Ph.D. Candidate

Originally from Columbia, SC, Joanna Helms holds an M.A. in musicology from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a B.M. in flute performance, summa cum laude and with honors, from the University of South Carolina. Her research interests generally center on music, sound, and technology, with particular interests in the production of and experience of listening to sound for broadcast media in the United States and Italy. Her dissertation, provisionally titled “Electronic Music History Through the Everyday: The RAI Studio di Fonologia (1954–83)” reads Italian state-sponsored electroacoustic music research at Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI) in Milan through small-scale activities of composers, performers, studio employees, network executives, and listeners negotiating changing postwar cultural priorities. Joanna has also presented research on the development of sound effects on early American radio at the National Broadcasting Company, and on new media and participation in the promotion of contemporary classical music in the US and Europe.

Joanna remains active as a flutist, including currently with UNC’s Charanga Carolina, and also plays the electric bass. She is also a co-founder and a current organizer of the Experimental Music Study Group.

  • Email: helmsje@live.unc.edu
  • Office: 217 Hill Hall

Whose Classical Music? Assumptions and Representation in Online Classical Music Projects.” NewMusicBox. July 13, 2016.

“Everybody In? Critical Perspectives on Participatory Online Classical Music Projects.” M.A. thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015.

Conference Papers

“Sonic Signifiers of Race on Early American Radio,” Annual Conference of the Society for American Music, Montreal, Québec, March 2017 (accepted)

“The Electronic Music Research Studio as Sonic Laboratory,” Festival on the Hill Symposium, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, April 2016

“Constructing Community: Three Studies in Online Classical Music Projects,” New Music Gathering, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, 7 January 2016

“The Anatomy of an Analysis: Luigi Nono and Schoenberg’s Variations for Orchestra, op. 31,” Joint Meeting of the Capital and Southeast Chapters, American Musicological Society, University of Richmond, October 2015

“‘Into the New World’: Remixing the Past, Composing the Future,” 22nd International Conference of Europeanists, “Contradictions: Envisioning European Futures,” Paris, July 2015

“Imagination, Sense, and Sound Effects on Early American Radio,” UNC-KCL Graduate Student Conference, “Sight and Sound,” Kings College London, May 2015

“‘Part of Something Larger than Themselves’: The Meaning of Participation in Internet-Based Musical Collaboration,” UNC-KCL Graduate Student Conference, “Technology in Music: Production, Preservation, and Dissemination,” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, May 2014

“Navigating the Online Ethics of DIY Punk,” annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (US Branch), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, March 2014

“Conflicts of Participation and Inclusivity in Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir,” Technologies of Experience Symposium, Indiana University, April 2013; Nief-Norf Research Summit, “Music and Technology (post-1945),” Furman University, June 2013

“Berio and the Open Work: Implications of Spatial Notation in Sequenza I,” CUNY Graduate Students in Music Conference, “The Spaces and Places of Music,” City University of New York, April 2012

Research Grant, Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel, Switzerland, awarded for Summer 2017

Off-Campus Dissertation Research Fellowship, The Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Fall 2016

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, United States Department of Education, Summer 2016

Summer Research Fellowship, The Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Summer 2016

Pre-Dissertation Travel Award, Center for Global Initiatives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Summer 2015

James W. Pruett Summer Research Fellowship, Library of Congress, Summer 2014

Instructor of Record:

  • Fundamentals of Music (MUSC 121, Carolina Courses Online)

Recitation Leader:

  • Introduction to World Music (MUSC 146)
  • Survey of Western Music History (MUSC 141)
  • Musicianship Skills III (MUSC 230)

Teaching Assistant:

  • Fundamentals of Music (MUSC 121)
  • Music Theory I (MUSC 131)
  • History of Western Music through 1650 (MUSC 251)