Music Theory Student and Alumni Accomplishments

Recent Graduates

Here is a list of (now former) students with newly minted Ph.Ds from the Music Theory program at the CUNY Graduate Center, followed by their current teaching position:

  • Michèle Duguay, 2021. “Gendering the Virtual Space: Sonic Femininities and Masculinities in Contemporary Top 40 Music” (Indiana University).
  • Simon Prosser, 2021. “A Schema-Theoretic Approach to Hierarchy in Eighteenth-Century Tonality” (Yale School of Music).
  • Ruka Shironishi “Plainchant Accompaniment and Modal Harmony in Nineteenth-Century France” (Mannes, Juilliard, and Queens College).
  • Noel Torres-Rivera, 2021. “The Making of an Avant-gardist: A Study of Rafael Aponte-Ledée’s Early Life and Works (1957–1966)” (University of Missouri Kansas City).

SMT 2021 Presentations and Awards

SMT Presentations by CUNY students and alumni 

A number of current CUNY students gave presentations at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory (SMT):

  • Kristi Hardman, “The Vocal Backbeat as a Text Painting Device in Recent Mainstream Country Music.”
  • Stephen Spencer, “Textural Problematics in The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy.”
  • Charlie Weaver, “Messiaen’s Octatonic Voice Leading: A Neo-Riemannian Approach.”
  • Matthew Sandahl, “Kurtág’s Fragmentary Forms: Incompletion and Unity in op.7 and op. 28.”
  • Nathan Pell moderated the session “Cellists’s Analysis” at the Performance and Analysis Interest Group.

In addition, a number of CUNY alumni delivered presentations or served as moderators at this meeting as well, including Michèle Duguay, Alexander Martin, Andrew Pau, Ellen Bakulina, Edward Klorman, Chris Segall, Catherine Losada, Ji Yeon Lee, Drew Nobile, Rachel Lumsden, Kyle Adams, Jan Miyake, Noriko Minabe, and Imri Talgam.


 Awards by CUNY students and alumni

A number of members of the CUNY community won awards that were announced at the SMT conference this year:

  • Lina Tabak won the 2020 student presentation award for her talk last year “Pulse Dissonance in Colombian Currulao”
  • Michèle Duguay (CUNY, 2021) won the dissertation award to help support work on her dissertation “Gendering the Virtual Space: Sonic Femininities and Masculinities in Contemporary Top 40 Music” (which she completed this past summer).
  • Drew Nobile (CUNY 2014) won the Emerging Scholar Book Award for his book Form as Harmony in Rock Music. This book, incidentally, grew out of a dissertation that Drew Nobile worked on with his adviser Mark Spicer, and the dissertation in turn developed from a paper that he initially wrote for a class he took with Mark Spicer at the CUNY Graduate Center.


Other CUNY recent student accomplishments

Stephen Gomez-Peck presented the talks “(Hyper)metrical Games in Schubert’s Early Piano Sonatas” and “From Consumer to Producer: Cultivating Digital Literacy in the Music Appreciation Classroom” (co-presented with Samuel Teeple) at the joint AMS/SMT meeting in Fall 2020.

Kristi Hardman published the essay, “The Continua of Sound Qualities for Tanya Tagaq’s Katajjaq Sounds, “ in Trends in World Music Analysis (Routledge, forthcoming) and delivered the presentations “Form as Timbre: Tracking the Form of Tanya Tagaq’s ‘Ilunikavi’ through Timbral Changes” at the MusicCAN conference, 2021;  and “The Acoustic Properties of Tanya Tagaq’s Vocal Sounds as Situated on Timbral Continua” at the joint AMS/SMT meeting, 2020. Also, she served on the roundtable “Analysis and Decolonization” at the 2020 SEM Annual Meeting. 

Nathan Pell, published “Reframing Classical Performance through Representation in Teaching” on the  SMT Performance and Analysis Interest Group Blog (2020); and delivered the presentation “Tempo as Form: Unnotated Orchestral Rubato in Early Recordings, Treatises, and Composition” both at the Music Analysis Conference, Birmingham, UK, Summer 2021, and at the joint AMS/SMT meeting, 2020.

Lina Tabak guest lectured at FSU’s Cawthon Colloquium, where she gave a talk entitled “Colombian cross-rhythms and how to analyze them.” She also presented the talks “The Unstable Madwoman in ‘Glitter and be Gay’” at the 2021 MTS conference and “Hypermetrical Practices in ‘The Ritual of the Two Rival Tribes” MTSE in March 2021. During the 2020 SMT conference, she presented the talk “Pulse Dissonance in Colombian Currulao,” which won the 2020 SMT Student Presentation Award. She also has a forthcoming talk,  “Pulse Dissonance in Colombian Currulao” at the 2021 TeMA meeting in Brazil.

Charlie Weaver is an active professional lutenist. He delivered a lecture on partimento  for the Lute Society of America, and taught a class on early notation for the Summer Sacred Music program at St. Joseph’s Seminary.

* * * *

For other the department-wide research highlights, see here.

For a list of alumni since 1996, see here.

For a list of current students, see here.


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