University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Music Graduate Student Conference

The Music Graduate Student Organization at the University of Pittsburgh is pleased to announce its first annual conference, to be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus. The topic of institutional power has come up in recent conversations surrounding multiple professional societies for music scholarship. As a means of participating in these conversations and specifically centering students’ voices, the theme for the inaugural Pitt Grad Student Conference is “Music and Institutional Power.” Graduate students in any sub-discipline of music scholarship are invited to submit proposals for 20-minute paper presentations OR lecture/recitals. The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Stephan Pennington, Assistant Professor of Music at Tufts University.



Register for the conference

Conference Fee


Music Building


Breakfast in 3rd Floor Lounge



Opening Remarks


9:30-10:30 Paper Session 1A

Pedagogy and Process

Jeremy Rapaport-Stein, Brandeis University, “Voice Counterpoint”

Claire Zavolta, Carnegie Mellon University, “Inspiring Creativity in Beginning to Intermediate Piano Students: Reimagining the 18th Century Neapolitan Tradition of Partimenti”

Panel Chair: Jeff Weston


9:30-10:30 Paper Session 1B

Sound and Empire

Emily Lapisardi, Duquesne University, “Lorenzo Perosi and the Politicization of Sacred Music”

Stephanie Ruozzo, Case Western Reserve University, “A Stronger Power Than Mine: Hearing Adès’ Solutions to the Colonial Problem in a Post-Colonialist Opera”

Panel Chair: Jason Belcher





10:45-11:45 Paper Session 2

Deconstructing the Canon

Michelle Lawton, University of Cincinnati, “The Role of Language and Analytical Methodology in the Legitimizing of the Piano Ballade”

Dillon Henry, University of Missouri Kansas City, “Reloading the Canon: Assimilating Popular Music Studies Into Academia”

Panel Chair: John Petrucelli



Lunch in 3rd Floor Lounge


1:15-2:15 Paper Session 3A

Marginalized Latin Identities

Austin McCabe Juhnke, Ohio State University, “Musical Performance and Ethnic Politics in the Mennonite Church circa 1970”

Bryan Stevens, University of North Texas, “The Sonata in Late Eighteenth-Century Spain”

Panel Chair: Charles Lwanga


1:15-2:15 Paper Session 3B

Imposing State Sound

Lingqian Long, University of Arizona, “Han Opera, A Traditional Regional Opera, In the Public Institution”

Panel Chair: Emilie Coakley





2:30-3:30 Paper Session 4

Contesting State Power

Miranda Fedock, CUNY Graduate Center, “Theorizing Imagined Mobility: Traditional Performing Arts Within Tibetan Community Centers in the United States”

Nicholas Emmanuel, SUNY Buffalo, “Lutosławski’s ‘Chain 3’: A Late Style Response to Institutional Authority”

Panel Chair: Julie Van Gyzen



Break/Field Trip to Frick Fine Arts

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium


Keynote Address, Stephan Pennington, Assistant Professor of Music, Tufts University

"The Discriminating Music Scholar"

Stephan PenningtonStephan Pennington is an Associate Professor of Music at Tufts University. He specializes in Critical Musicology and Popular Music Studies looking at the politics of the performance of identity, focusing on race, gender, and sexuality. He has published and presented on topics ranging from Musical Appropriation as a diachronic process to the ways in which progressives internalize conservative logics as exemplified by the Belgian videogame "The Graveyard." His work can be found in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Ethnomusicology Review, and Journal of the American Musicological Society. He is currently working on two book projects, one on the politics of Friedrich Hollaender's song, “Falling In Love Again” at the end of the Weimar Republic and  the other on transgender vocality and race across the 20th and 21st Centuries.





Travel and Accommodation


University of Pittsburgh
110 Music Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


The Residence Inn Pittsburgh University/Medical Center is close by and offers a shuttle service: Book your group rate for Pitt Music Graduate Student Organization Conference

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