University of Pittsburgh


Congratulations to Ryan Durkopp, who was awarded an Institute of International Education (IIE) Fulbright for the 2010-11 academic year. As part of his Fulbright, Durkopp will travel to Kankan, Guinea and conduct dissertation research. He will live and work with griot musicians for 10 months and study how their words and music shape public opinion concerning the current political situation On June 27, Guinea will hold free elections for the first time since 1958, so Durkopp's Fulbright allows him to study that nation's cultural discourse at an extraordinarliy important time.

For Pitt's Department of Music, the end of each semester is always full of wonderful music in diverse styles, and this spring is no exception. The Carpathian Ensemble performed on March 26 at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, and this video captures the group's lively performance of Chaje Shukarije (Beautfiul Girl). Enjoy!

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently featured music department graduate Ken Haney in an article about how the passage of healthcare reform will affect individual Pittsburghers and small business owners. Haney, a clarinetist and member of our Carpathian Ensemble,

“… has multiple sclerosis. He is being kept relatively functional by monthly infusions that cost $3,000 each, paid for by Medicaid because he couldn't get health insurance due to his pre-existing condition. He wants to work full time, but if he earns more than $200 a month he won't qualify for Medicaid. Without treatment, he'll become too disabled to work.”

Yuko Eguchi, a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology, received an Outstanding Paper Award at Pitt’s 2010 Grad Expo for her presentation, "The Art of the Geisha: Constructing Feminine Identity and Social Class." The paper is part of Eguchi’s dissertation research that she expects to defend in April of 2011. In her paper, Eguchi focuses on geishas' music and dance and shows how geisha arts deal not only with women’s feelings of sensuality and femininity, but also of powerless in a male-dominated society. She argues that the geisha song form kouta enabled geisha to “distinguish themselves as desirable women among higher class men” and ultimately to “construct their identities and raise their social status.”

Congratulations to Yuko and to all the Department’s grad students...

Music department graduate students Yuko Eguchi, Elizabeth Hoover, and Ben Pachter will participate in Pitt's annual Grad Expo which will take place at the William Pitt Union on March 22. The Grad Expo is day-long event designed to give grad students experience in presenting their research and providing them with much needed feedback. Each Paper Session will address broad themes in an interdisciplinary way.

A CD produced by musicology graduate student Bryan Wright has been nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Album Notes. The notes for Dance-O-Mania: 1919-1923 - Harry Yerkes and the Dawn of the Jazz Age were written by Mark Berresford. Released earlier in 2009 on Wright's Rivermont Records label, the CD is a reissue of historic recordings by pioneering jazz band The Happy Six.

Wright founded Rivermont Records in 2004 as a way of preserving music for the first half of the 20th century. He selects the recordings for each CD, transfers from analog to digital domain, designs the cover art, and edit the notes. Wright also produces new recordings of vintage music.


(posted by graduate composer Jonghee Kang)

One of the great things about participating in a music festival is that one directly experiences what is currently out there within the theme of the festival. That is why I always look for the opportunities to go, and this summer, I was lucky enough to go to the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium(OBFCS) held in Eugene, Oregon from June 30 to July 9.

Frankly, I had no idea what I would experience at the Symposium until I went to the registration in the morning of the first day. All the details and schedule of the Symposium were kept underground until the very first meeting. Maybe that was why I was more than stunned upon looking...

Congratulations to all graduate students who completed their degrees this term! Our PhD graduates are
J.S. Kofi Gbolonyo, ethnomusicology Daniel Grimminger, musicology James Ogburn, composition and theory Joanna Smolko, musicology Jason Squinobal, ethnomusicology
Our MA graduates are
Ryan Durkopp, ethnomusicology Samantha Heere-Beyer, musicology Benjamin Pachter, ethnomusicology Alec Summers, composition and theory
2009grads.jpg L-R: Sachem Orenda, McKenzie Ridgeway (F), Nathan Mohney, Christen Wurschmidt, Samantha Meese, Sarah Albani, Maria (Geña) Escoriaza, Ben Pattak, and Kenneth Haney

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