Adventures in Pittsburgh: The Annual Meeting of the American Musicology Society by Andrew Unger

Senior Music major Andrew Unger recounts his recent trip to Pittsburgh for the American Musicological Society’s annual conference. Find out more about his experience, and how TCNJ’s Department of Music was represented at the conference!

On November 7-10 at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, the American Musicological Society held its annual conference.

The AMS is an organization comprised of scholars and musicians from all over the country, ranging from ambitious graduate students in historical musicology and ethnomusicology to seasoned veterans of the field who teach at high-caliber universities. At the annual conference, over 100 papers are given by noted scholars and advanced graduate students alike, on topics ranging from 13th century motets, to Debussy, to the music of Star Trek.

I woke up at 4am, dreary-eyed and impossibly tired, on the morning of the 9th to catch a flight to the City of Bridges with my colleague Kevin Whitman. Post-arrival, the two of us enjoyed getting the most that we could out of our attendance at the conference.

Our main activity was hearing papers throughout Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, one of which being “Slonimsky’s Held,” given by TCNJ’s own Dr. Wayne Heisler as part of the panel, “Music, Jews, and Other.” Dr. Heisler also chaired the panel “Ballet and the Modern” and finished the final year of his term as a member of the Board of Directors. I was disappointed to miss a paper given by former TCNJ adjunct professor of music, Dr. Jessica Chisholm, as part of the “Sources and Scribes” panel.

Kevin and I were lucky enough to speak with professors and students from various universities and schools of music. We especially enjoyed having dinner with two TCNJ alumni, Jeremy Frusco and Tom Hanslowe from Florida University and Tufts University, respectively. Both Kevin and I happen to be pursuing graduate school for historical musicology, so these experiences were highly valuable for us in the midst of application season. Overall, this was a wonderful, eye-opening experience that I would recommend to anyone who has a keen interest – professional, academic, or otherwise – in any musicological or historiographical subject. I’m already looking forward to Milwaukee 2014!


End of Year Wrap Up by Andrew Unger

Music major Andrew Unger reflects back on the Spring 2013 semester’s music performances and concerts in his end of the year wrap up. Thank you for following the TCNJ School of the Arts & Communication blog! Congratulations to all graduating seniors and we hope you all have a great and safe summer break! More student blog posts to come this Fall 2013!

What an exhausting, valuable, and fun academic year it’s been. I’m writing this blog post on the morning after performing with the TCNJ Wind Ensemble under Dr. David Vickerman in Shadows, a concert which marks the culmination of a year of very diverse and engaging concerts showcased by the Music Department. With only one concert left – Just Because! by the TCNJ Choirs – the entire student body can look back on a year of which it can be quite proud.

The TCNJ orchestra, choirs, and bands have all worked tirelessly to enrich the campus community with music in whatever way they can. To be a part of this process has been extremely fulfilling, and I’m already looking forward to two more seasons of incredible concerts.

During the tumult of finals week and the conclusion of classes, it’s just as important to look back on these wonderful experiences as it is to study for said finals. As a student of the fine arts, end-of-semester performances are a channel for months of hard work to be converted into something extremely positive, and for that I am grateful. Thank you to the students and faculty of the music department for an awesome year, and I’m anticipating another great one very soon. After all, September is not so far away.

The Student Spotlight Series

The Student Spotlight Series features interviews from undergraduate students within the School of the Arts & Communication. The students selected for the series are nominated by TCNJ professors for their exemplary determination, dedication, and passion for the Arts as well as their skills in leadership and advocacy. Through the Spotlight Series, these featured students not only discuss their own visions, accomplishments, and goals, but also offer advice for other aspiring artists, film-makers, musicians, and any anyone else in the fields of the Arts and Communication. The most recently featured student in the series is Martin Bayer, a senior who is double majoring in Music and Interactive Multimedia and has taken on remarkable endeavors involving both music and game design.

Below you will find introductions to the three students currently featured in the Student Spotlight Series. To read their full interviews and articles, please click here.

KUKarachi “Kara” Ukaegbu is a Communication Studies major in the class of 2013 here at The College of New Jersey. With a concentration in Radio, TV, and Film and a minor in Interactive Multimedia, Kara’s main interest and talent lies in film and documentary editing. Her professional experiences as a film editor include working as an editing intern for NBC Universal, Atlantic Records of Warner Music Group, and New York Women in Film and Television. Kara has also proved herself to be a leader both on and off campus: she founded the Student Film Union, served as the co-founder and coordinator of TCNJ’s own Campus Organic Community Garden, and created nine short films and documentaries for the Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement and its partnering organizations, including the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.

ATAllison Tumminia is an Art Education major and Fine Arts minor graduating from TCNJ in December 2012. She has an active role in the art and art education communities both on and off campus. At TCNJ, Allison has working experience as an artist’s assistant, sculpture studio technician, as well as a selected solo exhibitionist in The College Art Gallery. She has taught art to students of all ages in school settings, day camps, as well as art centers. Allison was also actively involved in the Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (MUSE) offered through TCNJ. Allison hopes to continue to incorporate both Art Education and Fine Arts in her career after graduation.

MBayerMartin Bayer is a senior at TCNJ has double majors in Music and Interactive Multimedia. His interdisciplinary undergraduate career has allowed him to study electronic music, music composition, computer game design, and music composition for games. In fact, Martin, along with his teammates, created an award-winning computer game in just 48 hours at the 2012 Philadelphia Game Jam, a digital game-building competition! Martin plans to continue to combine his interests in music and interactive multimedia in both graduate school and future projects and collaborations.

Joe Pagani: “This is the most musically rewarding month of the semester”

Need help keeping up with all of the great events hosted by TCNJ’s Department of Music? Music major Joe Pagani has you covered! Keep reading to find out why Joe believes October is “the most musically rewarding month of the semester.”

If you ask any music major, October is the most stressful month.  Not only are midterms coming up, but at the same time we begin our first wave of concerts.   While playing is what I love to do, this year is no exception.

On October 11th we kicked off a concert series with the TCNJ Choirs, conducted by Dr. Leonard and Professor Tibbett.  On October 21st the TCNJ Orchestra will perform Harold in Italy by Hector Berlioz, along with fragments of Mozart’s Requiem.  We are lucky to be joined by the TCNJ Chorale to sing the Requiem, as well as Sarah Sutton, who is the guest soloist for the Viola solo in Berlioz.  After these concerts finish, we move directly into rehearsals with Lyric Theatre to play the pit for Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euricide, again conducted by Dr. Leonard.  Personally, I am looking forward this month to Gluck, because of my immense respect for Dr. Leonard as a musician, and as a conductor who can go between Instrumental and Choral ensembles so fluently, and I rarely get the chance to play with him.

The students of TCNJ are not the only ones gearing up for performances.  On Wednesday the 10th we had our annual Faculty Gala, where we get the chance to watch our teachers perform.  It’s one of my favorite events of the year.  On October 19th, as part of my Music in Global Perspectives class, we attend the 8:00 concert of Indian Tabla performer Abhijit Banerjee with his Tarang Ensemble.  We also are attending his keynote address at 11:30 that morning.

Though we are loosing daylight, and from October till spring we enter the building before the sun is up, and leave after it is set, this is the most musically rewarding month of the semester.  Our last month and a half of hard work is about to come to a culmination, and as a musician that’s the best thing you can hope for.  That, and a good turnout.