Graduate students in musicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill come from a wide variety of undergraduate programs, both domestically and internationally. Most enter the program with a Bachelor’s degree, but about one-fifth already have a Master’s degree when they begin their studies at Carolina. Students in this program hold either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a variety of subjects (e.g. performance, composition, conducting, music education, business, physics). The research interests of our students are correspondingly broad, as reflected in the range of topics of dissertations now in progress or recently completed.

Sophia Maria AndricopulosSophia Maria Andricopulos – popular music after 1945

Sophia Maria Andricopulos (2nd Year Graduate student) is originally from Mokena, IL. She studied Music and English Writing at Millikin University (B.A. 2014) and Musicology at the University of Oregon (2015 – 2018). Her research interests center on the dynamic relationships between technology, mediation, aesthetics, and audience activity in the popular music industry. Her current project accounts for the sociocultural and musical phenomena that inform audience behaviors at 21st-century rock concerts. In 2018, her paper examining ideologies of race in journalistic and critical writing during Carlos Santana’s early recording career was named Best Student Paper by the AMS Pacific Northwest chapter.

Amanda Black – ethnomusicology, Latin American popular music, sound studies

Amanda Black (Ph.D. candidate) holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Spanish from UNC-Greensboro, and a Master of Arts in Translation Theory from the Universidad de Málaga (2011). After completing one year of the Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance, Amanda’s studies broadened to include Latin American cultural studies and in-depth Spanish language study. She completed her final year of painting study at the Universidad de Guanajuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico, where she continued to play and teach flute and engage in new musical experiences. As an interpreter and translator, she would travel to Honduras, on return trips to Mexico, as well as to Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, and Spain. Translating and editing within a circle of scholars working towards decolonization, Amanda developed a strong interest in the intersection of music, immigration, the control of sonic space, and place.

Image of Jamie BlakeJamie Blake – American music, Russian music, exile and disapora, jazz and popular music

Jamie Blake (Ph.D. candidate) is broadly interested in American music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as Russian music and Russian-American artistic relationships. Her current project theorizes and contextualizes the role of flow theory in improvised jazz, focusing on questions of embodiment, creativity, and collectivity in performance. Her dissertation research will explore questions of identity, allegiance, and artistry in the post-revolution Russian diaspora through conductor and émigré Serge Koussevitzky. Jamie earned a Bachelor of Music in music education from Boston University and a Master of Music in instrumental conducting from Brigham Young University. She has worked extensively conducting bands and orchestras, and enjoys working with both adult and youth ensembles. She remains a freelance trumpeter and teaches private lessons in the triangle area.

John Caldwell – comparative musicology, South Asian music

John Caldwell (Ph.D. candidate) was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has a M.M. in Performance (Bassoon) from the University of Michigan. After a stint in the corporate world, John returned to academia in 1995. He is fluent in Urdu and Hindi and teaches all levels of these languages at UNC as well as courses in South Asian music and culture. John’s research interests include South Asian music, comparative musicology, Bollywood songs, and poetry and poetics. John has been assistant director of the UNC Summer in India Study Abroad Program since 1999 and has traveled to India and Pakistan many times. He continues to play bassoon in the Raleigh Symphony and Durham Symphony and can often be heard accompanying Indian musicians on the harmonium. John’s dissertation topic is “Songs from the Other Side: the Lives of Pakistani Music in India.” John recently returned from a seven-month Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship in India.

Michael CarlsonMichael Carlson – Early music, Opera

Michael Carlson (2nd Year Graduate Student) began his musicology studies at The Catholic University of America and took a 10 year gap to peruse graduate degrees in philosophy, theology, and theological anthropology. His interests in theology and music naturally were reunited as independent work at Fairfield University, and The Hartt School reignited a scholarly passion for the music of the Latin American Baroque and Early Opera, the subject of his masters thesis at Hartt. He comes to UNC with a desire to pursue his interests in early music, especially opera, in the Americas and also gender and LGBTQ+ studies. He plans to research how opera serves as a vehicle for personal, spiritual, and sexual identity.

FedorErica Fedor – Musical diplomacy; public musicology/humanities; gender and sexuality studies; music and politics in Central Eastern Europe

Erica Fedor (Ph.D. candidate), an inaugural recipient of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Humanities Professional Pathway Award (2018), is deeply committed to music studies scholarship that engages and brings together a variety of publics and communities. Her dissertation, under the direction of Mark Katz, explores U.S. music diplomacy programs, with a particular focus on women as practitioners of musical/cultural diplomacy. Erica holds a B.A. in English with Honors and Music with Honors from Wake Forest University and an M.M. in Ethnomusicology from Florida State University, where she was an active member of both the Sekaa Gong Hanuman Agung Balinese Gamelan and the old-time music ensemble. Prior to joining the musicology department at UNC, Erica spent a year teaching English at a high school in Dobruška, Czech Republic through a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Her research endeavors have been supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, UNC’s Humanities for the Public Good Initiative, and UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS.) Erica is a member of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Royster Society of Fellows, and currently serves as the Student Representative for the Society of Ethnomusicology, Southeast and Caribbean Chapter (SEMSEC.)

Justin FrankenyJustin Frankeny – Music since 1950, approachability in contemporary music

Justin Frankeny (2nd year Graduate Student) recently completed a Bachelor of Music in Composition and History at Baldwin Wallace University this past spring. One of his primary research interests thus far has been art music since 1950 and its implications of funding and approachability, meaning the degree to which an audience finds a piece of music approachable or easy to listen to. He studied this topic in his senior thesis through a variety of historiographic and ethnographic perspectives, including that of the composer, performer, listener, etc.

Joanna HelmsJoanna Helms – 20th-century Italian music, electroacoustic music, music and media, sound studies

Originally from Columbia, S.C., Joanna Helms (Ph.D. candidate) 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.

A. Kori Hill – 19th and 20th c. black American classical music, critical race theory, intersectional feminism

A. Kori Hill (Ph.D. candidate) is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds a M.M. in music history and music performance from West Virginia University and a B.M. in music performance from Miami University. Kori’s research interests include 19th – 20th c. Western classical music, the history of the violin/fiddle in African and African diasporic communities, and classical music education and patronage in black American communities in the United States.

In her spare time, Kori is an avid reader, movie watcher, and bookstagramer.

Aldwyn Hogg

Aldwyn Hogg Jr. – Soviet-Russian music, censorship, music and protest, music of the Black Power Era

Aldwyn Hogg Jr. (Ph.D. candidate) is originally from the Bahamas, and has spent the past six years in Ontario, Canada completing his BA. Hons. in Music at the University Guelph, and his MA in Musicology at Western University. His primary interests lie in the role musical institutions played in the mediation of socialist realism in Stalinist Russia, and the cultural significance and currency of soviet symphonies. Aldwyn also has a burgeoning interest in the use of soul and funk music during the Black Power era, and in the cultural politics of the Black Panthers.

Samantha Horn – Early Baroque, 20th Century

Samantha Horn (Ph.D. candidate) is originally from Niceville, Fla. She attended Macalester College (St. Paul, Minn.) from 2010-2014 and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She is interested in the relationship between music and narrative, both in early Baroque opera and twentieth-century dramatic music; her interests also include Nordic-American folk music and issues related to gender and sexuality. Samantha is also a harpist and particularly enjoys playing music by living composers.

Emily Ann HynesEmily Ann Hynes – Russian music

Emily Hynes (2nd year Graduate Student) is a member of the Royster Society of Fellows at UNC. Originally from Winnebago, Minnesota, Emily holds a Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Her previous research has centered around identity, legacies, and different 20th c. topics, such as the place of music in the Gulag and separately, the legacy of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Her 20th century interests also cross the Atlantic to include the role of race and identity in American Southern folk song collecting by Dorothy Scarborough and John and Alan Lomax. Additionally, she has researched the intersections of race, identity, and contemporary commercial music on the Broadway stage. Emily is also highly involved in Digital Humanities (DH) projects that utilize interactive mapping and storytelling to display data, make arguments, and communicate musicological findings to a broader audience. She has enjoyed mapping music in the Gulag, folk songs of the American south, and over 3,000 performances of the Ballets Russes. Examples of her work can be found at

Grace Kweon

Grace Kweon (Ph.D. candidate) is originally from Incheon, South Korea. After immigrating to the United States, she received a BA in Music and in Biology from Duke University in 2014 and a MM in Musicology from Northwestern University in 2016. Her research centers on the deliberate choices of self-fashioning made by participants of twentieth-century Russian theater and of contemporary Korean pop music. Further interests include the circulation of music and musicians through transnational fandoms, by state-owned media institutions, and within pan-Asian activism.

Mike LevineMike Levine – Cuban Protest, Punk, Digital Humanities, Local Music Culture

Involving himself in the music scenes of Brooklyn, N.Y. over the past decade, Mike Levine (Ph.D. candidate) has utilized a dual background in academic research and web-based application technologies to support sustainable local music scenes. His research now takes him to Cuba, where he studies artists circulating music in this vibrant and controversial space. Mike looks forward to contributing towards a greater understanding of how artists distribute music via Havana’s USB-based, ‘people-powered’ internet, called el paquete semanal, amidst challenging political and economic circumstances.

Stella Zhizhi LiStella Zhizhi Li – musical modernity, music reception, East Asia

Stella Zhizhi Li (Ph.D. candidate) works on cross-cultural studies of music receptions and musical modernities, with an emphasis on the reception of “Western” musical genres in East Asia in the late nineteenth to the twentieth century. Her current project focuses on the reception of Western classical music in early modern China. Stella holds a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN), where she worked with Dr. Louis Epstein on the digital mapping project “The Musical Geography of 1920s Paris.” A past recipient of the AMS Eileen Southern Travel Grant (2016) and the Pruett Summer Research Fellowship (2018), she has worked at the Music Division of the Library of Congress where she assisted with processing the archive Billy Strayhorn Music Manuscripts and Estate Papers.

Alexander Marsden – popular music, EDM, reception studies

Alexander Marsden (Ph.D. candidate) grew up in Lancaster, in the U.K. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from the University of Cambridge (2010-2014). To date, his primary research has centered around electronic dance music and rap in Britain, focusing on issues of critical reception, the politics of genre definition, and the relationship between concepts of modernism and popular music.

Meg Orita – popular music, social media

Originally from Princeton, N.J., H. Meg Orita (Ph.D. candidate) holds a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude with program honors, in Voice & Opera Performance with a Minor in Musicology from Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music. She recently completed her Master’s thesis, addressing how music of different genres is arranged for figure skating programs. Her current research focuses on narratives of trauma and recovery in the work of 1990s/2000s singer-songwriters. Meg’s research interests incorporate social media ethnography, body-positivity, and feminist theory.

Erin Pratt – 19th- and 20th-century German art music

Erin Pratt (Ph.D. candidate) holds a B.A. in music and classics from Smith College. She is interested in German art music of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially that of Gustav Mahler. Erin also engages with literary theory and its applications to music analysis, and is especially interested in music that has textual elements.

Eduardo Tatafumi SatoEduardo Sato – Brazilian music, opera

Eduardo Sato (2nd Year Graduate Student) recently completed an M.A. in Brazilian Studies at the University of Sao Paulo. His research interests are related to Brazilian music in a broad way (composed or performed by Brazilian musicians or even European music performed in Brazil), specifically from the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. He is also interested in music criticism and modernist music, after his Masters thesis about Mario de Andrade’s criticism.

Kelli Dawn SmithKelli Smith – Media technology and gender

Kelli Smith (2nd Year Graduate Student) completed her Masters of Arts in Musicology at Michigan State University this past spring. She is interested in integrating her previous work experience in information technology with her current interests in experimental and contemporary music. In her Master’s thesis, she delved into comments sections and internet forums to reveal the ways in which women are excluded from online popular music communities, particularly communities formed around alternative and underground music. She also leveraged these skills in founding the Electronic Music Workshop at MSU – a student-lead electronic music ensemble that collectively composed and performed laptop music in both academic and casual concert settings.

Stephen StacksStephen Stacks – civil rights music and protest, bluegrass

Stephen Stacks (Ph.D. candidate) is originally from Charlotte, N.C., and earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Church Music from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and a Master’s of Sacred Music in Choral Conducting from Boston University. He pursues interests in the music of the Black American Freedom Movement (i.e. the Civil Rights Movement) and bluegrass. Stephen is also Director of Music Ministries at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary, N.C., where he loves to bring his academic study into the context of liturgical music-making.

Sierriana Terry – anime/cartoon music, late 19th- and early 20th-century American music, African American studies, ethnomusicology

A native of North Carolina, Sierriana Terry (Ph.D. candidate) received her Bachelor of Arts in music from North Carolina Central University. Her research interests include issues of musical characterization in Anime/Cartoons. Her secondary interests include contemporary African American studies in Broadway, musical theater and popular music, and protest culture within music festivals held by people of color in South America, similar to America’s very own AfroPunk festival.

Sarah TomlinsonSarah Tomlinson – American music, children’s studies, feminism(s), critical race theory

Originally from Penfield, N.Y., Sarah (Ph.D. candidate) moved to Chapel Hill after graduating from Michigan State University in 2014. She holds a B.M. in Music Education and a B.A. in Music, earning both degrees with high honors. She completed a M.A. in Musicology at UNC-CH in 2016 with a master’s thesis examining the ways that activist, pianist, and singer-songwriter Nina Simone resisted racism and engaged with Black consciousness before she composed her first explicitly political protest song in 1963. Sarah is currently a PhD candidate writing her dissertation on the history and current practice of classical music programming for children’s audiences in the United States. Her dissertation work involves archival research on influential historical programs including Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts and Walter Damrosch’s Music Appreciation Hour. She brings her work to the present-day through ethnographic research with the North Carolina Symphony’s education program and participatory research with the Global Scholars Academy, an elementary and middle school in Durham, NC. By looking at canonization and reception in the past, she strategizes how children can engage more critically with classical music in the present-day. Her interdisciplinary and multi-method research is informed by her enrollment in a graduate certificate in Cultural Studies and a graduate certificate in Participatory Research.

Oren Vinogradov – 19th century, music and philosophy, musicals

Oren Vinogradov (Ph.D. candidate) is originally from Israel and received a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a focus in Music from Simon’s Rock College of Bard, completing a thesis on the development of Leitmotiv techniques before Wagner. His research interests include the history of program music as an idea and practice, fashion and gendered performativity in film musicals, as well as ludomusicology more broadly. Oren continues to perform new music as a clarinetist, and is involved in early music as a recorder player.

Kendall Hatch WinterKendall Winter – Women in music

Kendall Winter (2nd Year Graduate Student) completed her Masters in Arts in Musicology at Tufts University this past spring. Her current area of particular interest is the music of the American woman’s suffrage movement, ca. mid-19th — early-20th century. The topic effortlessly marries her interests in music by and/or about women, the evolving sociopolitical role of women throughout US history, and music and politics. Archival research lends itself well to this topic for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that there is very little scholarship on the music of the American suffrage movement currently in existence. Through the use of primary sources in her research, she can reanimate the voices, ideas, and opinions of people long since gone for a modern audience. She is humbled by archival research because it frequently yields results she never expected, or, no results at all.