Current Musicology Graduate Students

Olivia CacchioneOlivia Cacchione

2nd Year PhD • 

Olivia Cacchione is a second year PhD student in musicology. She holds Master's degrees from University of Washington in Harp Performance and Music History. Her research focuses on American popular culture throughout the long twentieth century, with an emphasis on musical intersections with the occult and supernatural in practice and representation. Additionally, she pursues interests in gender and sexuality studies, film studies, and critical theory. Her interest in gender and American country and folk music has led to research on the use of commercial country music in twenty-first century advertising, and she has presented this research at meetings of the Society for American Music and the American Musicological Society regional conference. When she is not studying music, she enjoys reading crime novels and riding her bike.

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). With the support of a Fulbright Fellowship to France (2016-2017), she has conducted research towards her dissertation project on the intersection of music, politics, and pornography in obscene media printed in Paris in the latter half of the eighteenth century. 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.

Kyle KaplanKyle Kaplan

PhD Candidate •

Kyle Kaplan is a PhD candidate in Musicology and a Mellon Interdisciplinary Cluster Fellow 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 dissertation, "Music, Intimacy, and International Homosexual Collaborations, 1957-1963," reconstructs the social and creative networks of composers such as Henze, Barber, Britten, and Poulenc. This project documents their interest in 19th century aesthetics in counterpoint with Adorno's contemporaneous writings on aesthetics, ethics, and intimacy. Further research projects consider the soundtrack's of gay experimental erotic cinema and the biopolitics of music and modernist dance. The first of these will appear in article form as part of the 2018 special issue of Women and Music titled "Racing Queer Music Scholarship." He has presented papers at meetings of the Society for American Music, Feminist Theory and Music, Music and the Middlebrow, and the American Musicological Society's LGBTQ and Dance Study Groups, and has served on the board of the LGBTQ Study Group.

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. 

Emily MasincupEmily Masincup

1st Year PhD • 

Emily Masincup is a first-year PhD student in Musicology. She received her BM in Music Performance from Messiah College, PA (2014), and her MA in Music from Cardiff University, Wales (2016). Her master’s thesis, entitled “Rings and Other Gendered Spaces: Musical Representations of Gender in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Films,” seeks to establish unique connections between Howard Shore’s score and different types of space present within the films—literal and/or metaphorical—in order to illuminate subversive readings of gender. She maintains a strong interest in film music, and is especially thrilled when her explorations of film sound lead her into the territory of media studies. Emily also researches historical and contemporary conceptualizations of the human voice/vocality and hopes to combine this research with her film interests by examining representations of musical vocality within film. When she is not studying, she enjoys working on Kakuro puzzles, snuggling with cats, and singing with Northwestern’s University Chorale.  

Simon NugentSimon Nugent

1st Year PhD • 

Simon Nugent is a first-year PhD student in musicology. He earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Musicology degrees from University College Dublin (UCD). Simon’s research interests include medieval music, music and audiovisual media, and music and devotion. In 2016, he co-organised a meeting of the International Musicological Society’s medieval music study group, Cantus Planus, co-sponsored by UCD and the University of Notre Dame. In the same year, he was co-editor of Issue 9 of The Musicology Review, a peer-reviewed postgraduate publication based at UCD. His transcription of the office of Saint Malachy will be published in 2018 by the Institute of Medieval Music, and his research on Celtic music as medieval music in Hollywood cinema will appear as part of an edited volume entitled Recomposing the Past: Early Music on Stage and Screen, to be published by Routledge press in early 2018. Simon has presented at conferences throughout Ireland and the UK, including the Royal Musical Association Research Students’ Conference and Society for Musicology in Ireland’s postgraduate and annual plenary conferences.

Nathan ReevesNathan Reeves

3rd Year PhD •

Nathan Reeves is a third-year Ph.D. student in musicology with a cognate focus in anthropology. 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 renaissance studies. Nathan’s primary research focuses on musical life of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Spanish-occupied southern Italy. This project attends to how musical representations of subaltern Neapolitan populations intersected with the development of state practices of sonic recognition under Spanish colonialism. Nathan also pursues complementary research in the history of ethnomusicology, particularly concerning approaches to sound recording and transcription. Additional interests include sound studies, Indigenous studies, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial theory, and ethnography. Nathan has presented his research at a number of conferences, including meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Sixteenth Century Society, and at events hosted by the Newberry Library of Chicago. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, he remains an avid singer in ensembles of the Chicago area.

Jason RosenholtzJason Rosenholtz-Witt

PhD Candidate •

Jason Rosenholtz-Witt is a PhD candidate in the musicology program and a current Northwestern Presidential Fellow. His dissertation examines the mediation and circulation of music through social and professional networks in and surrounding the Venetian Republic from 1580-1630 with an emphasis on Bergamo, a thriving musical center during this period. In so doing, Jason challenges established narratives of early modern music history that limit centers of influence to larger cities such as Florence and Venice. 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. Before coming to Northwestern, he was an adjunct instructor at Colorado State, teaching Music Theory Fundamentals and Music Appreciation. He has published on seventeenth-century music in The Viol and Early Music Performer. Jason maintains a secondary interest in twentieth-century experimentalism 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 at meetings of the North American British Music Studies Association, Medieval/Renaissance Music Conference, Sixteenth Century Studies, Renaissance Society of America, Society for Music Theory, and American Musicological Society. This year, Jason's primary source research is supported by the Dr. Gudrun Busch Fellowship from the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany and from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation for archival research in Bergamo, Italy.

Milena SchallerMilena Schaller

3rd Year PhD •

Milena Schaller is a third-year PhD student in Musicology. She previously earned a BA at UC Davis and a MA at Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation, centered heavily on reception and criticism, concerns the arrival of the Ballets russes in Paris, and how they were influenced by the Franco-Russian alliance and theatrical practices such as marionette, cabaret, and puppet theater. She has presented on this topic at the Annual Conference of the Francophone Music Criticism Network in Paris, and at the conference on Artistic Migration and Identity in Paris in Montréal. Her interest in perception and creation of culture has also led to research on folk metal bands Eluveitie and Turisas; she has presented on this subject 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, and baking savoury pies.

Amanda SteinAmanda Ruppenthal Stein

PhD Candidate •

Amanda Ruppenthal Stein is a PhD candidate (ABD) in Musicology and is affiliated with the Jewish Studies cluster. 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. As a recipient of a 2015 Northwestern University Graduate Research Grant, she traveled to Jerusalem and conducted 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. In 2016, Amanda earned a Teaching Certificate through NU’s Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching. She has presented at national and regional conferences and will give papers in Fall 2017 at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Association for Jewish Studies.

Vanessa TonelliVanessa Tonelli

3rd Year PhD •

Vanessa Tonelli is a third-year PhD in Musicology, also pursuing a 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). Vanessa’s primary research traces the lives of the female musicians at the Ospedali Grandi in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Venice. She is invested in asking questions about social influences – especially class and gender – that affected these women’s lives and musical participation. Vanessa’s research has also included a study on sexuality in the Chicago blues dance scene, as well as the publication of an article about the educations and professional experiences of female trombonists. Outside of research, Vanessa also enjoys swing, blues, and salsa dancing, as well as playing her trombone, currently with Lakeside Pride Jazz Orchestra and Latin Band.

Ben WeissmanBen Weissman

1st Year PhD • 

Ben Weissman is a first-year PhD student in musicology. He holds a BA in English from Haverford College (2014) and a MM in musicology from Northwestern University (2017). His research interests include collaboration, experimentation, electronics, and the voice in the 20th and 21st centuries. He has focused on topics including the proliferation of non-Western vocal technique and style in Western art music, the voice as a technology of experimentation, identity in the contemporary DIY musical community, and early synthesizer film music. He has presented research on Dick Higgins’s sound poetry intermedia compositions at the Society for American Music. In his spare time, he enjoys drawing, attending concerts in Chicago, and singing with the Northwestern University Chorale.

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