Two Grad Students Awarded Campus Travel Grants
Two School of Music graduate students have won competitive travel grants from the Graduate College: Jonathan Smith (Musicology) won a Dissertation Travel Grant for his research, "Sacred Harp, Space, and the Imaginary"; Andrew Rodriguez (Composition) won a Master’s Travel Grant to work with the Loadbang ensemble at the Charlotte New Music Festival, as part of his degree project.
Andrew Rodriguez draws from his history as a performer in the American punk/hardcore scene to formulate the core of his music. As a composer, Rodriguez retains an interest in traditional Classical genres, but continuously pursues challenging opportunities and progressive methods of expression. Recent commissions include works for A/B Duo, MAPS Trio, the Abilene Chamber Players, as well as collaborations with flutist Tammy Yonce and oboist Jonathan Thompson. Andrew was recently accepted as a fellow for the 2016 Chamber Music Institute, held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he was tasked to compose a brand new piece for the Faust Brass Quintet.
Jonathon Smith's research focuses on contemporary Sacred Harp singing in the U.S. and Ireland, the significance of place for singers, and the power of imagined connections in these singing spaces. As an active singer, he has taught singing schools and workshops on Sacred Harp throughout the U.S. and in Ireland. Part of his dissertation research on Sacred Harp, the South, and the Celtic imaginary will be presented at the International Council for Traditional Music Conference in Limerick, Ireland in July. Jonathon is also a chimesplayer at Altgeld Hall and recently presented research on bells and space at the University of Michigan’s campanology symposium.
The Graduate College announced that 25 departments from across campus submitted a total of 42 nominations and, of those, 16 nominations from 13 departments were selected for awards. It is very rare for one unit to receive two awards.