Staff and Contributors
Dana Gorzelany-Mostak is an Assistant Professor of Music at Georgia College. Her research on music and American presidential campaigns appears in Music & Politics, the Journal of the Society for American Music, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies. Her work on America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho appears in the edited volume Voicing Girlhood in Popular Music: Performance, Authority, Authenticity (Routledge) and in the journal American Music. In 2018 she won an Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association for "Songs in the Key of President C: Music on the Campaign Trail," a digital lecture funded by a grant from the Society for American Music. Gorzelany-Mostak is the founder of Trax on the Trail and serves as co-editor along with Naomi Graber and James Deaville. In addition to writing essays for several public musicology websites, Gorzelany-Mostak has provided her expert opinion for news outlets such as the BBC, The Guardian, Variety, and The Boston Herald.
Haley Strassburger is a junior at Georgia College and State University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education with an Instrumental Concentration. She is a current member of the international music fraternity for women, Sigma Alpha Iota. She is a passionate percussionist, clarinetist, and pianist and is excited to contribute to this project.
James Deaville (School for Studies in Art & Culture: Music, Carleton University) has published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of the Society for American Music, Journal of Musicological Research, and Music & Politics, and has contributed to books published by Oxford, Cambridge, and Routledge, among others. He also edited Music in Television: Channels of Listening (2011).
Mark is the Director of Digital Communications at Georgia College as well as owner/developer for Audax Design Group, LLC. He is currently teaching online Computer Science courses as an adjunct instructor for the College of Business. Mark holds a B.B.A. in MIS and a Masters in MIS from Georgia College.
Dr. Naomi Graber is an assistant professor (limited term) at the University of Georgia, where she teaches classes on American popular song, film music, and twentieth century music. She earned her Ph.D. in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she won the Glen Haydon Award for an Outstanding Dissertation in Musicology. Her research focuses on Broadway and Hollywood in the 1930s, particularly the influence of Leftist political thought on popular entertainment and the ways in which anti-Fascist émigrés both influenced and were influenced by American culture.
Sarah Griffin is a junior Georgia College & State University pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education. She is a member of the Collegiate National Association of Music Educators (CNAfME) and participates in several ensembles including Georgia College’s Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and Saxophone Quartet. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with family.
Aaron Manela is a PhD Candidate in Musicology at Case Western Reserve University, and holds degrees from The University of Oregon and Brandeis University. His research involves the intersection of music with issues of identity, class, ethnicity, race, and gender. Past research has included notions of ethnicity in 19th-century Russian ballets, Jewish Cowboys in turn-of-the-20th-century Tin Pan Alley songs and Wild West Shows, and musical expressions of class and race on The Backyardigans. His current research looks at the way music and ideas of race, gender, and ethnicity work within children’s education television shows.
Hailed as “very talented,” Benjamin Schoening is one of the up–and–coming musical talents of his generation. His unique combination of talents and abilities as both conductor and singer has allowed him to gain a unique insight into the music he performs and has caused immediate success as a singer. Dr. Schoening has enjoyed much success as a recitalist throughout the United States and Europe focusing on Art Songs in the English language.
Dan Blim is an Assistant Professor of Music at Denison University. He earned a PhD in Musicology and a Certificate in Screen Arts and Cultures from the University of Michigan, and his dissertation received the Society for American Music's Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award. His published research has explored memorialization in John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, narrative functions in Bernard Herrmann’s score to Vertigo, and collage in Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, and he is currently developing a book on country music scores in 1970s films.
Emily Abrams Ansari is an Assistant Professor of Music History at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Her research considers national identity, politics, and music in the United States, particularly during the Cold War, and she has published articles on this topic in a number of scholarly journals.
Eric Hung is Associate Professor of Music History at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. His research focuses on Asian American music, recent Chinese music, music and new media, and contemporary music inspired by Balinese gamelan. Current projects include a book on cultural trauma in Asian American music, and an edited volume on Public Musicology.
Eric T. Kasper is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He earned his undergraduate degree in political science at UW-Eau Claire before earning his master’s, doctoral, and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Kasper previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Colleges. He currently teaches courses on American politics, the judiciary, political theory, and U.S. constitutional law and politics.
Joanna Love is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Richmond. Her research and teaching reflect an interdisciplinary focus on popular culture, media studies, and the music industry. Love specializes in 20th- and 21st-century American and popular music and its role in multimedia, including advertising, video, television, and film. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online venues, including the Journal of the Society for American Music, Music and Politics, Journal of Music History Pedagogy, Trax on the Trail, and American Music, among others. She has forthcoming chapters about music in iconic television commercials for the Geico Insurance and Coca-Cola in edited collections by Oxford and Routledge. She is also co-editing an interdisciplinary book titled Contested Frequencies: Re-considering Sonic Representation in the Twenty-First Century and contributing a chapter on the music in the television series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Her recent book, Soda Goes Pop: Pepsi-Cola Advertising and Popular Music, was released by the University of Michigan Press in summer 2019.
Justin Patch teaches global and popular music in the music department at Vassar College. His research focuses on the auditory culture of contemporary politics and political campaigns in the US, sound studies, and on critical issues in ethnographic research and humanities education. His work has appeared in Soundings, The European Legacy, International Political Anthropology, The Journal of Sonic Studies, Americana, The Ethnomusicology Review, Zeteo, and the edited volume Critical and New Literacies: Teaching Towards Democracy with Popular Culture and Postmodern Texts.
Michael M. Kennedy is a PhD student in musicology at the University of Cincinnati, where he received a Masters degree in music history in 2014. Recently he has served as an adjunct instructor at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. His research focuses on American popular music, musical theater, and film music, while also considering these genres’ societal and political contexts. Currently he is preparing a dissertation that examines post-1970s musical theater orchestrations by investigating aesthetic, technological, business, and legal factors that contributed to the stylistic pluralism of Broadway’s postmodern era.
Michael Saffle is Professor of Music and Humanities at Virginia Tech. He earned his joint Ph.D. in musicology and humanities at Stanford University and has published articles and reviews in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Notes, Acta Musicologica, Asian Music, the International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, the Programmhefte of Bayreuth’s Wagner Festival, Music & Letters, the Journal of Popular Film and Television, and the Leonardo Music Journal, as well as contributions to the International Dictionary of Black Composers and other reference works.
Paul Christiansen has published on Czech music, Haydn, and music in political advertisements. His work has appeared in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Plainsong and Medieval Music, Notes, Echo: a music-centered journal, Journal of Musicological Research, Journal of the Society for American Music, MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, and 19th-Century Music. His book Orchestrating Public Opinion: How Music Persuades in Television Political Ads for US Presidential Campaigns, 1952-2016 will be published by Amsterdam University Press. Dr. Christiansen is an Associate Professor of Music at Seton Hall University.
Reba Wissner is on the faculty of Montclair State University, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Berkeley College. Dr. Wissner received her M.F.A. and Ph.D. in musicology from Brandeis University and her B.A. in Music and Italian from Hunter College of the City University of New York. She is the author of several articles on seventeenth-century Venetian opera, Italian immigrant theater in New York City, and music in the 1950s and 1960s television, and has presented her research at conferences throughout the United States and Europe.
Public Musicologist and Gershwin scholar, Ryan Raul Bañagale is an Assistant Professor of music at Colorado College where he offers classes on a range of American music topics, including musical theatre, jazz, popular music, bluegrass, and media studies. He received his PhD at Harvard University with the support of the American Musicological Society’s AMS-50 and Howard Mayer Brown fellowships. His dissertation became the foundation of his first book Arranging Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and the Creation of an American Icon published by Oxford University Press in 2014.
Sally Bick is an associate professor of music at the University of Windsor in Canada. Her work focuses on the intersection of music and politics with special emphasis on music in film. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Journal of the American Musicological Society, Musical Quarterly, Journal of the Society for American Music, Acta Musicologica, and German Studies Review. She is presently completing a monograph on political voices in Hollywood film.
Aly “Sam” Campbell is a senior Mass Communication student focusing on PR and advertising at Georgia College. In addition to being a passionate student, Sam is a musician, graphic designer and writer. In her spare time, Sam enjoys Starbucks dates with her husband, teaching piano lessons from her home and playing with her Beagle/Jack Russell Terrier mix, Cooper.
Alyssa Harris is a junior at Georgia College and State University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a choral concentration. She a member of Georgia College’s Music Fraternity (Sigma Alpha Iota) and hopes to become a choral conductor at a college in her hometown of northeast Georgia.
Andrew Sproule is a candidate in the MA in Music and Culture program at Carleton University. He attended the University of Guelph, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music, specializing in jazz studies and working as a research assistant for Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice (ICASP). Andrew’s research focuses on the development of a methodology to incorporate musical improvisation in the classroom and to frame improvisation as a locus for creative development.
Brian Barone is a first year Ph.D. student in musicology at Boston University. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in guitar from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Julian Gray. Brian has served as adjunct professor of guitar at Wesley College and keeps busy on the Boston and New York independent arts scenes as a classical guitarist, rock multi-instrumentalist, and music director.
Cannon McClain holds a Bachelor of Music from Georgia College and a Master of Music in Conducting from Mercer University. His research interests include the relationship between English composer Gerald Finzi and writer Thomas Hardy, the evolution of Arnold Schoenberg’s musical style, and the development of the Baroque sacred cantata. Currently, he is researching the relationship between hymnology and a local church congregation, and compiling data on the unique vocal enigma that is the tenor head-mix resonance.
Carl Leafstedt is a music historian on the faculty of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in music from Harvard University with a dissertation on Bartok's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle. A native of Iowa, he has taught at Trinity since 2001, where one of his regular courses has been a First Year Seminar on Music and Politics. At Trinity he helps administer the university's new program in Arts, Letters, and Enterprise, an innovative way for students to blend business literacy with the liberal arts and sciences.
Carol Vernallis’s areas of specialization are music video and recent film; her research deals more broadly with questions of sound and image in moving media. Her first book, Experiencing Music Video (Columbia University Press), attempts to theorize the genre. Her second, Unruly Media: Youtube, Music Video, and the New Digital Cinema (Oxford University Press), takes account of a new mediascape driven by intensified audiovisual relations.
Christianna Barnard graduated summa cum laude from Westminster Choir College with a Bachelor of Music in May 2015. She has presented her previous research on music and adolescent identity at the conference for the Canadian Society of Traditional Music at Cape Breton University this summer and at The Past, Present, and Future of Public Musicology Conference at Westminster Choir College in January 2015.
Courtney C. Blankenship is the current Director of Music Business at Western Illinois University (WIU). In 2017, she received the prestigious WIU College of Fine Arts and Communication “Excellence in Teaching” Award. An active community member, she co-founded a 501c3 publication “IParent Magazine” in 2006, and serves as President of the Band Boosters, a fundraising arm for the local Jr/Sr High School. Recently, she enjoyed participating in the Ready to Run™ Illinois campaign training program for women. Prior to her appointment, she held positions in the tourism industry, a law firm, in grant administration, and arts event marketing/public relations. She is a member of the College Music Society (CMS), Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA), the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), Engineering Audio Recording Society of Chicago (EARS) and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Blankenship received a B.S. degree in Marketing and Minors in Piano Performance and Arts Management from Miami University of Ohio. Her M.A. in Arts Administration is from Indiana University-Bloomington.
David R. Dewberry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at Rider University. He earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication Ethics at the University of Denver in 2008. He is primarily a political rhetorician with a focus on free expression. He is the former editor of the Communication Law Review and First Amendment Studies.
Dr. Jonathan H. Millen is a Professor of Communication and Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts, Education and Sciences at Rider University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts and joined the faculty in the Department of Communication and Journalism at Rider in 1991. He served as department chair from 2005-2010. In addition to teaching a wide array of communication courses, he developed The Social Impact of Rock and Roll for the American Studies program and a course on conflict resolution for the Law and Justice program.
Kassie Kelly, a recent graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, holds a Bachelor degree in Music and Political Science. A native of San Antonio, she sang in the Trinity choir program, was active in campus Residential Life, and was a member of a professional music fraternity. She enjoys coffee, making Spotify playlists, running, and keeping up with presidential elections. Kassie serves as Membership & Audience Engagement Coordinator at The Rivard Report.
Katie Lipsiner is a senior Mass Communication student focusing on advertising at Georgia College. Katie likes writing, social media, dogs, outdoor activities and attending as many concerts as possible. When she isn't in the classroom, she enjoys hiking the Appalachian Trail and exploring new places with friends and family.
Matt Jordan is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. At PSU, he is co-director of the Social Thought Program, and is a North American representative to the Board for the Association for Cultural Studies. He writes and teaches on how popular culture and media technology are used to generate ideology and regimes of management in everyday life. Having recently written on such topics as Le Jazz: Jazz and French Cultural Identity (2010), “Obama’s Ipod: Popular Music and the Perils of Post-Political Populism,” Popular Communication (2013 ) and “Canned Music and Captive Audiences: The Battle over Public Soundspace at Grand Central Terminal and the Emergence of the New Sound.” The Communication Review (2014), he is now finishing a monograph entitled Signaling through the Soundscape: The Crescendo and Decrescendo of the Klaxon Automobile Horn.
Megan Murph is a PhD candidate in Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the University of Kentucky with a dissertation titled “Max Neuhaus, R. Murray Schafer, and the Challenges of Noise.” She is inspired by the music and art associated with the American avant-garde with additional interests in British Progressive Rock. Megan performs vocal jazz, keyboard, mbira, and recently, Gamelan Anglunk and Korean P'ungmul. She has presented her research at the Society for American Music Conference, International Association for the Study of Popular Music-Brazil, Acadprog (Dijon, France), Society for Ethnomusicology-Midwest, American Musicological Society-South, DOPE (Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference), Boston University’s Graduate Student Conference, and Brevard College.
Sarah Farmer is currently a student at Georgia College where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Theater on the pre-medical pre-professional track. She is currently involved in undergraduate research in the biology department as well as with Trax on the Trail.
Dr. Stan Renard is the Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Music Marketing Program in the Music Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Dr. Renard joined UTSA as part of the University's Goldstar Initiative, which supports its recruitment and retention of world-class faculty members. He has the unique background of someone who has taught business courses in business schools and music courses in music departments—expertise which has allowed him to develop music business courses. Dr. Renard is an Assistant Director of the start-up incubator CITE (Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship). He is also a touring and recording artist, virtuoso violinist, violist, active conductor, and the founder and arranger of the Grammy-Nominated Bohemian Quartet. Dr. Renard holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA) from the University of Connecticut as well as a Doctorate in International Business (DBA) from Southern New Hampshire University. Previously held collegiate appointments include Colby College, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Connecticut, Providence College, Eastern Connecticut State University, Southern New Hampshire University, and University of California at San Diego.
Stuart Schimler is the President of American Pioneer Music, a record label that produces traditional music related to American history. He holds a BA in History from the University of California, Berkeley. American Pioneer Music has produced two albums of presidential campaign songs: Abraham Lincoln and the 1864 Election (2013) and The Candidates from New York (2016) Mr. Schimler has been published in numerous books, including Deadball Stars of the National League (Potomac Books, 2004), Deadball Stars of the American League (Potomac Books, 2006), The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball (McFarland, 2005) and Music in American Life : An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture (Greenwood, 2013). His company currently runs www.electionsongs.com and can be found at www.facebook.com/electionsongs.
Teddi Strassburger is currently a senior at Georgia College and will graduate in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in French. In addition to her academic work, she is the Editor of The Corinthian, Georgia College’s student research journal, as well as a Student Ambassador for Georgia College.
Travis L. Gosa is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University and faculty associate at Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality. He serves on the advisory board of Cornell's Hip Hop Collection, the largest archive on early hip hop culture in the United States. Gosa is an expert on race, new politics, hip hop culture, and education.
Travis N. Ridout is Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy and Associate Professor in the School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at Washington State University. He is also co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project and serves as chair of the Political Communication section of the American Political Science Association.