Current Music Theory Students

Current Music Theory Students

The following are students who are currently enrolled in the CUNY Graduate Center Music Theory Program.


  Annie Beliveau

Annie Beliveau is a vocalist, composer, and theorist interested in vocal music of Bulgaria and Nigeria and the “world music” phenomenon. She most recently presented “Haunting the Cutscene: Bulgarian Choral Music in Video Games at the Turn of the Millennium” at the virtual Fresh Science conference of the Octopus Student Scientific and Creative Society of the Ukrainian National Music Academy in March 2023. She currently teaches ear training at City College and has previously been a guest teaching artist with the 92nd Street Y and the Abrons Art Center. Annie performs professionally as a singer with Choral Chameleon and with Yasna Voices, the New York Bulgarian Women’s Choir. She has given lecture-recitals at Columbia University and at Middlebury College in Vermont, where she earned her undergraduate degree. Other research interests include medieval chant theory, the history of teaching counterpoint, and nineteenth-century French music.


Erin Johnston is a music theorist and a vocalist with degrees from Vanier College and McGill University. She has taught music theory and ear training at McGill and CCNY.  Her areas of interest include the study of classical form, romantic harmony, narrativity and musical meaning, integral serialism, and music pedagogy. She has delivered presentations on the symphonies of Gustav Mahler at various conferences in the US and Canada, including those run by South Central Society for Music Theory, the Music Theory Society of New York State, and at Western University’s Graduate Symposium on Music. She has also co-presented (with Jong Wook Song) a talk at the Music Informatics & Music Theory Pedagogy Interest Groups’ joint session at the 2023 AMS/SMT meeting, and she delivered a presentation at the 2023 Teaching Music History conference.


Christina Lee has degrees in music theory and piano from Mannes College. She has taught music theory and ear training at Mannes College, NYU, Hunter College, and Montclair State University. She currently is working on a dissertation on cadence, melody, and harmony in Hindemith’s piano sonatas, and she is currently a Full-time Music Theory and Analysis Faculty member at Juilliard.


Rebecca Moranis is a music theorist and flutist. She holds degrees in music theory and flute performance (minor in mathematics) from the University of Toronto, and her research interests include timbre and memory, spanning contemporary and 20th-century analysis, music cognition, and computational music theory. She co-authored “Rhythm Contour Drives Musical Memory” published in Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics (2023), and in 2023 presented at the MTSNYS, NECMT, ACTOR Y5, Timbre 2023, and Fresh Science conferences. Upcoming highlights include presenting “Poetic Meter: A View from Music Theory” with Joseph Straus at the 2023 SMT conference and an invited talk at McGill’s ACTOR/CIRMMT Symposium. Her research is supported in part by a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. She teaches music theory at Hunter College and previously taught music theory and math at the University of Toronto. Rebecca has been a member of Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium Young Artists since 2021, received her ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and danced ballet professionally with Opera Atelier for eight years.  


Demi Danielle Nicks, a graduate of Stetson University and Florida State University, is a music theorist with a background as vocalist and composer. She has taught music theory and aural skills at FSU and Hunter College. Her scholarly interests include musical narrative and examining works by Györgi Ligeti, Igor Stravinsky, and Lili Boulanger through the lens of trauma and disability studies. She has presented talks at regional conferences on the music of Ligeti and is a member of the SMT Committee on Accessibility and Disability. Among other honors, she has been the recipient of the Presser Scholar Award and the Doris Williams Davis & William McClure Davis Endowed Award.


Nathan Pell,  a graduate of Princeton University and Mannes College, has taught at Queens College, Mannes, and William Paterson University. A cellist, composer, conductor, and music theorist, he has published an article on Brucker in Music Theory Online and has given many presentations at national, international, and regional conferences on the topics of intersections between music analysis and performance. In connection with the SMT Performance and Analysis Interest Group, which he co-chairs,  he has launched a discography of underrepresented classical performers. He is currently working on a dissertation entitled “Repetition and Division in Tonal Music.”


Vlad Praskurnin Vlad Praskurnin is a music theorist with a background in classical guitar performance. His research interests span the 16th to 18th centuries, and include schema theory, form, historical pedagogy and improvisation, among others. He has presented his research at the joint AMS/SMT 2023 conference, the 2022 Galant Schema Studies conference, and conferences organized by the Citations: Renaissance Imitation Mass (CRIM) Project. Involvement in the CRIM project resulted in a Master’s Thesis, supported by a SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship, on Orlando di Lasso’s Chanson-Masses. He earned M.A. and B.Mus. degrees in Music Theory at McGill University.


Ben Schweitzer  is a music theorist and composer, originally from Massachusetts. He studied composition with Salvatore Macchia at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and music theory at Queens College, CUNY, where he wrote a thesis, advised by David Schober, on Mahler’s Sixth Symphony. His interests include modernism, post-tonal theory, and Japanese music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He recently presented a paper at the Fresh Science conference analyzing Toshio Hosokawa’s Etudes for piano in terms of the links between their post-tonal language and Japanese aesthetics. Ben also enjoys photography, reading, and being outside in nature. He is currently working on an opera.


Jiyeoung Sim is a music theorist whose interests focus on the aesthetical properties of music and how they can be algorithmically generated in the Post-human Era. Her primary areas of interest include Computational Creativity, AI-generated composition, and Digital Musicology. She received a fellowship from Seoul National University for her master’s thesis proposal and won the 11th Young Musicologist Award from the Musicological Society of Korea for her master’s thesis. She has served as an Administrative Assistant and teaching assistant in musicology major classes in the Department of Musicology at Seoul National University. She has published numerous book chapters in the Korean Contemporary Music Review, along with several translations and reviews, and she has delivered several presentations on contemporary music and music AI at various conferences and other forums in Korea. She loves to go hiking and swimming with her family, visit local bookstores, and play the synthesizer in the band, RAON. She holds a Bachelor of Music with a minor in Aesthetics and a Master of Music from Seoul National University.


Jong Song has studied at SUNY Potsdam College and Queens College. In addition to his work in music theory, he is an accomplished flutist and beatbox flutist who has as performed in a variety of different ensembles and spaces, ranging from solo performances in Irish pubs, to being part of the World Peace Orchestra at David Geffen Hall. His scholarly interests include the study of the music of Astor Piazzolla, Schenkerian analysis, and pop and rock music. In 2023, he presented the talk “Stereo Mixing in the Beatles: Positionality as an Instrument of Expression” at the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic and co-presented (with Erin Johnston) a talk at the Music Informatics & Music Theory Pedagogy Interest Groups’ joint session at the 2023 AMS/SMT meeting. He is currently exploring recording and mixing techniques as agents of tension and release and possible articulations of form. He also works as a personal trainer.


Stephen Spencer is an active composer and music theorist who holds a position as a full-time lecturer at Hunter College. As a composer, his music employs extended playing techniques, auxiliary percussive materials, and live electronics to elicit a visceral and emotional response. His current research questions focus on the relationship between auditory perception and aesthetics, and the notion(s) of timbre and sound quality throughout music history. He has presented talks at numerous regional, national, and regional conferences, including at the annual conferences of MTSMA,  MTNSYS, and SMT, on topics that range from timbre in the music of Edgar Varèse to that of the rock group Jesus and Mary Chain, and he co-authored (with Mark Spicer) a chapter in the book Analyzing Recorded Music: Collected Perspectives on Popular Music Tracks, a book which was honored with the SMT 2023 Mutli-Author Publication Award.


Lina S. Tabak is a Ph.D. candidate in music theory at the CUNY Graduate Center. She currently teaches music theory at New York University and previously taught at Brooklyn College, and she was recently appointed (starting in Fall 2024) as Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Indian University. Her dissertation analyzes the relationships between rhythm, perceived meter, and stylistic expertise in two Colombian zapateo genres. This work was awarded the 2023 SMT-40 Dissertation Fellowship, and a preliminary version of one of her chapters won the 2020 SMT Student Presentation Award. Lina’s work on metric signals in Sub-Saharan and Afro-Diasporic folk music was published in the Brazilian journal Musica Theorica in 2022. She serves as Associate Editor of the journal Analytical Approaches to World Music and was co-chair of the program committee for the 2023 Symposium Theoretical, Analytical, and Cognitive Approaches to Rhythm & Meter in World Musics, and has delivered presentations at numerous regional, national, and international conferences. She holds a B.M. in music theory and euphonium performance from Florida State University.


Alice (Bai) Xue is currently teaching at NYU Steinhardt and Hunter College while in the final stages of her Ph.D. at the CUNY Graduate Center. Before these appointments, she taught at Hofstra University and Temple University. Her profound love for all music genres shapes her academic inquiry; her current focus, though, is her dissertation on the form and structure of African music. She has presented talks on topics ranging from the music of Stravinsky, hip-hop, jazz, and African at several conferences, such as at the annual conferences of MTSMA, TeMA, GSIM, Analytic Approaches to World Music, and the Society for Music Theory. She is also a vibrant participant in the city’s music scene as a trumpet player and pianist and has performed a variety of genres in various city venues; she has a particular fondness for playing in musicals and salsa bands. She is also semi-professional comic artist, and is an artist for Amazon, for whom she designs art for tee-shirts and hoodies.

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