University of Pittsburgh


Alexandria Jean (A.J.) Denne knew from the time she was in eighth grade that she wanted to go into music therapy as a career. Since the Department of Music doesn’t offer a music therapy as a major, enrolling at Pitt wasn’t an obvious choice, but when asked about the advantages of attending Pitt to pursue that field, A.J. is overwhelmingly positive in her response.

Lei Ouyang Bryant (PhD Ethnomusicology, 2004) has accepted a position as Associate Professor of Music at Swarthmore College in the Department of Music and Dance. Bryant will leave her current position of Associate Professor at Skidmore College, where she has taught since 2006.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017! Graduates of the BA, MA, and PhD programs gathered together with faculty, staff, and family members for a meal and recognition ceremony for our artist/scholars and the milestones they have achieved.

Charles Lwanga has had a productive and rewarding spring, including the premiere of a new duet for trombone and percussion and being appointed Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College.

Composer Philip Thompson (PhD 2002) likes to describe The Final Battle for Love as, “one of the world’s finest baroque-metal professional wrestling operas,” and he got no argument from enthusiastic performers and audience members during the work’s Chicago premiere in January of 2017.

We are pleased to offer our congratulations and best wishes to the members of the Class of 2016. Graduates and their families gathered with faculty and staff at the Music Building on April 2016 for a celebratory luncheon. Graduates in attendance were introduced and faculty members who had worked closely with them spoke briefly about their accomplishments.

Congratulations to Shanna Lorenz (PhD, 2007), who was recently promoted to associate professor with tenure at Occidental College. Shanna earned her PhD in ethnomusicology (and also holds a PhD in performance studies from New York University, 2014).

Ivan Jimenez (PhD 2007) and Tuire Kuusi (Sibelius Academy, Helsinki) received a grant from the Kone Foundation (Finland) to study the way musicians and non-musicians mentally process and remember chord progressions.

On September 29, 2015, Indra Ridwan (PhD 2014) published an article about his dissertation research in Pikiran Rakyat (“Thoughts of the People”), the most widely circulated daily newspaper in West Java, Indonesia. In this article, Indra discussed Sundanese popular music of West Java (called pop Sunda), particularly the role of the arranger and arrangements.

Congratulations to James Ogburn (PhD 2009) for being named third place winner by The American Prize for his Concerto for Accordion and Orchestra.

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