffany

In 2011 Marc Mellits completed his fourth string quartet, Prometheus. Later in 2019, it was arranged for clarinet octet by Jonathan Russell. Mellits is an American composer who writes eclectic pieces filled with driving rhythms, soaring lyricism, and colorful orchestrations. His music creates a visceral experience for the audience, using musical textures and colors to deeply connect with the listener.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus is the Titan god of fire and was also known for being a trickster. It is believed that he stole fire from the gods and gifted it to humankind. Fire can appear in many forms, from a small flame on a candle to a controlled heat source in a fireplace to an inferno ravaging forests. As the octet progresses, Mellits uses each movement to present an evolving perspective on fire, exploring not just its destructive nature but also its more subtle and gentle qualities.

The first movement begins on a unison pitch, as a fire may begin with a single lit match. As the harmony expands the dynamic of the movement starts oscillating, growing and fading away as a young fire might while it spreads, eventually becoming an all-consuming blaze. The following 5 movements explore a range of colors which fire can offer, often deviating from the aggressive nature and danger we typically associate with fire. The piece ends dramatically with the last movement emulating a wild and uncontrollable fire, raging through a forest and destroying everything in its path.

Research Papers:

Dancing Dinosaurs: Gendered Listening and Cultural Consensus in Dubbed Versions of “Un violador en tu camino”
Lydia Wagenknecht (University of Colorado–Boulder)

What do Santa Claus, Nicolás Maduro, and a dancing cat have in common? Besides facial hair, all of these figures unwittingly became embodiments of a feminist message through the wonders of dubbing and YouTube. Created by Chilean feminist collective Las Tesis, the original version of the performative phenomenon “Un violador en tu camino” took place on the streets of Santiago during the 2019 Chilean protests. Videos of the chant and accompanying actions resonated with women worldwide, and now a YouTube search of “El violador eres tú” (a popular alternative name) unearths hundreds of results ranging from diegetic flamenco versions to remixed reggaeton ones.

In three case studies, I consider the cultural work accomplished by dubbed and remixed versions of the chant in which the bodies of the performers have become detached from their voices. I examine these versions through three distinct lenses: the lost voice narrative, the devouring of voice, and ventriloquism. Inspired by Nina Eidsheim’s redefinition of the acousmatic question in “The Race of Sound” (2018), I argue for a redefinition of these vocal frameworks that includes a previously less-considered interpretive entity: the listener. I demonstrate how gendered listening constructs cultural consensus surrounding disembodied versions of “Un violador en tu camino,” and I suggest ways in which disembodiment itself might serve as a precondition for specific modes of gendered listening. In synthesizing vocality frameworks and netnography methodologies, this study contributes to understandings of the ways in which voice and identity function in online communities.


Music Education and Cultural Humility: A Synergy to Address School Discipline Disproportionality and 
Underrepresentation of Students of Color in University-Level Music Education
Angelos Ntais (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

This paper explores school discipline disproportionality as a factor that contributes to the underrepresentation of students of color in university-level music education. Studies by Bal et al. (2017) and Skiba et al. (2011) highlight the overrepresentation of students of color in exclusionary school discipline, whereas Bell (2020) mentions in his study about Black students’ and parents’ perceptions of school discipline that “school disciplinary actions that target students of color may initiate a process of self-detachment from the academic environment.” Therefore, students who wish to pursue music studies but experience harsh disciplinary actions in their school life, may lose the opportunity to receive music education at the university level.

Based on this interrelationship between school discipline and access to higher education, this paper also describes how a School of Music can instill cultural humility — a framework which has been integrated in the practice of professionals in social work (Fisher-Borne et al., 2015), nursing (Foronda et al., 2016) and education (Tinkler & Tinkler, 2016) — in undergraduate music education with the goal of educating music teachers to embrace and integrate the principles of this framework in their own educational practice: openness, self-awareness, being egoless and ready to incorporate self-reflection and critique after interacting with individuals from various cultural backgrounds. Ultimately, music educators will be able to utilize cultural humility to address individual and institutional level behaviors that contribute to disparities and marginalization of communities in the school environment and will allow for more students of color to access university-level music education.


Pedagogy and Representation: A Pedagogical Approach for Introducing Collegiate and Secondary Students 
to the Wind Band Compositions of Three Underrepresented Composers: William Grant Still, Julie Giroux, and Carlos Chávez
Matthew Winarski (North Dakota State University)

The wind band is an integral part of the American secondary and collegiate education systems, and it is a field dominated by white, male composers for much of its repertoire. As new trends emerge and populations diversify, the musicians in these ensembles are increasingly a melting pot of races, ethnicities, and genders. This paper will examine one major wind band work from three underrepresented composers, including, William Grant Still’s (1895–1978) Folk Suite for Band, Julie Giroux’s (b. 1961) Symphony No. 1 Culloden, and Carlos Chávez’s (1899–1978) Chapultepec. Besides evaluating these three works, this paper will also create a culturally responsive teaching pedagogy for each piece, giving a framework for educators to use when teaching these pieces or others by underrepresented composers. The experience of secondary and collegiate band students will benefit greatly from this approach to teaching new band compositions.

Previous research has looked at each topic separately, focusing on individual composers and their works, while not integrating pedagogical frameworks for introducing the pieces to band students. The wind band pieces by Still, Giroux, and Chávez all represent high quality repertoire, and when combined with culturally responsive teaching methods, a wider audience of musicians and students will see themselves in the music being performed. As the students in the band classrooms diversify, the music should follow suit. The American wind band must let diversified repertoire serve as the catalyst for change, which will propel the field into the future and assure its survival in the American cultural landscape.


Trauma in Improvised Music
Samuel Dunlap (University of Michigan)

For some musicians, the experience of making music includes the experience of trauma. Ideally, music performance seeks truth, beauty, and transcendence. In improvised music however, the experience of the ineffable can be all too grounded in the experience of intimidation, bias, harassment, and even violence. Yet the experience of trauma in contemporary improvised performance is rarely recognized because trauma responses and social stigmas inhibit many musicians’ ability to share their experiences. For music making to become more inclusive and liberating we need to acknowledge the traumatic experiences in the lives of music makers.

One current arena where traumatic experiences are already being shared is in the ongoing conversation of gender in improvised music. Specifically, misogynistic and hyper-masculine social behavior and institutional values have reportedly traumatized women improvisors in ways that directly impede both musical growth and creative well-being. Listening to these womens’ experiences provides insight into how to heal trauma in the creative lives of all artists, regardless of their gender and creative background.

I conducted four ethnographic interviews with women improvisers whose experiences show how improvised music culture can pose a risk of trauma and creative contraction. However, as a creative process, improvisation also has potential to heal trauma and expand creativity. In this paper I consider these opposing dynamics in the practice of improvised music and propose possibilities for healing through destigmatizing the creative realities of trauma. Specifically, I emphasize the importance of safe and informed teachers, promoting educational reform, and avenues for further research.