Graduate Students

Casey Jo Brege (Ph.D. Student)

Casey received her Bachelor’s degree in Music History and Literature from Butler University in 2011, and her Master’s in Musicology from the University of Illinois in 2015. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Musicology with a Graduate Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. Her research interests include the intersections of gender, indigeneity, and discourses of national belonging in hip hop and popular music in Morocco and North Africa. She also volunteers as a writing and math partner at Danville Correctional Center with UIUC’s Education Justice Project and recently completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps volunteer at a non-profit adult education center in Chicago.

Liliana Carrizo (Ph.D. Candidate)

B.A. with honors in Music, Williams College

M.M. in Ethnomusicology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Liliana is currently completing fieldwork in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel, funded by a Fulbright IIE Fellowship, The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TAARII) Fellowship, and the Gendell Family and Shiner Family Fellowship. Her work investigates remembrances of Iraq in the personal musical improvisations of elderly Iraqi Jews, and the intersection of memory, trauma, violence, and nostalgia articulated therein.


Molly Cryderman-Weber (Ph.D. Candidate)

B.A. in Music, Central Michigan University

M.A. in Musicology, Michigan State University

Molly is a Ph.D. candidate in Musicology. Her dissertation focuses on the sounds in school instructional films from the 1940s and 1950s, investigating both the development of cultural musical codes among the baby boomer generation as well as the contribution of music to ideological positions in instructional films.  Molly’s other research interests are music history pedagogy, percussion ensemble literature, and music of ephemeral films.  She teaches music history at Central Michigan University, serves as the Treasurer for the College Music Society’s Great Lakes Chapter, and is on the Editorial Board of the Percussive Notes Online Research Edition.  Molly is also an active percussionist and performs regularly with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.

Jessica Hajek (Ph.D.)
B.M. in Music Performance and B.A. in Spanish, Millikin University
M.M. in Music Performance and Performer’s Certificate, Northern Illinois University
M.M. in Musicology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jessica’s interests include Caribbean and Latin American music and dance, with a particular concentration on carnival celebrations. Her current research is centered on Alibabá carnival groups in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and New York City. Previous research includes music-making among Haitian populations in the Dominican Republic as well.

Putu Tangkas Adi Hiranmayena (Ph.D. Student)
B.A. with Honors in Visual and Performing Arts: Music, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (2011)
M.A. in Integrative Studies: Ethnomusicology/Systems Inquiry, University of California at San Diego (2015)

Putu’s interests as an artist-scholar include gamelan, free improvisation and metal music, rooted primarily with high adrenaline activity, embodiment, and cosmology theories. His musical praxis directly highlights exigency of performance in peak physical states, provoking micro-temporal parameters, and experimental pedagogy. Putu has performed with gamelan, improvisation, and noise/metal ensembles around the United States and Indonesia; most recently with Gamelan Pandan Arum from Los Angeles, Gamelan Tunas Mekar in Denver, Sanggar Manik Galih in Bali, and Three Corpse PileDriver in San Diego. He has also acted as gamelan ensemble director at the Museum School of San Diego as well as the University of San Diego. His current projects define music and death in Balinese gamelan Baleganjur as cosmological “noise.”


Tara Hatfield (M.M. Student)

B.A. in Music and Biology, The Colorado College (2014)

Tara is interested in ecomusicology and music as it relates to community advocacy, indigenous knowledge, and cosmology. Her previous research has centered around Balinese gamelan, which continues to be a primary focus. She has played and performed with a number of ensembles in the United States and Bali since 2010. She currently participates in both the class and community ensembles at the University of Illinois. For her master’s research, she is focusing on intersections of music with educational and environmental advocacy and activism in Tanzania.


Lucas Henry (Ph.D. Student)

Lucas Henry is a PhD student in the musicology department at UIUC and a FLAS fellow at UIUC’s European Union Center.  He studies jazz and popular music, the European Union, music festivals, and transnationalism and holds masters degrees in Jazz Studies from Rutgers and American history from East Tennessee State University.  Before coming to Illinois he taught jazz and world music courses for the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia, American history courses at Radford University in Virginia, and saxophone at East Tennessee State.  Lucas has also spent ten years working as a librarian at Temple, Virginia Tech, and East Tennessee State.

Katie Beisel Hollenbach (Ph.D. Candidate)
B.M. in Clarinet Performance, University of Denver
M.M. in Musicology, Northwestern University

Katie’s research focuses on American popular entertainment during World War II. Her dissertation examines how popular culture, and more specifically the output of Frank Sinatra, affected American teenage girls and worked to mold and express their identities, sexuality, and independence during the 1940s. Katie’s work spans multiple areas, including music, radio, film, and reception studies. She has presented her research at the 2015 annual meeting of the Society for American Music.

Jonathan Hollis (Ph.D. Student)

B.A. in Music Theory and Literature, Miami University (2009)
B.A. in Anthropology, Miami University (2009)
B.M. in Bassoon Performance, Miami University (2009)

Jonathan’s research focuses on music in the global Armenian community. His Master’s project involves music-making in the Armenian diaspora community of Toronto, Canada, and the musical manifestations of politics and collective memory. He has received Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships to study both Russian and Eastern Armenian.


Christina Horton (M.M. Student)
B.M.E. in Music Education, University of Florida

Christina (Tina) Horton graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She started pursuing her Master’s in Musicology at the University of Illinois in 2015. Tina’s research focuses on Balinese gamelan in the United States, specifically within higher education institutions. She is an active member of the UIUC student gamelan, the UIUC community gamelan, and Bali Lantari. Tina also has experience researching Aaron Copland and the political aspects of his music, Ruth Crawford Seeger in relation to gender issues, and the life and recordings of Alan Lomax.

Jamil Jorge (Ph.D. Student)
B.M. Music, Connecticut College
M.M. in Musicology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

After finishing his master’s thesis on Black drum and bugle corps from the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on the creation of Black identities through music and community in urban spaces, Jamil continues to center his doctoral research around socially disenfranchised groups of people within the drum corps activity. Jamil’s other interests are in American popular music, marching music, Beyoncé, and West African and Latin music and dance. He is also a Mellon Mays Fellow.


Matthew E. Knight (Ph.D. Candidate)
B. Mus., B.Ed.: University of Manitoba (2007)
M.A. (Ethnomusicology): University of Alberta (2011)

Matt recently completed 16 months of fieldwork in the Republic of Georgia (Caucasus). He loves singing around the table with friends, wine, and good food, so it was a little hard to leave. His research focuses on vocal polyphony, tourism, and economic development, particularly in the heavily-mythicized, mountainous region of Svaneti. Interests include conflict, nationalism and groupism, performance studies, postsocialism, and political economy. MA research examined music among the Hutterites, a communitarian, Old Order Anabaptist group.


Kelli McQueen (Ph.D. Student)

B.M. in Musicology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.M. in Music History and Literature, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
M.LIS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Kelli’s primary research interests include poetry and song in the Middle Ages, performativity, book culture, and the history of musical notation. She is also interested in gendered organology and cultural studies in American popular music. She enjoys playing fiddle, finger-style guitar, and other period string instruments (lute, viola da gamba, and vielle).  She often performs with the Flatland Consort and at various small venues in the CU area.



Ian Middleton (Ph.D. Candidate)
B.A. in Philosophy, University of Leeds, UK (2005)
M.A. in Philosophy, University of Leeds, UK (2006)
Mmus, University of Leeds, UK (2010)

Originally from the UK, Ian is a PhD candidate in Musicology at UIUC, finishing his dissertation on music and trust in Colombia. His ethnographic fieldwork was with charity and roots organizations that target young people, using music to reduce violence. He focuses on the ways in which music-making is related to generating and sustaining forms of trusting that are amenable to peaceful coexistence. This is particularly important in Colombia, which has experienced the longest running civil conflict in the western hemisphere. Ian’s was a multi-site study in the city of Cali in the country’s South West, as well as various urban and rural sites in Northern Colombia. It was supported by two grants from UIUC and the Society for Ethnomusicology 21st Century Fellowship. Ian maintains an active musical life as a songwriter and performer in Latin American and African (diaspora) groups on percussion, guitar and vocals.


Thornton Miller (Ph.D. Candidate)

Thornton is a PhD Candidate in Musicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has received four Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, the Cultures of Law in Global Contexts Fellowship, the Title VIII Fellowship for Russian study, and is pursuing a doctoral minor in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.” His dissertation research is on the agency of music professionals involved in Anglo-Soviet Britten cultural exchange during the Cold War. He has presented his research in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and he is contributing a chapter to the forthcoming volume Benjamin Britten Studies: Essays on An Inexplicit Art.

Hilary Brady Morris (Ph.D. Candidate)
B.A. in Music and French, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (2004)
M.M. in Musicology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2012)

Hilary Brady Morris is a PhD candidate preparing for dissertation fieldwork in the Boudhanath neighborhood of eastern Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Her research uses organological methods for an ethnographic study and analysis of a family of Himalayan lutes (including the Sherpa dongmen, Tamang tungna, and Tibetan dranyen) in Nepal in order to investigate intersections of music and belonging, as experienced in a culturally diverse, diasporic, cosmpolitan, and urban context. Previous research topics have included togetherness of an online music community, and Irish music collections of the late 18th century. Additionally, Morris plays the Japanese koto, and co-lead the UIUC Koto Club Ensemble in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Maia Williams Perez (Ph.D. Student)
B.Mus. in Oboe Performance, Lawrence University (2014)
M.Mus. in Musicology, Boston University (2016)

Maia Williams Perez studies how the musical revivals of 19th-century England engage with issues of nationalism and domestic culture. At Boston University, her master’s thesis focused on period instruments and material culture’s role in Arnold Dolmetsch’s revival, and she presented some of this research at AMS-New England’s fall 2015 conference. She will also be presenting another paper, “From Exhibition to Concert-Hall: Period Instruments at the End of the 19th Century” at the North American Victorian Studies Association’s annual conference in the fall of 2017. Her other interests include musical and literary intersections as well as issues of gender in the music of 18th century France and England.

Ellen Rice (M.M. Student)
B.A. in Music (Concentration in Ethnomusicology)- American University (2013)

Ellen is interested in the music of the Brazilian northeast and of Brazilian communities in the U.S. Her current work focuses on female popular musicians in Recife, Pernambuco, the politics and aesthetics of self-production, and the construction of femininity in that region. She is co-leader and co-founder of the recently minted UIUC Brazilian Armorial Orchestra, performing on cello and rabeca with that ensemble. Before coming to the University of Illinois, Ellen was involved with the all women’s Samba-Reggae band Batalá Washington as a researcher and performer, in Washington D.C. In 2014-2015, she completed a one-year internship in applied ethnomusicology at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, where she conducted archival research related to intellectual property rights, royalties, and music production. This experience sparked her interest in UNESCO, state-sponsored cultural products, and issues of intangible cultural heritage, which she continues to explore in her current research.


Michael Siletti (Ph.D. Candidate)
BA in Music, State University of New York at New Paltz (2009)
MM in Musicology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011)

Michael’s research interests include music in the United States, music and death, music and incarceration, and biography. His dissertation examines intersections between music, sound, and capital punishment in the United States since 1976. He has presented his research at various regional and national conferences.

Emmanuel Joshua Stokes (Ph.D. Candidate)
B.A. in Music (voice), Berea College (2008)
M.M. in Musicology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2013)

Emmanuel is a Ph.D. candidate in Musicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His primary areas of research are American popular music culture and African American sacred music practices.  Currently he is working on his dissertation entitled “You are Important to Me, I Need You to Survive: Constructing Community through College Gospel Choirs.”  In addition to his research, Emmanuel serves on the recurring faculty for the annual Berea College Festival of Spirituals and is the former exhibitions chairperson for The National Symposium on Multicultural Music sponsored by the National Association for Music Education and The University of Tennessee.


Jonathan Smith (Ph.D. Candidate)


Originally from South Carolina, Jonathan received a BA in music (emphasis organ performance) from Lander University in Greenwood, SC and an MM in music (musicology) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research focuses on Sacred Harp singing and the intersection of space and imaginaries in the U.S. and Ireland. Before attending Illinois he received grants from the Alabama Folklife Association and the National Endowment for the Arts for Sacred Harp fieldwork and public programs in Alabama. Jonathon is also a chimesplayer at Illinois’ Altgeld Hall bell tower.



University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign