Summer Produce

Produce, as in produce research! The faculty at the University of Iowa use the time away from teaching during the summer to make rapid progress on research projects, when there is more time for intensive archival research, analysis, composition, and writing. Here are some of the things the musicology, theory, and composition faculty have been working on in summer 2014:

In June, musicologist Marian Wilson Kimber presented a paper, “Hymnody, Dance, and the Sacred in the Illustrated Song” at the 18th Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music at the University of Toronto, Canada.  The paper, regarding the pantomimic posing of American women to hymn tunes, ca. 1880-1920, is related to the book she completed this summer, tentatively titled, Feminine Entertainments: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word.

Composer Zack Stanton spent a month in Austin, Texas sketching out a new piece for narrator and wind ensemble, which memorializes legendary Texas football coach Darrell Royal (1924-2012). He has also just received a new commission from the Milliken University Percussion Ensemble for a piece to be premiered in April 2015. In October, Zack will travel to Los Angeles to hear a premiere of his work at the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers Conference. The work, Scenic Route, will be performed by pianist Paul Barnes, who commissioned Philip Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Barnes will perform Scenic Route again in April 2015 at Symphony Space in New York.

Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland

Theorist Jennifer Iverson spent five weeks in Germany and Switzerland, undertaking archival research relating to early electronic music. She began at the archive of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. She then visited the Stockhausen Stiftung in Kürten, Germany, making time for a trip to the rural cathedral Altenberger Dom where Stockhausen received his first communion. Here she also met with Gottfried Michael Koenig, one of the few surviving members of the so-called “Darmstadt” group of composers and an expert on early electronic music at the WDR. She spent time at the historical archives of the WDR (Westdeutsche Rundfunk, or West German Radio). Jennifer ended the trip in Basel, where she visited the Paul Sacher Stiftung for the third time, and focused on correspondence between Pousseur, Stockhausen, Boulez, and Eimert. The trip was funded via an AHI (Arts and Humanities Initiative) grant from the University of Iowa.

Graduate Student Musicologists Break Into the Field

Two musicology students have recently had exciting achievements and experiences:

Ph.D. candidate Jessica Kizzire has a chapter titled “‘The Place I’ll Return to Someday’: Musical Nostalgia in Final Fantasy IX” in the recently published Music in Video Games: Studying Play (Routledge, 2014). The collection is edited by K.J. Donnelly, William Gibbons, and Neil Lerner. This chapter foreshadows her dissertation research, which involves video game music. Congratulations on this publication, Jessica!

Ph.D student Sarah Lucas recently travelled to Hungary for research concerning Bèla Bartók. Sarah worked in the Budapest Bartók Archive with the support of a Stanley Award for Graduate Research, where she examined correspondence between Bartók and his publisher, Universal Edition, regarding the first edition of his first Piano Concerto (1926). Sarah also had the opportunity to study several early versions of the score. Sarah has presented papers on Bartók and his music, with a special emphasis on the reception during his first concert tour of the United States (1927-1928), at AMS Midwest and at graduate student conferences at the University of Iowa and the University of Missouri. Congratulations on your award and this exciting research project, Sarah!

Composer Aaron Perrine (PhD, composition, 2014) wins prestigious Sousa-Ostwald Award

Aaron Perrine–who successfully defended his dissertation and graduated with a Ph.D. in composition in Spring 2014–recently won the prestigious Sousa-Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association for his 2013 wind ensemble composition Pale Blue On Deep. The award, which carries a cash prize of $5,000, is a highly selective honor that places Perrine in the company of some of the most accomplished wind ensemble composers active today, including John Mackey, Michael Daugherty, Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, Anthony Iannaccone, Yo Goto, and Michael Gandolfi.

Perrine, who is a previous winner of the also highly competitive Outstanding TA Award from the University of Iowa, will begin a tenure-track job as Assistant Professor at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa in Fall 2014.
Congratulations on your many successes, Aaron!!

Musicologists Go Forth!

The weekend of April 4–6 2014 was a busy one. Christine Getz journeyed to San Antonio for the annual meeting of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, where she presented a paper titled, “At the Sacred Font: Federico Borromeo, Giovanni Battista Cima, and the Milanese Sacred Concerto.” Trevor Harvey drove north to Lawrence University, where he gave a paper titled “Avatars, Authenticity, and Live Musical Performances in Second Life” at the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Meanwhile an entire UI delegation of musicology students, faculty, and music librarian travelled to University of Northern Iowa to participate in the first annual Iowa Musicology Conference. Dr. Marian Wilson Kimber delivered a keynote address titled “Hearing Lost Voices: Seven Lessons in Musicology.” Ph.D. pre-candidate Michele Aichele gave a paper titled “The Biographical Myth in the Reception of Cécile Chaminade’s Concertino for Flute, Op. 107,” and Nathan Platte shared new research on Hollywood music director Lou Forbes. Many thanks to Drs. Melinda Boyd and Alison Altstatt for hosting this gathering!

James Bungert (MA, theory, 2006) finds much success

James Bungert, who studied at University of Iowa for his Masters degree in music theory (2004-2006), has recently had a spate of impressive accomplishments. His article “Bach and the Patterns of Transformation” (after Laurence Dreyfus’s Bach and the Patterns of Invention (1996)), is slated for publication in Music Theory Spectrum in fall of 2015 (37/2). That’s the premier theory journal in the field! James, who is at the tail end of his Ph.D. in music theory at University of Wisconsin at Madison, is also thrilled to have landed a tenure-track job teaching music theory and music history at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, to begin Fall 2014. Congratulations, Jim, we’re proud!

Shih-Ni Sidney Prim presents at AMS-Southeast

Ph.D. candidate Shih-Ni Prim presented a paper titled “Maurice Abravanel and Gustav Mahler: The Reception of Early Mahler Recordings by Abravanel and the Utah Symphony Orchestra” at the 2014 AMS-Southeast Chapter Spring meeting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The audience was interested in learning about Maurice Abravanel, another Mahler champion besides Leonard Bernstein in the 1960s.

Iowa faculty and the Oxford University Press Handbooks

A number of new titles in the Oxford Handbook series feature contributions from University of Iowa faculty.

Trevor Harvey’s “Virtual Worlds: An Ethnomusicological Perspective” may be found in The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality.

Nathan Platte’s “Performing Prestige: American Cinema Orchestras, 1910-1958” may be found in The Oxford Handbook of Film Music Studies.

Robert C. Cook’s “Tonal Interpretation, Transformational Models, and the Chromatic Calls to Repent in Franck’s Le chasseur maudit” may be found in the Oxford Handbook of Neo-Riemannian Music Theories.

Mary Cohen et. al’s “At-risk youth: Music-making as a means to promote positive relationships” may be found in the Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Vol. 2.

Jennifer Iverson’s “Mechanized Bodies: Technology and Supplements in Björk’s Electronica” will appear in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies.

Anne of Green Gables and the Lost Art of Recitation


Marian Wilson Kimber has recently written about the role of poetic recitation in concert life at Musicology Now, the blog of the American Musicological Society.  Wilson Kimber has also been posting materials from the history of elocution on her tumblr, Elocutionary Arts. Follow her on Twitter: @MWilsonKimber.