Summer Highlights

In the spring, Jessica Kizzire and Greg Newbold successfully defended their graduate documents. Greg’s master’s thesis explores serial procedures in Benjamin Frankel’s music for the Hammer cult film, Curse of the Werewolf (1961). In her doctoral dissertation, Jessica Kizzire contemplates musical adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels, with special emphasis placed on film and ballet. Congratulations to both on these major accomplishments!

Cody Norling spent time at the State Historical Society of Iowa researching the cultivation of music in Iowa City in the nineteenth century, specifically the efforts of early Iowa settler Robert Hutchinson. This topic is the subject of a paper to be given at the American Musicological Society Midwest Chapter meeting in September. He also wrote a book review for The Annals of Iowa.

This summer, Andrew Tubbs traveled to Denver and Washington, D.C., to conduct research in preparation for two conference papers. While in Washington, he visited the Library of Congress to work with the Aaron Copland collection for a project about Copland’s music for the film Of Mice and Men. Additionally, he was named Artistic Director for Combined Efforts, an all-ability artist group in Iowa City.

Nathan Platte presented on the symphonic score to The Wizard of Oz at the “Music and the Moving Image” conference, hosted annually at NYU. From there, he hopped the pond to the University of Huddersfield, where he participated in the international symposium “Sources and Archives in Screen Sound Studies.” Nathan served on the program committee and also contributed a presentation titled “Resonant Spaces or Echo Chambers? Listening to Hollywood’s Music Through Its Archives.”

Marian Wilson Kimber visited the FDR Presidential Library and Museum to examine the music sent by American citizens to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during the Great Depression.  In June she appeared with pianist Natalie Landowski, performing spoken-word compositions by Phyllis Fergus at the 120th anniversary celebration of the founding of the National League of American Pen Women in Washington, D.C. Wilson Kimber’s article about Fergus, who became the first musician president of the Pen Women in 1936, was published in their magazine.

With assistance from the University of Iowa School of Music and International Programs, Matthew Arndt presented a paper on modernism and organicism in Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata, op. 1, at the Music Theory Midwest Twenty-Eighth Annual Conference in Iowa City and at the Ninth European Music Analysis Conference in Strasbourg, France. He also corrected proofs for his book, The Musical Thought and Spiritual Lives of Heinrich Schenker and Arnold Schoenberg, coming out next month.

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Village of Obernai, France

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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!