Musicology Current Students

Ben Adamo, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Ben Adamo is a second-year Masters student in the University of Kentucky's musicology/ethnomusicology program. He is a native of Greeneville, TN, and prior to attending UKY, he graduated magna cum laude from East Tennessee State University with a degree and license in K-12 Vocal Music Education. While there, he was fortunate to travel across the continental United States on various choir tours, and he has also performed in a number of operas both in and outside of school. 

At UK, Ben happily teaches Introduction to Music to undergraduates and he loves having the opportunity to share his passion for classical music with audiences who are not familiar with it. He has also sung in two of the university's choral ensembles, the mixed SATB Choristers as well as the men's chorus. Although from a heavy choral background, Ben also played and performed with UK's bluegrass ensemble, as an autoharpist and vocalist. His range of research interests are varied, amongst other topics, he has written about techno sampling, heavy metal gender values, Alvin & The Chipmunks, and Frank Zappa. Alongside several other UK students in the Spring of 2019, he presented his techno sampling paper, The Free Real-Estate Dilemma: The Ethical Pitfalls of De-Commodified Music, at the American Musicological Society's South Central chapter meeting in Sewanee TN. Currently, he is working on his thesis which explores American nostalgia and Charles Ives's potential influence on Frank Zappa, by using Zappa's 1968 doo-wop record, Cruising with Ruben & The Jets, as a case study.

Lotus Ai, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Lotus Ai is a doctoral student in musicology/ethnomusicology at the University of Kentucky. Lotus is from Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China. She holds a Chinese Zheng performance bachelor's degree from Inner Mongolia Arts University and transferred to the University of Kentucky in 2016 to study Music Liberal Arts as a voice major and classical guitar minor, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Fall 2017. Lotus has explored vocal music in the Sarlang Mongolian Women's choir in IMAU, and then with the UK Choristers and Women's Choir.  She has also enjoyed participating in the UK Gamelan ensemble. Lotus specializes in Chinese Zheng, bamboo flute, Xiao, classical guitar, and some other Chinese aerophones. She is primarily interested in Mongolian music, particularly throat singing, and in Chinese music in general. Her dissertation will be about the revival of Inner Mongolian throat singing. In the summer of 2018, Lotus was invited by the IMAU as music professional interpreter during the Chinese-Central European Composers Music Academic Conference. Lotus is in her second year as a teaching assistant in MUS 130 World Music.

David Boyd, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

David Boyd is in his first year at UK. David received his Bachelor's degree in Voice from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013. He intends to complete the combined M.A./Ph.D in Musicology. David enjoys participating in the UK Men's Chorus and the Balinese Gamelan Chamber Ensemble. In undergrad at UNCG, Mr. Boyd participated in Opera, small choral ensembles and assistant directed the premier all-male acappella group: The UNCG Spartones. David grew up in Cary, North Carolina and has lived in many areas across North Carolina.  He is currently teaching MUS-100: Introduction to Music.

Kathryn Caton, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, 21st Century Opera

Kathryn Caton, a native of Fargo, North Dakota, is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Kentucky. She has an extensive musical background, with her early studies in violin and piano culminating in a bachelor’s of music degree from Concordia College in Moorhead Minnesota. While there she had the honor of singing under the renowned composer and conductor Dr. René Clausen and toured with the Concordia Choir, one of the finest a cappella choirs in the country. She later earned her master’s in voice performance from the University of Kentucky under the guidance of opera star Cynthia Lawrence. There she performed frequently with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre under the direction of Dr. Everett McCorvey.

Kathryn’s academic research explores new and experimental twenty-first century operas, with interdisciplinary crossovers into the worlds of social theory and media studies. She has taught several semesters of Oral Communication of Music (MUS 304), a course she co-designed with Dr. Jonathan Glixon, and Introduction to Music (MUS 100). She has served two terms as Vice-President of FOCUS (Graduate Music Research Association at the University of Kentucky), is on the board for UK ORA (The University of Kentucky Opera Research Alliance), launched in December 2014, and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK).

Recently Kathryn presented "Telling Stories: Repetition, Elaboration, and Memory-Making in Invisible Cities" at the conference Opera and the City: Technologies of Displacement and Dissemination in Lisbon, Portugal (2019) and at the Seventh International Conference on Minimalist Music in Cardiff, Wales (2019). In 2018 she delivered “Imagined Memories in Christopher Cerrone’s Invisible Cities” at the Annual Conference for the Society for American Music (SAM), at the American Musicological Society South Central Chapter Conference (AMS-SC), and at the Opera and Musical Theatre in the United States Conference. She has also presented “Whispering Through a Megaphone: Glass’s Satyagraha in the Opera Satyagraha” at the symposium, “Confronting America’s Racial Past Through Opera” at the University of Kentucky and at the Sixth International Conference on Music and Minimalism at the University of Tennessee.

Desiree Bradford Scarambone, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, 20th & 21st century music

A teacher devoted to developing independence and confidence in her students in her studio and classrooms at the University of the Cumberlands as well as in her private pre-college piano studio, she authored supplemental pedagogically oriented music history texts including Classical Composers: A Home in Your Head for the Musical Masters in 2014, and From Sticks and Stones to Hammers and Bows in 2015. In 2017 she was honored with the Kristen Stauffer Todd Memorial Award for Exceptional Teaching and Service.

Desirée earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in Piano Performance. She later pursued graduate studies in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at Mississippi College, and is now a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky. Her primary musicological interests are in the Passion genre of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and the cultivation of the literary imagination. She is an active scholar and has given presentations on her research of diverse subjects, most recently at the Semiotic Society of Americas in October of 2019, the American Musicological Society south central chapter meeting in March of 2019, the First Annual Darkwater Women in Music Conference in March, 2019.

Scot Buzza, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Scot Buzza has had an international performing career over that includes solo appearances with orchestras in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela. He has held principal violist positions with orchestras in both Tokyo, Japan and Barcelona, Spain. As a chamber musician Buzza has performed worldwide, and his recitals have been broadcast on Radio France, PBS, Radio Amsterdam, Tokyo NHK and Radio Catalunya (Spain).

Buzza is a graduate of Yale University, where he held simultaneous fellowships in both the School of Music and the Department of Slavic Languages and Linguistics. He teaches a full course load in Music Theory, Aural Skills and Music History in the Department of Music at Northern Kentucky University, and is a full-time faculty member of Xavier University’s Theatre Department. Buzza is currently director of the KIIS study abroad program in Salzburg, Austria, where he has taught conducting and music history since 2009.

Scot’s research on the Venetian 18th century led him to the Ph.D. program in musicology at UK, where he is now writing on his dissertation on the autograph psalm motets of Baldassare Galuppi. Scot has presented conference papers on Baldassare Galuppi and Giuseppe Saratelli, and is a contributing author for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians for Oxford University Press.

Matt Hyder, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Music & life of Franz Liszt

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Matt is a Doctoral Candidate in Musicology and Ethnomusicology. His varied musical background has led to him holding various teaching positions at nearly every level of music education, both in the United States as well as internationally in the People's Republic of China. Classically trained in voice, Matt has performed in the United States and abroad.

Currently, Matt is Manager of Training and Education for the Copyright Operations Department of the International Copyright Enterprise (ICE) GmBH in Berlin, Germany. His work allows him to explore another side of the music world and interact with some of the largest and oldest collecting societies of Europe: STIM, GEMA, BUMA, SABAM, and POLARIS.
When not wading through the morass of Music Copyright in the European Union, Matt focuses his remaining time on his dissertation which explores the philosophical notions of Franz Liszt, specifically that of Génie oblige, and their impact on Liszt's various musical and socio-political activities during his life.

Yingchao Han, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Fin de siècle French Music

Yingchao Han is from Xiamen, Fujian, China. Currently, he is in his fourth year of Ph. D. studies in Musicology at the University of Kentucky. He holds an M. A. in Musicology from the City College of New York, and an LL. M from Indiana University. His main interests in musicology are French music of the fin de siècle era, particularly composers of the Franck School, and reception history of Western classical music in Asia. He has translated Music: An Appreciation by Roger Kamien (published in 2018) and Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph (published in 2020)  into Chinese.

He regularly writes for Chinese magazines Musical Map and Ganlan Music Review, and the radio station Shanghai Classical FM, on various topics including historically informed performance, nineteenth-century nationalism, French music and politics, and historicism in German music. Since 2013, he has been writing program notes for the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra.

Besides music, he enjoys eating, cooking, and studying food history, and is proud of having tasted 130 different national cuisines.

Erin Fulton, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Anglo-American hymnody of the early nineteenth century

Erin Fulton is a fifth-year PhD candidate in musicology who intends to pursue a career in music librarianship. Erin’s scholarly interests center on Anglo-American hymnody of the early nineteenth century, especially social worship hymns and the material culture of religious music. Her dissertation in progress is on "Vestry Meetings and Vestry Music in New England, 1841-1848." She not only uses this as a convenient excuse to sing Sacred Harp but has presented on related topics at numerous scholarly conferences, including papers in 2018-19 at the Society for American Music, the biennial Christian Congregational Music Conference, and University of Richmond's Contested Frequencies/Beyond Exoticism: Sonic Representation in the Digital Age. Her research has appeared in Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism (ed. Teresa Cascudo, 2017), Nota Bene, and the University of Kansas Journal of Undergraduate Research. She earned her BM in Musicology at the University of Kansas, writing her senior thesis on “Secular Music in Reform and Dispersed-Harmonic Tunebooks, 1820-1850.” Erin currently serves as the music bibliographer for the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship's Sounding Spirit project, a major digitization initiative headquartered at Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship and that focuses on sacred music imprints published in the U.S. South between 1850 and 1925. She was the 2018 American Congregationalist Association-Boston Athenaeum fellow. Former positions include senior technician in cataloging at UK's Margaret I. King Special Collections Library and a cataloging internship at the Sacred Harp Museum in Carrollton, GA.

Tanner Jones, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Shamanic music on Jeju Island in South Korea

Tanner Jones is currently a PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology and is writing his dissertation entitled Performing Agency and Change Through Jeju Shaman Ritual. This year, Tanner was awarded the Fellowship for Graduate Studies through the Korea Foundation, which funds a year of his research and writing while in residency at UK. Tanner recently completed a year of research and fieldwork in Jeju-do, South Korea, as a Fulbright Junior Researcher. His dissertation is a study of shamanic ritual and music on Jeju-do, and how local shamans are negotiating a rapidly changing socio-economic and political climate due to intense development of the island’s tourism industry. Tanner’s research aims to present a dynamic and current portrayal of shamanic ritual life on the island, affects of “cultural preservation” of rituals, and how practitioners utilize new avenues of performance to continue and promote their traditions. Furthermore, Tanner spent considerable time with protestors in Jeju-do who have been protesting the construction of a naval base against the community’s will, and shows how music and shamanism have been utilized by demonstrators to inform their protest movement and engage the local and global community. Tanner has been invited to give talks in both Korea and at home, has presented papers at the Midwest Chapter of the Society of Ethnomusicology Conference and the Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference. He will also be publishing a piece on the protests in Jeju Island in the online peer-reviewed newsletter, Ecomusicology.

When he is not researching, Tanner enjoys playing the banjo with friends and family, brewing beer, baking bread, fly-fishing, and accompanying his amazing fiancée and their two goofy puppies on long hikes through Red River Gorge.

Shareese Johnson, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Music of the Soviet Union

Shareese Johnson is in her first year studies for a PhD in Musicology and Ethnomusicology.  She comes to musicology by way of opera performance, having started a DMA in Vocal Performance and realized that her passions had evolved toward research and teaching music history.  Before making the official switch to musicology, Shareese pursued a professional operatic career.  Highlights of her career include a debut at Princeton Festival as a soprano soloist in the Deutsches Requiem by Brahms, being awarded the Ursula Springer Award by the Wagner Society of New York, and the premiere of an arrangement of Richard Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder for piano quintet by composer John Greer. Future performance engagements include another performance of the Strauss arrangement in concert, and the title role of Sojourner Truth by Stanley Friedman with Thompson Street Opera in Chicago, IL.  

Academically speaking, Johnson has had the privilege of presenting at the Kentucky Foreign Languages Conferences on the Russian panel in 2015 and 2016.  Her two papers were entitled, “Embodied Disability: Performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s ‘Seven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok, Op. 127’ without Limitations” and “Dmitri Shostakovich, His Katerina Ismailova and an Autobiographical Link.” Her research interests include the vocal works of Dmitri Shostakovich, vocal music of the Soviet Union, and disability studies, specifically mental illness. 

Shareese received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Converse College. She continues to study voice under Cynthia Lawrence at the University of Kentucky. 

Hada Jang, Master's Student, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Gayagum, Pansori, Traditional Korean Music

Hada Jang holds a bachelor’s degree in Traditional Korean Vocal Music from Chonnam National University, and a master’s degree in Music from Seoul National University. She can play Gayagum, a Korean traditional string instrument, Pansori which means Korean genre of musical storytelling. She worked at public elementary schools and middle schools for 9 years in Korea. In 2014, she was a panel of National Korean Traditional Music Competition, Children’s Division in Ulsan. She is currently a master’s student in the Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology. Hada Jang researches the traditional Korea music examining vocalization, notation, Changgeuk which means a traditional Korea opera, and pedagogy.

Kaylina Madison Crawley, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Kaylina Madison Crawley is a doctoral candidate in musicology at the University of Kentucky. She is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi. She graduated with a Master of Arts Degree from Middle Tennessee State University and summa cum laude from Fisk University with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance. She was a UNCF/Mellon Undergraduate Fellow, and her research topic was “Native Music: Recognizing the School of African-American Piano Composition during the 1940s.” Her research was presented at the William Grant Still Conference in November 2009. She was a co-presenter at the 2009 Tennessee Music Teachers Association State Conference in a session titled “Crossing the Stream: Teaching the Piano Music of African-American Composers.” Kaylina has presented “Black Representation in the Emperor Jones” at the American Musicological Society South Central Chapter Conference in 2016 and has written an article for the Journal of American Rootwork titled “Oh What Joy to Find Them Singing: Oral Traditions in the Bethesda Original Church of God or Sanctified Church” as well as a media review on “The Spirituals Database,” compiled by Randye Jones, in the Fall 2016 SAM Bulletin. Kaylina’s dissertation focuses on John Work III and his spiritual arrangements. She currently serves as the Community Academy of Music and Arts director (CAMA) at Tennessee State University, and also teaches Music Appreciation, Proficiency Piano, and Applied Piano courses. She is also a member of the American Musicological Society, the Society of American Music, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Melinda Lio, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Women using music to bridge the United States and China

Melinda Lio is a Lexington native who is working on her masters in musicology with an emphasis in ethnomusicology. She is writing her thesis on three women who are using music to bridge the United States and China. She graduated from UK with a B.A. in piano and enjoys playing the pipa, er-hu, violin, and organ. She has performed with Dr. Han’s Chinese Ensemble, Community Gamelan,Thai ensemble and Dr. Kwon’s Korean Percussion Ensemble. She is interested in pedagogy, and the combination of visuals with musical practices. She currently lives in Nashville and collaborates with The Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville to bring Chinese arts, dance, and music to the local community.

Nathaniel Lucy, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Rural identity in popular music

Nathaniel Lucy is a Ph.D student in Musicology/Ethnomusicology at the University of Kentucky. He spent his adolescent years throughout Missouri and in Fayetteville, Arkansas. While attending Missouri State University, Nathaniel gained an interest in vernacular and popular music of the world, especially the soundscape of the Ozarks region in the United States. He received a BA in Music and Global Studies in 2012 at MSU while also being one of the first students to receive an Ozark Studies minor. During his time at MSU, Nathaniel worked on the Ozark Folksong Collection at the University of Arkansas Library of Special Collections, cataloging and transcribing hundreds of songs and stories collected during the 1950s and 60s.

Nathaniel received his MM in Ethnomusicology at Bowling Green State University in 2014. His thesis concerned Ozark Jubilee, a televised country variety show from Springfield, Missouri, during the 1950s. His primary interest is the music of the Ozarks region, particularly the area's popular music and regional identity. His dissertation will be about musical theater industry in Branson, Missouri.

Ysabel Sarte, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, the music of Early Modern Spain

Ysabel Sarte is currently a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Kentucky. She was born in Manila, Philippines and emigrated with her family to Northern California at seven years old. Her background is as a clarinetist, having earned her Bachelors degree in Performance from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music and a Masters degree in Performance from the University of Tennessee, where she served as a graduate teaching assistant. Since finishing her Masters degree, Ysabel has lived, performed, and taught music in California, Tennessee, Washington state, and Japan. Before coming to Lexington, she was on music faculty for Texas A&M University - Commerce, where she taught courses in Music Literature, Music Theory, Ear Training, and Graduate Woodwind Literature. She authored a chapter for the fourth volume of the book series A Composer’s Insight: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band (2010), which focused on contemporary composer Dan Welcher, his compositional and conducting techniques, and his compositions for wind band. She also contributed an encyclopedic entry on “Whistled Speech” for Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2014), a SAGE reference project.

Ysabel's research focus is the music of Early Modern Spain, particularly the relationship between the female Spanish mystics of that time and the musical realm. The working title of her dissertation-in-progress is Una música de pajaritos y ángeles: Music and the female mystics of Early Modern Spain. In this research, she hopes to explore the deeper intersections of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish music with ideas of gender, power, authority, and writing, along with other ideas that await discovery. However, her musical interests are varied and plenty, including music history pedagogy, the role of social media and digital technology in modern musicology, disability studies, musical interpretation, and the music and culture of the Philippines. While dissertating, she continues to teach a small studio of private clarinet students in the Lexington area. Outside of music, Ysabel enjoys playing with her pets, guiltily reveling in bad reality television and even worse pop music, cooking, and daydreaming of world travels.

Isaac Maupin, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Jazz & activist street bands

Isaac Maupin is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the University of Kentucky’s Ethnomusicology/Musicology program. Prior to attending the University of Kentucky, he attended Otterbein University where he received a Bachelor of Music in guitar performance in 2013. Following the completion of his undergraduate study, Isaac lived in Boston and performed in various rock ensembles.

At UK, Isaac teaches undergraduate courses on the History of Jazz, Creativity and Innovation in Rock Music, and Music Appreciation. In addition to teaching, Isaac has performed in various ensembles at UK including jazz combos, Korean drumming, and the gamelan. In the summer of 2017, he worked as an intern in the archive of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. As an intern, Isaac assisted in the curation of two collections of jazz-related materials. Additionally, Isaac has research interest in the music of the 1960s and has contributed to a publication about the role of music in activist movements of the 1960s. His current research focuses on music and activism, and centers specifically on Honk! A Festival of Activist Street Bands. He has presented research regionally and is scheduled to present at national and international conferences in 2019.

Isaac has served the president of FOCUS @ UK, a student organization that promotes research in music, and serves as the IT Director of the Graduate Student Congress. He is also the graduate student representative of the South Central Chapter of the American Musicological Society and serves on the Public Relations Committee of the Society of American Music.

Nathan Miller, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Nathan Miller is the Assistant Professor of Musicology and Director of the Orchestra at Asbury University.  In addition, Nathan also directs the Asbury University Salvation Army Student Fellowship Brass Band, which is an extra-curricular ensemble. Having played the alto horn in Salvation Army brass bands since he was eight years old, Nathan has continued to perform with Salvation Army bands throughout his life. He is also the solo hornist in both The Lexington Brass Band and Saxton’s Cornet Band. He received his BA and MM in horn performance from Asbury University and The University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, respectively. After completing his master's degree, Nathan worked as music director for the Salvation Army in Lexington, KY, where he developed and directed music programs for children and adults. Nathan is currently a PhD candidate in musicology at the University of Kentucky. He is working on a dissertation entitled, Inside Outside: The Cultural Paradox of Salvation Army Brass Bands in America During the Age of Nationalism. His wife, Ellen, teaches choir and general music at Winburn Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky. They enjoy gardening, cycling, sports, and playing hide-and-seek with their dog, Scout.

Elizabeth Navarra Varnado, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Popular music and music festivals

Elizabeth Navarra Varnado is a musician and doctoral candidate in musicology and ethnomusicology at the University of Kentucky. Her dissertation research explores authentic experiences between musicians and fans at music festivals, as well as the mediation of these experiences. Elizabeth previously worked as a TA in the College of Fine Arts, teaching Introduction to Music, Music Communication & Oral Presentation, and Creativity and Innovation in Rock Music (her favorite!). Elizabeth currently works as a graduate assistant at UK's Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. Elizabeth plays and writes music with the Lexington-based indie-rock band, Lylak, as well as other musical outfits around town. 

Ellyn Washburn, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Ellyn Washburne is in her seventh year at UK, after graduating from the University of Evansville with a B.S. in Music and a minor in Spanish. She intends to complete the blended M.A./Ph.D. program in Musicology. As a teaching assistant, Ellyn has taught American Music and Music 100 and directs the UK bluegrass ensemble. For the past ten years, Ellyn has spent her summers working and playing music in the mountains of Philmont Scout Ranch. She has a passion for old time, bluegrass, traditional Irish, and Philmont music.

Mary Margaret Zrull, Doctoral Candidate, Musicology & Ethnomusicology, French Music & Female Composers

Mary Margaret Zrull is originally from Boone, NC. She received her bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education from the University of Kentucky in 2019 and is happy to return to UK as a graduate student. She intends to complete the combined MA/PhD program in Musicology. During her time as an undergraduate at UK, she performed as a flutist in the Symphony Band, Wind Symphony, and Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she was a French Minor and a member of the Lewis Honors College. She also worked on a research project entitled “The Applications of French Phonetics to Flute Playing: A Historical Perspective,” for which she received the 2018 UK Libraries Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Research. As a graduate student, Mary Margaret hopes to continue studying French music, especially by female composers. She is also a recipient of the 2019-2020 James Still Fellowship.


Created 10/24/2021
Last Updated 10/24/2021