The one question every potential student should ask is: What can this department offer me? Our faculty and programs are of high quality and diverse, but the true measure of our success lies in our current students and alumni. One hundred percent of our students the past three years have received significant to full funding. Our students have attended and presented at conferences nationwide, and have even published their work in scholarly journals. Of last year’s graduating class, 75% applied to doctoral programs, and of those, 100% were accepted into top-rated institutions, including Indiana University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We couldn’t be more proud of them!

Recent Graduates

Yiyu Zhang, M.M. ’13, studied ethnomusicology at the University of Miami, especially Chinese music, Latin American music, and music and identity. Her master's thesis addressed the Chinese American diaspora experience in Miami and the United States. Currently, she is Academic Affairs Secretary of the Department of Music at Nanfang College of Sun Yat-sen University in China. She aspires to earn a doctorate in ethnomusicology.

Nessyah Buder M.M., ’13 studied musicology, ethnomusicology, and saxophone at the University of Miami. She was the 2012 recipient of the Presser Music Award, which funded her research in Melbourne, Australia, on her master’s thesis. Currently she is pursuing her doctorate in saxophone performance at Shenandoah Conservatory, where she remains active in the musicological community. She presented her paper, “Taboo Issue of a Rapping Jew,” at the AMS Capital Chapter meeting. Buder currently works as a TA at Shenandoah Conservatory in the saxophone and musicology departments.

Vicente Chavarria specializes in Latin American Baroque and Spanish Renaissance music, which he studied as a conductor and musicologist. At UM, he received a grant from the Center for Latin American Studies for summer research in Puebla, Mexico on composer José Lazo Valero. He has worked with the Mexican musicologist Aurelio Tello and presented his research at conferences at the University of California-Santa Barbara and CENIDIM in Mexico City. Currently, he is pursuing a DMA degree in Early Music Performance at USC where he serves as a TA and assists with the Baroque Sinfonia.

Andrew Claassen has interests in American music and contemporary popular music. His inquisitiveness in these topics led to an exploration of songs written in response to the terrorists attack on September 11, 2001. The result of this study was his thesis, “After the Fall: Musical Responses to 9/11.” Andrew teaches choir and guitar at Cape Coral High School, and aspires to earning a doctorate in music education.

Kelly Hiser is interested in American music, contemporary composers, and music and gender. She presented papers of her research on Johanna Beyer at the South Central Graduate Music Consortium and the Regional Conference of the Southern Chapter of the College Music Society. The culmination of her research was her master’s thesis, “‘An Enduring Cycle’: Revaluing the Life and Music of Johanna Beyer.” Presently, Kelly is pursuing doctoral studies in musicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mitsuko Kawabata has interests in ethnomusicology, Latin American music, and music and identity. She conducted research in Argentina and later went on to present her findings in papers at the Midwestern Graduate Music Consortium, the Regional Conference of the Southern Chapter of the College Music Society, and the national meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Her master’s thesis, “Musical Representations of the Gaucho and Immigrant: Navigating Identity within the Argentine Criollo Circus,” is the product of much of her fieldwork and research in Argentina. In addition to her Master of Music degree in musicology from the University of Miami, Mitsuko holds a doctorate in musicology from the University of Osaka, and is the recipient of several grants and scholarships. Currently, Mitsuko is pursuing doctoral studies in ethnomusicology at Indiana University.

Kacey Link was the recipient of a Graduate Research Grant from the Center for Latin American Studies, which allowed her to pursue research on Argentinean tango music. She presented papers at the regional and national meetings of the College Music Society and developed her findings into her master’s thesis, “Culturally Identifying the Performance Practices of Astor Piazzolla's Second Quinteto.” In addition to Piazzolla and Argentine music, Kacey’s interests include contemporary performance practice and ethnomusicology. Her forthcoming review of Omar García Brunelli's book Estudios sobre la obra de Astor Piazzolla, will appear in the journal Popular Music. In addition to her interest in musicology, Kacey is an accomplished pianist and is pursuing a D.M.A. degree at the University of California at Santa Barbara in Piano Performance.

Nightingale Ngo, authored a thesis “From the Baroque to the Classical: The Organ Works and Contributions of W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, J.C. Bach, and J. Krebs,” that is indicative of her interests in Western European music, particularly organ music. She is also an organist and handbell choir director at a local church and a piano teacher of numerous private students.

Past Graduates

David Friddle is an organist and conductor who has interests in choral music. His curiosity about Franz Liszt’s oratorio, Christus, eventually led to his research at the British Library and the Goethe-Schiller Archiv. He presented his findings at the 2005 national convention of the America Choral Directors Association, and his dissertation “Christus by Franz Liszt,” was later published as Christus: Oratorium nach Texten aus der Heiligen Schrift und der katholischen Liturgieand by Bärenreiter Verlag in English and German. David was the recipient of the Theodore Presser Award, along with additional grants from the University of Miami, which funded his research in England and Germany. His published articles appear in the Choral Journal, the Newsletter of the American Liszt Society, and the American Organist. David currently lives in Coral Gables, FL where he is continuing his career in sacred music.

Kyle Siebrecht pursued her interests in Haitian music under French colonial rule to the Centre des archives d'outre mer in Aix-en-Provence and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. In 2002 she was the recipient of the Theodor Presser Music Award to support her research abroad on Prince of Haiti / King of Paris, a theatre piece based on the life and writings of Moreau de Saint-Méry, a political figure, jurist, and chronicler of eighteenth-century Haiti. She received additional funding for Prince of Haiti from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and the City of Coral Gables. The production was one of the key components of Kyle’s thesis, “Prince of Haiti/King of Paris: the Research, the Production and the Script,” which included historical reconstructions of music and dance featured throughout the performance piece. Presently, Kyle is Associate Director of the Center for the Humanities at the University of Miami.