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The Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship Winners

Click on an awardee's name to view a photo and brief biography.

2019 Alison Martin, Indiana University

Alison Martin

2019 Marcus Pyle, New York University

Marcus Pyle

2019 Serena Yang, University of California, Davis

Serena Yang

2018 Alysse Padilla, New York University

Alysse Padilla

2017 Nadia Chana, University of Chicago

Nadia Chana

Nadia Chana, born and raised in Edmonton/Amiskwaciwâskahikan, is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation – provisionally titled Urgent Listening: Embodied Practices as a Response to Ecological Crisis – focuses on relations among Indigenous activists, non-Indigenous settlers, and nonhuman actors in Northern Alberta and the California Bay Area to examine how practices like singing and listening shape worldview and ethical action in the context of climate crisis. Also active as a singer and facilitator, Nadia uses art song and oratorio in combination with journaling and group exercises to help people feel their way into and through loss. She has been invited to present her “Music as a Tool for Loss” workshops for diverse audiences ranging from palliative care teams of doctors, nurses, and psychologists, to groups of volunteer caregivers, to members of the general public. Nadia is grateful for the support of the 2017 Humanities Without Walls Pre-doctoral Fellowship, the Society of Ethnomusicology’s 2017 Ida Halpern Fellowship and Award, three Lowell C. Wadmond Travel Fund grants, and, of course, the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship.

2017 Lester Hu, University of Chicago

Lester Hu

Bio forthcoming

2016 Christopher Campo-Bowen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Christopher Campo-Bowen

Christopher Campo-Bowen is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his B.A. in Music with a focus in conducting at Stanford University in 2009 and M.M. in Orchestral Conducting at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. in 2011. Christopher was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to the Czech Republic during 2014–15 to work on his dissertation, which focuses on Czech comic opera, gender, and conceptions of the rural. He held a Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship from the American Musicological Society for the 2016–17 academic year. He is currently a Council for European Studies Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellow for 2017–2018, with a concurrent appointment to the editorial committee of the online journal EuropeNow. He has published articles in 19th-Century Music and Cambridge Opera Journal.

2015 Anaar Desai-Stephens, Cornell University

Anaar Desai-Stephens

Bio forthcoming

2015 Lauren Eldridge, University of Chicago

Lauren Eldridge

As of 2017, Dr. Lauren Eldridge is the Senior Programs Coordinator of the UNCF/Mellon Programs, and the interim coordinator of the Social Justice Scholars Program and lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Spelman College. She received her PhD from the Department of Music at the University of Chicago in the spring of 2016 after defending a dissertation study of intercultural leisure participation in the genres of folklore and classical music in Haiti. "Playing Haitian: Musical Negotiations of Nation, Genre, and Self" profiles the experiences of Haitian staff and students, as well as foreign volunteers at annual summer music camps located in urban and rural Haiti. Her research interests include the politics of international development, and aesthetic manifestations of social justice movements.

2014 Mia Gormandy, Florida State University

Mia Gormandy

Mia Gormandy is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Florida State University. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she has attained a bachelor's and master's degree in steelpan performance from Northern Illinois University (NIU), where she was awarded one of NIU's Most Outstanding Women of 2011. She has also attained a master's degree in musicology from Florida State University. Her master's thesis explores the steelpan politics surrounding the largest steel band competition in the world, Panorama. She has also performed in various countries around the world including Australia, England, Austria, Canada and the United States to name a few. Her dissertation entitled "Pan in Japan" explores the unique steelpan culture in Japan and examines the relationships this country has fostered with Trinidad and Tobago (the home country of the steelpan). Mia is currently directing a project called the Virtual Steelband, a global online steel band performance comprising over 250 members spanning over 14 countries across the globe.

2013 Matthew D. Morrison, Columbia University

Matthew D. Morrison

Matthew D. Morrison, a native of Charlotte, NC, is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Columbia University. He graduated phi beta kappa, magna cum laude as a Presidential scholar from Morehouse College, and he subsequently obtained an M.A. in Musicology at The Catholic University of America. In addition, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of Current Musicology, adjunct instructor of Black Music at Vassar College, Music Humanities instructor at Columbia University, and as faculty of the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute housed at Princeton University. He has published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society and the Grove Dictionary of American Music, second edition. He is writing a dissertation titled "Sound in the Construction of Race," advised by George Lewis. The aim of this dissertation is to consider the implications of positing sound as a major component in both individual and societal racial formation.

2013 Roseen Giles, University of Toronto

Roseen Giles

Roseen Giles is a doctoral student in musicology at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation topic explores the aesthetics of Claudio Monteverdi's late madrigals, in particular the relationship between music and poetry in the composer's settings of Giambattista Marino's poetry. Her scholarly interests are broad and far-reaching, including music and devotional practice in the early modern period, occult philosophy and the music of the Renaissance, and the musical notation of medieval Armenia. She has recently presented her work at both national and international conferences on a various topics including the cosmology of Robert Fludd and the solo violin music of Heinrich Biber. Her doctoral work is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and she is also an active baroque flautist, performing regularly in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

2012 Michael Figueroa, University of Chicago

Michael Figueroa

Michael A. Figueroa is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago, where he is completing a dissertation on the contentious figure of Jerusalem in Israeli song and poetry following the Six Day War of 1967. This project brings together his various research interests, which include music and collective memory, music and violence, analysis of multimedia, politics of canon formation, critical geography, and philosophy of musical experience, with a broad regional specialization in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Figueroa has published reviews in Ethnomusicology and Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology, and he previously served as Editor of voiceXchange. He has been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, and generous support from the University of Chicago's Department of Music, Center for Jewish Studies, and Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

2012 Jessie Vallejo, University of California, Los Angeles

Jessie Vallejo

Jessie M. Vallejo is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation examines the pedagogy, transmission, and institutionalization of a Kichwa flute tradition in Otavalo, Ecuador. For her M.A., she conducted research on eskanye music with musicians and teachers from Ahkwesáhsne, a territory of the Kanien'kéha (Mohawk) Nation. Jessie has presented her work in several national and international conferences in the United States, Mexico and Canada. In 2011, Jessie traveled to Otavalo with a team from Smithsonian Folkways and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to produce an album of indigenous flute music with the group Hatun Kotama. Her forthcoming publications include the album and its liner notes. Prior to receiving the Howard Mayer Brown award, her research has been supported by UCLA's Cota-Robles Fellowship and the U.S. Department of Education's Foreign Language and Area Studies (Quechua) Fellowship. In her spare time, Jessie is an active mariachi violinist in Los Angeles, California.

2011 Harald Kisiedu, Columbia University

Harald Kisiedu

Harald Kisiedu holds graduate degrees in political science and German studies from the University of Hamburg. Kisiedu is currently a Ph.D. candidate in historical musicology at Columbia University, where he is completing a dissertation on post-1965 jazz and improvised music in West and East Germany, with an emphasis on transnational networks. He has published essays on the political reception of Wagner's Meistersinger von Nürnberg during the National Socialist regime, jazz and popular music in the Terezín concentration camp, and the musical career of Peter Brötzmann. His research has been supported by Columbia's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race as well as by the American Musicological Society's Harold Powers World Travel Grant. He is also a saxophonist and has performed with Hannibal Lokumbe, Branford Marsalis, and George E. Lewis.

2010 Jacqueline Avila, University of California, Riverside

Jacqueline Avila

Jacqueline Avila is a PhD candidate in musicology at the University of California Riverside. Her research interests include Mexican modernism, nationalism and constructions of identity in music, and cinema studies. She has researched extensively on modernist composer Silvestre Revueltas, focusing on his performance career in silent film theaters in Mexico and the United States and his film scores of the 1930s. Jacqueline is a recipient of the UC MEXUS Dissertation Research Fellowship 2008-2009 and has presented her research at several conferences in the United States and Mexico. She is currently completing her dissertation entitled "Los sonidos del cine: Cinematic Music in Mexican Film, 1930-1950," which is an examination of meaning and cultural representation in the music of Mexican cinema.

2010 William Cheng, Harvard University

William Cheng

William Cheng is a doctoral candidate in Music at Harvard University. His dissertation examines technologies of musical engagement in videogame cultures through the lens of historical innovations in opera, theater, radio, film, and new media. He also conducts research on operas of the Weimar Republic, virtuosity, French song, issues of music and privilege, and intersections between critical theories of gender, sexuality, race, and disability. His recent and forthcoming publications include articles in Cambridge Opera Journal, 19th-Century Music, Ethnomusicology, The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media, and The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality. He is the recipient of the Mark Tucker Award from the Society for American Music, the Dinkelspiel Award from Stanford University, and the Slim Fellowship and Schafer Fellowship from Harvard University. He performs actively as a pianist and enjoys improvising in 19th-century classical idioms on themes from the audience.

2009 Erika Honisch, University of Chicago

Erika Honisch

Erika Supria Honisch grew up on the west coast of Canada and is currently completing her doctoral studies at the University of Chicago. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia, where she complemented her music-historical interests with studies in piano and harpsichord performance and was named a Wesbrook Fellow (2004). Her dissertation "Sacred Music in Prague, 1580-1612" investigates the role of sacred music and devotional culture in shaping confessional identity in the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, just prior to the Thirty Years War. Her graduate studies at the University of Chicago have also been supported by a Century Fellowship. A recent recipient of a University of Chicago Andrew Mellon Fellowship, she is an Affiliated Fellow of the Franke Institute for the Humanities there.

2009 Sumitra Ranganathan, University of California, Berkeley

Sumitra Ranganathan

Holding Master of Science degrees in both physics and information science, Sumitra Ranganathan transitioned from a career as an e-commerce specialist in International Trade and Logistics to become a doctoral student at UC Berkeley in 2007. A student of north Indian classical music since 1989, she studies Dhrupad singing with Bettiah gharana musicians Falguni Mitra and Indra Kishore Mishra. Working with Dhrupad musicians from multiple schools, her dissertation will investigate the development of musical judgment and the politics of aesthetics in the constitution of contemporary Dhrupad as a genre, at the same time positing alternatives to the literacy and literalism characterized by Western notions of the classical in music. Her graduate work at UC Berkeley has been supported by a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellowship from the University of California and a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship from the U.S. Dept. of Education.

2008 Ryan Bañagale, Harvard University

Ryan Bañagale

Ryan Bañagale's dissertation in progress for Harvard University studies the reception of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, an aspect of which is reflected in a 2009 article for the Journal of the Society for American Music. In 2007 he received the Hollace Anne Schafer Memorial Award from the New England chapter of the AMS, for Outstanding Student Paper.

2007 Valerie Dickerson, Ph.D., UCLA

Valerie Dickerson

Valerie Dickerson is currently a Lecturer in Latin-American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth University, as well as a Visiting Instructor there in the African and African-American Studies Program. She had been a Thurgood Marshall Fellow at Dartmouth in 2008-09. She received her Ph.D. in 2009 from the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA with a dissertation entitled "Are Those Congas in the Pulpit?: Hymns, Alabanza y Adoración Music, and the Evangelical Subculture of Western Cuba."

2006 Charles Carson Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Charles Carson

Charles Carson completed his dissertation "Broad and Market: At the Crossroads of Race and Class in Philadelphia Jazz, 1956-1980" for the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and recently joined the music history faculty at the University of Delaware. His interests run from 20th-Century American music, particularly jazz, to popular music, film music, and music and tourism, with special interests in historiography and cultural studies. From 2002-06 he was a Shapiro Fellow and from 2001-06 a Fontaine Society Fellow, both at Penn. He has published in American Music and Ethnomusicology Forum (an essay called "'Whole New Worlds': Music and the Disney Theme Park Experience," 2004). In 2003 he presented a paper at the annual meeting of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology in Wales and in 2007 he delivered a paper at the national meeting of the AMS, Quebec City, called "'Sounds Middle Class': Smooth Jazz and the Black Middle Class." His article, "'Bridging the Gap': Creed Taylor, Grover Washington Jr., and the Crossover Roots of Smooth Jazz, appeared in the Black Music Research Journal (2008). Carson was entered in the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society at his undergraduate institution, the University of Houston in 2001.

2005 Hedy Law Ph.D., University of Chicago

Hedy Law, Ph.D.

Sin-Yan Hedy Law received her PhD from the University of Chicago in June 2007 with a dissertation entitled "Gestural Rhetoric: In Search of Pantomime in the French Enlightenment, ca. 1750-1785." In 2006 she won an award for the best student paper of the AMS Midwest Chapter Meeting, and in 2006-07 she was a prestigious Mrs. Giles Whiting Fellow completing her dissertation at the University of Chicago. She is currently a junior fellow of the Society of Fellows and Collegiate Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. Professor Law's articles will appear in the Cambridge Opera Journal, Notes, and Eighteenth-Century Music. She is at work on two book projects: Imitation and the Non-Verbal French Enlightenment, and Understood: The Soft Power of Understatement in Mixed-Media Chinese Music, 1997-2008.

2004 Christina Sunardi Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Christina Sunardi, Ph.D.

Christina Sunardi specializes in the performing arts of Java, Indonesia. Her other interests include American musics, as well as dance, gender, and interaction. Sunardi has spent several years in Central Java and East Java studying and performing gamelan music and dance. She has also studied and performed music and dance with the San Francisco Bay Area ensembles Gamelan Sari Raras and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. An Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington, Seattle since 2008, she completed her dissertation on East Javanese cross-gender dance and its music at the University of California, Berkeley.

2002 Charles Hiroshi Garrett Ph.D., UCLA

Charles Hiroshi, Ph.D.

Charles Hiroshi Garrett became an Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in 2008, which also saw the publication of his book Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music in the Early Twentieth Century by the University of California Press. His research and teaching interests focus primarily on American music, jazz, popular music, music and racial/ethnic representation, and cultural theory. Prof. Garrett has received several prizes for his work, including an Alvin H. Johnson AMS-50 Award (2003) as well as the Mark Tucker Award and the Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award from the Society of American Music. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of The Grove Dictionary of American Music (second edition), which will be published by Oxford University Press as part of Grove Music Online and as a multi-volume print.

2001 Mark Burford Ph.D., Columbia University

Mark Burford, Ph.D.

Mark Burford is Assistant Professor of Music at Reed College. In 2005, he received his Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Columbia University, where he wrote a dissertation on historical consciousness in nineteenth-century German musical culture, with a focus on Johannes Brahms. His work on European art music and African American vernacular music has appeared in 19th-Century Music, the Journal of Musicology, Notes, and in edited collections, and for three years he served as editor-in-chief of Current Musicology. He has served on the New York State Council on the Arts's Folk Arts Panel and on the National Endowment for the Arts's National Heritage Fellows Panel. Prior to his appointment at Reed, he was Manager of Secondary School and World Music Programs at The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.

1999 Georgiary McElveen Bledsoe Ph.D., Duke University

Georgiary McElveen Bledsoe, Ph.D.

Georgiary Bledsoe writes in: "I am the founder and Executive Director of the Boston Urban Music Project (BUMP). Our mission is to fortify urban youth by helping them gain musical proficiency, cultural literacy and personal resilience through African diasporic music and mentoring. We will serve 150-200 youth during the 2007-08 school year in before- and after-school ensembles and classes in the Boston Public Schools. The work of BUMP is stimulating and gratifying, enriching young lives with musical legacies and recasting ethno/musicological scholarship for the consumption and instruction of urban youth." Before turning full-time to her current passion, Bledsoe (then McElveen) received her PhD at Duke University with a thesis called "'My hands, O God, I offer thee': Religious Social Consciousness and Cooperative Power in the Metropolitan St. Louis Gospel Music Center, 1930-1960" (2002). She was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Brandeis University and held a one-year teaching appointment at Tufts University prior to starting BUMP. Between 2002-2006, she served on the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship Committee.

1997 Maya Gibson Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison

Maya Gibson, Ph.D.

Maya Gibson wrote her dissertation "Alternate Takes: Billie Holiday at the Intersection of Black Cultural Studies and Historical Musicology" at the University of Wisconsin, Madison under the direction of Ron Radano. She is teaching at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Completed in 2008, her thesis discusses Billie Holiday's recent reconfiguration in the field of black cultural studies, comparing that field's critical revisions of Holiday with her earlier historical and historiographic past. Using a variety of theoretical perspectives, Gibson's work situates Billie Holiday musicologically, focusing on pivotal musical, historical, and cultural sites of significance surrounding her. She closely examines Holiday's autobiography, discusses changes in Holiday's critical reception over time, places most of her recorded repertory into an historical context, and performs a song biography of one of her most controversial numbers, "My Man." Using a variety of theoretical perspectives, Gibson's work situates Billie Holiday musicologically, focusing on pivotal musical, historical, and cultural sites of significance surrounding her. In 2009, she presented "Billie Holiday's 'My Man' and the Crux of 'True' and 'New' Black Womanhood" at the 10th Feminist Theory and Music conference.

1995 Bernardo Illari Ph.D., University of Chicago

Bernardo Illari, Ph.D.

Bernardo Illari was the first recipient of an HMB fellowship. A specialist in Latin American music of the colonial and early national periods, he is Associate Professor of music at the College of Music, University of North Texas. He received his Ph.D. in Music History from the University of Chicago in 2001 with a dissertation entitled "Polychoral Culture: Cathedral Music in La Plata (Bolivia), 1680-1730." His HMB fellowship in 1995 was followed by an AHJ-AMS 50 fellowship in 1997. His books include La personalidad de Zipoli a la luz de su obra americana and Domenico Zipoli: Para una genealogía de la música clá sica latinoamericana, which was awarded the 2003 Premio de Musicología "Casa de las Américas." Among his other publications are an edited volume and over a dozen scholarly articles in Spanish, English, Italian, and Arabic published in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Since 1992, he has been contributing scores, advice and notes to early music performers, including Ensemble Elyma, The Rare Fruit Council, Grupo Vocal Gregor, and Cuarteto Jacarandá, resulting in fifteen CDs of colonial music from Peru and Bolivia. He has edited the operas La púrpura de la rosa (Torrejón y Velasco, 1701) and San Ignacio de Loyola, and CDs of works by Zipoli and Juan de Araujo, poetic settings of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and a recreation of a colonial festival in Chuquisaca, Bolivia (Fiesta Criolla). Prior to teaching at UNT, Professor Illiari held appointments at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina) and the University of Hong Kong, and taught classes at the Universidad de Valladolid, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and the Conservatorio de Salamanca (Spain).