Current Musicology Graduate Students

Kirsten CarithersKirsten L. Speyer Carithers

PhD Candidate •

Kirsten Speyer Carithers is a PhD candidate (ABD), working on a dissertation on the politics of labor in experimental music. She holds degrees in music history (MM thesis: “The Network of Influence: New York Artists and the Indeterminate Works of John Cage, 1951-1978,” advised by Per F. Broman) and oboe performance, both from Bowling Green State University. Research and teaching interests include twentieth-century avant-gardes, aesthetics and critical theory, music and technology, and the intersections between indeterminacy, improvisation, and creative labor. She has completed a certificate in Critical Theory at Northwestern, as well as the Teaching Certificate through NU’s Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching. She has presented her research at the Society for American Music, AMS-Midwest, and the University of Oxford.

Jenna HarmonJenna Harmon

PhD Candidate • 

Jenna Harmon is a PhD candidate (ABD) in musicology, and is enrolled in Northwestern’s Gender and Sexualities Studies Certificate program. She holds degrees in musicology (MA, Northwestern) and music (BA, Drake University). Jenna is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to France (2016-2017), where she will conduct research towards her dissertation project on the intersection of music, politics, and pornography in Parisian satirical pamphlets printed in the decades leading up to and just after the French Revolution. By focusing on the music contained in the pamphlets, she interrogates professional versus amateur performance practice, as well as musical constructions of eroticism and music's ability to facilitate desire and its embodiment in the context of 18th century galanterie. Jenna has presented at the local and national levels, including at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Society for French Historical Studies, and is published in the selected proceedings of the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. In addition to her research and teaching, she also enjoys playing with the Northwestern Baroque Music Ensemble.

Amanda SteinAmanda Ruppenthal Stein

PhD Candidate •

Amanda Ruppenthal Stein is a PhD candidate in Musicology. She holds degrees in music history (thesis: “‘My Own Kaddish:’ Finding a Jewish Voice in Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Kaddish’ and Other Works”) and clarinet performance, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Amanda’s research focuses on issues of Jewish identity in art music, with particular focus on issues of assimilation, musical-liturgical reform, as well as personal and communal identity reinterpretation at the end of the 19th century. She is a 2015 recipient of a Northwestern University Graduate Research Grant and will travel to Jerusalem to conduct research in the Friedrich Gernsheim archive at the National Library of Israel. Other research and teaching interests include the development of synagogue music in turn of the 20th century American synagogues, Jewish voice in the music of Leonard Bernstein, and the comedy albums of Allan Sherman. Amanda is currently pursuing a Teaching Certificate through NU’s Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching. She has presented at the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium and will give papers this Fall 2015 at AMS-Midwest and the Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference.

Emily LaneEmily Lane

PhD Candidate •

Emily Lane is a PhD candidate specializing in mid-20th century American film, musicals, media, and radio, with a particular interest in dialogism, intermediality and adaption. She received a bachelor of music degree in voice performance with honors from Miami University of Ohio and a MM in Musicology from Northwestern in 2013. On campus, Emily has served as a leader for the International Student Orientation and the New TA Conference. She works as a Teaching Consultant for the Searle Center, has participated in the “University Seminar” series with Dean McBride, and serves on the Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council. Emily has presented original research at a number of conferences, including AMS-Midwest, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and the Music and the Moving Image Conference at NYU. 

Jason RosenholtzJason Rosenholtz-Witt

PhD Candidate •

Jason Rosenholtz-Witt is a PhD candidate in musicology at Northwestern University. He earned a Bachelor’s of double bass performance from the University of Northern Colorado (2005), and a Master’s in performance from Colorado State University (2011). After receiving his bachelor’s, Jason spent four years teaching English in Hiroshima, Japan. He also worked for two years as an adjunct faculty member at Colorado State, teaching Music Theory Fundamentals and Music Appreciation. Jason’s primary research interest is music and culture in Northern Italy ca.1550-1650, specifically a critical re-evaluation of the conceptual frameworks surrounding regional style. He maintains strong secondary interests in 16th c. England and late 20th c. American experimentalism. He has published on Orlando Gibbons’ Music for the Great Dooble Base in The Viol and contributed a chapter in A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant Garde, 1960s-70s, published in 2016 by Northwestern University Press. He has presented his research at meetings of the North American British Music Studies Association (where he serves on the board as student representative), Medieval/Renaissance Music Conference, Sixteenth Century Studies and Conference, Society for Music Theory, and American Musicological Society. In his free time, Jason takes advantage of the myriad cultural experiences the Chicago area has to offer.

Kyle KaplanKyle Kaplan

3rd Year PhD •

Kyle Kaplan is a PhD student in Musicology and is affiliated with the Gender and Sexuality Studies program. He holds a BA from UCLA in Music History and an MA from McGill University in Musicology with an emphasis in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies. His research considers music’s relationship to intimacy throughout the 20th century, focusing on midcentury networks of gay composers and artists. This project looks to collaborations and friendships of composers such as Barber, Henze and Britten with performers, choreographers, and visual artists. Further interests include music and relational ethics, 20th century Romantic thought and aesthetics, music in experimental film, and queer and feminist theory. He has presented papers at meetings of the Society for American Music and Feminist Theory and Music. 

Nathan ReevesNathan Reeves

2nd Year PhD •

Nathan Reeves is a Ph.D. student in musicology. He holds a BM in vocal performance from Furman University and a MM in musicology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a concentration in medieval and early modern studies. Nathan’s research focuses on music and spectacle in sixteenth and seventeenth-century colonial Spanish Naples. This work attends to the ways sound was utilized in the construction of urban and extra-urban space, in the production of Neapolitan culture, and in the circulation of forms of Neapolitan identity throughout early modern Europe.  Additionally, Nathan pursues interests in sound studies, anthropological theory, ethnography, and gender and sexuality studies. Nathan has presented papers at regional meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the American Musicological Society, at the Sixteenth Century Society, and at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Complementing his scholarly endeavors, he remains an avid singer.

Milena SchallerMilena Schaller

2nd Year PhD •

Milena Schaller is a second-year PhD student in Musicology. She previously earned a BA at UC Davis and a MA at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include the politics and culture of Russian music in Paris at the turn of the century, as well as later French reception of the Ballets russes. Her interest in perception and creation of culture has also led to research on folk metal bands Eluveitie and Turisas, and she has presented on this topic at the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, the International Conference on Music Since 1900 held in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Analytical Approaches to World Music conference in New York. As a cellist, she aims for performer and listener-centric musical analysis, and enjoys playing in the Northwestern Philharmonia. In her spare time she can be found playing cello duets, listening to Russian and French radio, or baking banana bread.

Vanessa TonelliVanessa Tonelli

2nd Year PhD •

Vanessa Tonelli is a second-year PhD in Musicology, also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. She received a Bachelor’s in Music Education from New Mexico State University (2010) and a Master’s in Musicology with a specialization in Gender Studies from Michigan State University (2013). Her research interests center on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Venice, but her dedication to feminism and gender studies has lead to much of research focusing on the all-female ensembles of the Ospedali Grandi.Vanessa has also explored other gendered stereotypes, including those within operas and those of specific musical instruments. From her work, Vanessa has published an article in the International Trombone Association Journal about female trombonists and their educations and professional experiences. Outside of research, Vanessa also enjoys swing and salsa dancing, as well as playing her trombone, currently with Lakeside Pride Jazz Orchestra.

Olivia CacchioneOlivia Cacchione

1st Year PhD •

Olivia Cacchione is a first-year PhD student in Musicology. She received her BA in Anthropology & Sociology from Knox College (2008), and her Master’s degrees in Harp Performance (2012) and Music History (2015) from the University of Washington. Her research focuses on American soundscapes in the 20th century, with an emphasis on intersections between music and visual culture. Her interest in film music has led her to explore vaudevillian musical humor in early sound film, in connection with dialogism, critical theory, and psychoanalysis. When she is not playing or studying music, she enjoys reading crime novels and riding her bike.

Haley BartellHaley Bartell

Master's Student •

As a master’s student in Northwestern’s musicology program, as well as an active pianist and vocalist, Haley Bartell pursues music as a means of making connections between people, eras, and disciplines. Before graduating Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s in Piano Performance from Baylor University in 2016, Haley received the Bernard A. and Bessie Hess Smith Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, annually bestowed upon the senior music student with the highest academic standing. Additionally, the Baylor faculty selected Haley as “Outstanding Senior Woman in the School of Music” for the 2015-16 academic year. Recently, Haley conducted an independent study on how the Enlightenment ideals that shaped the traditional French suite manifest themselves in Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin. With a particular interest in French music composed in the early 20th century, Haley’s research explores how musical aesthetics synthesize classical and contemporary ideas from literature, poetry, and art.  In her spare time, Haley sketches Schenkerian analyses, and is an avid chamber musician, photographer, runner, and amateur chef. 

Ben WeissmanBen Weissman

Master's Student • 

Ben Weissman is a master’s student is musicology. He completed his bachelor’s degree in English at Haverford College in 2014. His research interests include the proliferation of non-Western vocal technique and style in Western music, the use of music and sound as a literary device, and the use of language and literary structure in music. In conjunction with his scholarly interests, he enjoys singing art song, barbershop, madrigals, and larger choral works, as well as learning non-Western vocal styles.

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