Letter from the Chair
So many musical projects are in progress in the Department of Music this year, as we build on new opportunities and work to realize even more of our potential. Some of the best news of the year is tied to our faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as is usually the case. We have welcomed to campus Anna Gatdula, assistant professor of musicology, whose research centers on cultural theory and sound studies, and who writes persuasively about how musical spectacle can produce narratives of power. And Naomi André, David G. Frey Distinguished Professor, has joined us on campus after spending her first year on our faculty as a Fellow at the National Humanities Center. Our students and recent alumni are making a difference around the world, in ways both large and small; stories about their work and travels are featured in this newsletter, and their successes are the motivation for everything we do as faculty. Finally, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate the work of our staff: Department Manager El Fisseha was awarded the distinction of Manager of the Year for the College last year, and that occasion lets us shine a spotlight both on her remarkable work and on all our staff’s integral contributions to our department’s core mission.
Last May, we celebrated commencement with four dozen brand-new music department alumni who earned bachelor’s degrees; we also honored two M.A. recipients and two Ph.D. recipients. Our commencement speaker drew together many facets of what makes our department special and connects us: Dr. Marcia Citron (M.A. ’68, Ph.D. ’71) delivered the commencement address, a moment that I particularly savored as she had been my music history professor when I was an undergraduate student at Rice University, and she spoke movingly about the performances she remembered from her time at UNC as a student.
With commencement, we also marked the retirements of Allen Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Music, Evan Bonds, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music, and Annegret Fauser, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor Emerita of Music. Each will be sorely missed by colleagues and students alike.
It seems like around every corner in our department, something new is in the works. As just one small example, over the summer, we set up a classroom in Kenan Music Building as a state-of-the-art audio engineering teaching space, with the audio and video connectivity between the classroom and our large rehearsal hall that will allow the rehearsal hall to be used as a recording space. All of this marks an expansion in our curriculum in music technology, production, and audio engineering offerings: with the new teaching space, we were able to more than double the number of students who could take those courses this year, and all the courses are filled to capacity.
I hope you will dive into this newsletter and find all sorts of new recordings to listen to, articles to browse, and books to read from our faculty and graduate students. I am excited to have this opportunity to serve the department as chair, and to continue building on the excellent work of my predecessors, most recently, David Garcia. I look forward to meeting many more of you, our alumni, friends of the department, music fans, and generous donors who support us in so many ways. Please make plans to connect with us however possible: at our concerts on and off campus, lectures, workshops, conferences, and more, whether you are in Chapel Hill or reaching out virtually.
Jocelyn R. Neal
Professor and Chair