Current Musicology Graduate Students

Kirsten CarithersKirsten Speyer Carithers

PhD Candidate •  k-carithers@u.northwestern.edu

Kirsten Speyer Carithers is a PhD candidate (ABD) at Northwestern University.  She holds degrees in music history (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 aesthetics and critical theory, the socio-cultural implications of notation, music and technology, and the intersections between indeterminacy, improvisation, and creative labor.  In 2013, she completed the certificate in Critical Theory at NU, and is pursuing a Teaching Certificate through NU’s Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching.  Kirsten has presented at AMS-Midwest, the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, and conferences at the City University of New York and the University of Oxford.

Jenna HarmonJenna Harmon

PhD Candidate • jennaharmon2017@u.northwestern.edu 

Jenna Harmon is a Ph.D candidate in musicology. Hailing from Des Moines, IA, she earned her BA in Music from Drake University in 2011. Jenna has worked on a variety of issues related to gender and sexuality throughout the early modern era. Previously her work has focused sexual violence in 16th century secular French chanson. Currently, she is working on the intersection of operas, pamphlet literature, and political pornography during the French Revolution. In addition to her teaching and research, Jenna also enjoys playing with Northwestern’s Baroque Music Ensemble, under the direction of Stephen Alltop.

Amanda SteinAmanda Ruppenthal Stein

PhD Candidate • amandastein2012@u.northwestern.edu

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 • emilylane1.2013@u.northwestern.edu

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

3rd Year PhD • jasonrosenholtzwitt2019@u.northwestern.edu

Jason Rosenholtz-Witt is a third year PhD student in musicology. 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 research focuses on music and culture in Italy and England ca.1550-1650, music printing, music and politics, organology, and performance practices of both the early modern period and the late twentieth century. He has published on Orlando Gibbons’ Music for the Great Dooble Base and will contribute a chapter in an upcoming book on avant-garde cellist Charlotte Moorman, the latter based on research conducted in Northwestern University Library’s Special Collections. He has presented his research at national and international conferences, including the North American British Music Studies Association (where he also serves on the board), Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference in Brussels, Sixteenth Century Studies and Conference, 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 • kylekaplan2014@u.northwestern.edu

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 • NathanReeves2020@u.northwestern.edu

Nathan Reeves is a Ph.D. student in musicology. He holds a BM in vocal performance from Furman University (2009) and a MM in musicology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2015) with a concentration in medieval and early modern studies. Nathan’s research focuses on sixteenth and seventeenth-century Naples, and examines the city’s musical life as crucial to the negotiation of cultural identities during the Spanish colonial regime. In addition to this work, he pursues interests in phenomenologies of listening, gender and sexuality studies, and the musical ethnography of evangelical Christian cultures. Nathan has presented papers at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Southeastern and Caribbean chapter, at regional meetings of the American Musicological Society, and at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Complementing his scholarly endeavors, he remains an active performer, singing in choral ensembles around the country.

Milena SchallerMilena Schaller

2nd Year PhD • MilenaSchaller2015@u.northwestern.edu

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 Russian music. Her interest in perception and creation of culture has also led to projects on folk metal bands Eluveitie and Turisas, and she has presented on this topic at the 2015 MGMC conference as well as the 2015 ICMSN conference held in Glasgow, Scotland. 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.

Vanessa TonelliVanessa Tonelli

2nd Year PhD • VanessaTonelli2020@u.northwestern.edu

Vanessa Tonelli 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 focuses on female musicians and the way gender influences the perception of music, which has lead to her primary research on the all-female ensembles of the Ospedali Grandi in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Venice. Vanessa has also explored gendered stereotypes of musical instruments and completed ethnographic work with female trombonists about their educations and professional experiences. Outside of research, she also enjoys swing and salsa dancing, as well as playing her trombone, currently with Northwestern’s Jazz Orchestra.

Richard SmithRichard Smith

MA Student • richardsmith2016@u.northwestern.edu

Richard Smith is a master’s student in the musicology program. Hailing from central Alabama, Richard completed his undergraduate degree in music at State University of New York at Stony Brook. Richard’s current research interests discuss performativity and conversion in music of reformations throughout early modern Europe and its colonies. Some of his other research interests consider historiography of un-normative masculinity, heresy, performance practice in early modern Spanish musical theater, and the history of western music theory. Richard also works as a Research Assistant in Northwestern’s Music Theory and Cognition program. 

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