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!

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