Catching Up at Annual Meetings

The annual meetings of the American Musicological Society (AMS), Society for Music Theory (SMT), and Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) are great places to share new research and keep current with scholarship. They’re also great opportunities to reconnect with former students, colleagues, and old friends. Below are Iowa alums Kimberly Beck, Joseph Matson and Michael Accino at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Pittsburgh in November. Please visit the “Alumni” tab to read more about where our former students have been placed and where they are now working.


Nathan Platte to lead film music workshop

In late October Nathan Platte will join forces with Colin Roust (Roosevelt University) at the College Music Society in Cambridge, Mass., where they will lead a pre-conference pedagogy workshop on film music. From there Nathan will travel to Syracuse University to participate in the “Belfer Audio Archive at 50” Symposium. The weekend includes performances, screenings, lectures, and guest appearances by the Kronos Quartet and music writer Alex Ross (The New Yorker). Nathan will give introductory remarks before a double feature of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) and Spellbound (1945). He will also present a paper that explores the use of preview scores or “temp tracks” in both films.

Jennifer Iverson recently presents at the 2013 Ligeti Symposium and Festival

Jennifer Iverson recently presented “Ligeti and the Evolution of Klangfarbenmelodie” at the 2013 Ligeti Symposium and Festival. The paper traces the dual lineages for the reception history of “sound-color-melody”, from Schoenberg and Webern through Adorno to Ligeti. A notable scholar and analyst in his own right, Ligeti both received and advanced the discourse around Klangfarbenmelodie in his scholarship and in his compositions. Iverson’s analysis shows that Ligeti used a rather Schoenbergian notion of Klangfarbenmelodie in Lontano (1967) while he developed ideas from the mid-century discourse around Webern’s music in the opening of the Cello Concerto (1966). Celebrating the 90th year of Ligeti’s birth, the festival brought together leading scholars, performers, and enthusiasts of his music.

Matthew Arndt recently attends retreat for the Psalm 103 Project

Matthew Arndt recently attended a retreat for the Saint John of Damascus Society’s Psalm 103 Project and took part in a public presentation entitled “Networks of Echoes: Collaboration, Community, and Creativity in the Musics of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.” The Society has commissioned six composers, including Doctor Arndt, to collaboratively set Psalm 103 (Septuagint numbering) for mixed chorus. The composers met October 11–12, 2013, in Bloomington, Indiana, and came up with ways to integrate their music. At the public presentation on October 12, they spoke about their work on the project and had Ensemble Bdeniye, conducted by Christopher Grundy, present pieces representing their different musical traditions. You can see videos of the event here.

Photo, from left to right: Richard Toensing (composer), Matthew Arndt (composer), Kurt Sander (composer), Richard Barrett (Artistic Director), Franklin L. Hess (Executive Board Member), Harold Sabbagh (President), Vicki Pappas (Vice President), Laura Willms (Secretary and Education Director), Alexander Khalil (composer), Tikey Zes (composer), Brian Rogers (Treasurer), and John Michael Boyer (composer).


Marian Wilson Kimber gives talk for opening meeting of the Beethoven Club

On October 3, musicologist Marian Wilson Kimber gave a talk on the siblings Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn for the opening meeting of the Beethoven Club in Cedar Rapids.  The club’s theme for the year is “Musical Families.”

Wilson Kimber has also published an article about Carl Davis’s score for the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in the Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance. [,id=16232/].  In September she attended the Minneapolis general meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America, which celebrated the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Austen’s novel.

Marian Wilson Kimber travels doing research for book in progress

Supported by a University of Iowa Arts and Humanities Initiative grant, musicologist Marian Wilson Kimber traveled to several archives over the summer, doing research for her book in progress, Feminine Entertainments: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word.  The book explores the contributions of American women to melodrama, and the intersection of poetry and music in performance from the Progressive era to World War II.  Wilson Kimber worked with elocution books and ephemera at the Jerry Tarver Elocution, Rhetoric and Oratory Collection at Ohio State University [].   While in Columbus, she examined the programs of African American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, whose works were frequently performed with music, at the Ohio Historical Society [].  Wilson Kimber also traveled to the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville to see the papers of Kitty Cheatham (1865-1946), a performer known for her children’s concerts and renditions of spirituals.

In July, Wilson Kimber also presented “Music on the Rappahannock: Women, Accompanied Recitation, and Sentimentality on the Battlefield,” at the Third Biennial North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, held at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.  Her paper explored female elocutionists’ addition of sentimental musical accompaniments to poetry about soldiers and battle, making these texts appropriate for women on the platform.

Iowans at Society for American Music

The University of Iowa was well represented at the annual conference of the Society for American Music, held in Charlotte, North Carolina, March 14-18, 2012.  Two faculty, one current student, and one former student presented papers.  At the business meeting, Professor Nathan Platte was awarded the Wiley Housewright Dissertation award for his work, “Musical Collaboration in the Films of David O. Selznick, 1932-1957.”

Kery Lawson (master’s student), “’I’m Going to Raise My Boy to be a Soldier:’ The Strong Mother in WWI Popular Song”

Prof. Nathan Platte, “Before King Kong was King: Competing Strategies in Hollywood Symphonic Scores, 1931–33”

Prof. Marian Wilson Kimber, “Jane Manner’s “Readings with Music” and the Creation of Melodramatic Performance, ca. 1890–1935”

Michael Accinno (Iowa alum, doctoral student, University of California, Davis), “Disabled Bodies, Disabled Instruments: Civil War Veterans as Organ Grinders”

(Photo: Michael Accinno and Kery Lawson at SAM, after the bus to Davidson College had broken down.)