Graduate Student
Researchers

Musicology – Research Focus: 19th century American musical entertainment in resonance with contemporary cultural and scientific formations of race, sex, and gender
James Ace
James Ace is a Ph.D. student in UCLA’s Department of Musicology, having previously earned a Master’s degree in Music History and Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park (2017), and a Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance from Florida State University (2015). His primary research looks at American musical entertainment of the mid-late nineteenth century in resonance with
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Instructor of Armenian Woodwinds; Ph.D. Student in Ethnomusicology
Armen Adamian
Armen Adamian is a Ph.D. student in Ethnomusicology at UCLA. His research investigates the politics of music making among Armenians and the involvement of musical and choreographic discourses in the production of geopolitical and national narratives. Alongside his academic studies, Armen practices duduk and leads an Armenian folk ensemble in Los Angeles. He received his MA in Ethnomusicology from UCLA,
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Composition for Visual Media
Andreas Foivos Apostolou
Andreas Foivos Apostolou is a pianist-composer and producer from Athens, Greece. He was born into an artistic family in Athens, Greece, and was brought up by his mother, an actress. Theater and storytelling are vital sources of inspiration in his music. His works are often described as jazzy, Balkan, prog metal, and minimalist. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in
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Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Cultural aesthetics and transmission in popular music in Tanzania
Lucas Avidan
Lucas Avidan holds a bachelor’s degree in Music and English from Middlebury College, and is currently a master’s student in the Department of Ethnomusicology. His research discusses cultural aesthetics and transmission in popular music in Tanzania. Specifically, he is interested in the movement of cultural ideas throughout the Indian Ocean and how these historical movement patterns influence music being created
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DMA Music Performance, Piano candidate
Irina Bazik
Irina Bazik is currently pursuing a DMA degree in piano performance at UCLA under Inna Faliks. The Serbian-born Bazik was recognized as one of the most successful Serbian artists in the United States when she was nominated for an award by Tesla’s People Foundation in the “Up and Coming” category for her 2015 album “Encore.” She has won first prizes
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Armenian Music Ensemble, Cello
Abraham Bonilla
Abraham Josue Bonilla, a Latin-American cellist, has appeared in recitals and concerts throughout the US, Latin America, Europe, and South America.  A recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music and a recipient of an Artist’s Diploma from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Abraham has led sections and soloed under the batons of Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard
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Musicology – Research Focus: American orchestras, musical hierarchies, and the cultural and political aspects of musical communities
Kerry Brunson
Kerry Brunson is a Ph.D. student in UCLA’s Department of Musicology. She received a BM in Saxophone Performance from Kennesaw State University and an MA in Musicology from California State University, Long Beach with a thesis titled “Mass Classical: America, Accessibility, and the Atlanta School of Composers.” Her research interests center on American orchestras, musical hierarchies, and the cultural and
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Lecturer in Musicology
Caitlin Carlos
Dr. Carlos is an active musicologist (Ph.D., UCLA; M.A., USC) and vocalist (M.M. University of Redlands; B.M..Chapman University). She has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in music history, and music industry since 2015, first at Chapman University, and then as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music History at the University of Redlands from 2019-2021.  Her research focuses on the
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Composition – Writes music for ensembles ranging from chamber to orchestral, vocal, and electroacoustic
Anthony Constantino
Born (1995) and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Anthony Constantino’s music has been hailed by The New York Times as “plush, cinematic, and animated.” Anthony has written for a variety of ensembles ranging from chamber to orchestral, vocal, and electroacoustic. His music has received numerous accolades and has been performed in prestigious venues, schools, and summer festivals internationally and within the
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Music Performance Jazz, Piano
Paul Cornish
Paul Cornish, piano, was born in Houston, Texas and began playing piano at age 5. He attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, where he received the Moran Scholarship Award, and received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California. Cornish participated in the Jazz Gallery Mentorship Series and the Banff Residency
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Musicology – Research Focus: Influence of musical instruments on the creation and reception of music
Sarah Davachi
Sarah Davachi holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Calgary and a master’s degree in electronic music and recording media from Mills College, and is currently a doctoral student in musicology at UCLA. Her primary research focuses on aspects of experimentalism, organology, phenomenology and hermeneutics, and archival study. She is particularly interested in articulating the influence of
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Music Performance Jazz, Bass
Emma Dayhuff
Emma Dayhuff, bass, was born in Northampton, Massachusetts and grew up in Bozeman, Montana. She began playing upright bass at age 13. In 2005, Dayhuff was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship to attend the jazz program at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. There, she studied with Peter Dominguez, Eddie Gomez, and Billy Hart. After graduation, Dayhuff moved to Chicago, where she performed
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Musicology – Research Focus: The interplay between Black vernacular music, popular and socio-political culture
Wade Dean
Wade F. Dean is a Eugene V. Cota Robles Fellow and PhD candidate in the department of Musicology at the University of California Los Angeles. His work explores the interplay between Black vernacular music, popular and socio-political culture. Dean is completing a dissertation that analyzes mid-twentieth century live soul performances and their role in realizing, describing, and enacting alternative socio-political
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Music Performance Jazz, Harmonica
Roni Eytan
Roni Eytan, harmonica, was born in Jerusalem, Israel and attended the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He received a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, where he studied with George Garzone, Joe Lovano, Adam Cruz and Julian Lage and performed with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. In 2013, Eytan was selected to participate in the Betty Carter
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VEM Ensemble, Cello
Niall Tarō Ferguson
A Los Angeles native, Niall Tarō Ferguson is a cellist, composer, and orchestrator. He is currently an active freelance musician, contributing in equal capacity to the worlds of concert and commercial music. Niall has participated in music festivals such as the Rencontres Musicales Internationales at the International Menuhin Music Academy, Musique à Flaine, and the Borromeo Music Festival in Altdorf, Switzerland. He has
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Musicology – Research Focus: Materiality and performance practice in post-1980 punk, indie and art rock
Erin Fitzpatrick
Erin Fitzpatrick, a Ph.D. student in UCLA’s Department of Musicology, previously earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Culture from Bowdoin College in 2015. A New Jersey native with the Springsteen-style Telecaster to prove it, Erin’s primary research concerns the interactions between (electric) guitars, “gear,” gender, and bodies, with specific interest in exploring questions of materiality and performance
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Musicology – Research Focus: Ontological issues in American popular music
Alex Hallenbeck
Alex is a Ph.D. student in musicology at UCLA, having previously received an MA in musicology from Indiana University in 2016 and a BA in music from Cornell University in 2013. His research focuses broadly on ontological issues in American popular music, especially those surrounding transcription, but he has also presented research on the gendered discourse of Charles Ives and
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Musicology Graduate Student
Candace Hansen
Candace Hansen is a PhD student, drummer, educator, and scholar currently studying and teaching at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in Musicology. Hansen holds an Associate’s degree in Women’s Studies from Santa Ana College, dual Bachelor’s degrees in History and Gender Studies from UCLA, and a Masters of Art in Musicology from UCLA. A former community organizer, Hansen
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Armenian Music Ensemble, Viola
Evan Hesketh
Award-winning chamber musician, Evan Hesketh, maintains a varied career as a performer, educator, and writer. He serves as principal violist of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and has performed throughout California with ensembles including the Fresno Philharmonic (guest principal violist) and the New West Symphony. Originally from Victoria, Canada, he has frequently performed in the Victoria Symphony, and in 2019, collaborated
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Armenian Music Ensemble - Violin
Hanna Hrybkova
Violinist Hanna Hrybkova began studying violin at the age of 5 in her native Belarus. Currently, Hanna is a Master’s student at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and a violinist of the VEM ensemble studying with Professor Movses Pogossian. Hanna began studying violin at the Akhremchik Gymnasium of Arts with Galina Goncharova and continued her studies at the
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Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Migration, Aging, and Identity in South Korean Popular Music
John Hyun-Jun Jang
John is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA. His research area is on the contemporary South Korean popular song style “trot” and its partner dance scene. His theoretical interests include nationality and ethnicity, migration, leisure, gender, aging, voice, body, and postcolonialism. John received his BMus/BSc conjoint degree in clarinet and computer science and M.A. in
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Instructor of Beginning Armenian Dance; Ph.D. Student in Culture and Performance
Natalie Kamajian
Natalie Kamajian is a Ph.D.student in Culture and Performance at UCLA. She is a practitioner and teacher of Armenian vernacular dances, which are largely understudied within the fields of both Dance and Armenian studies. Her research inquiries stem from an in-depth dance practice spanning several years in Armenia. While at UCLA, she intends to build a multilingual study that will
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Ethnomusicology - Research focus: Music and Muslim belonging in South Asia.
Shahwar Kibria Maqhfi
Shahwar is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology focused on music and Muslim belonging in South Asia across space, time, and media. Her currently ongoing research blends multiperspectival ethnographic and historiographical methods to study the relations between performance, listenership, and patronage networks of sama mehfils (music assemblies) rooted to Sufi Muslim shrines across Awadhi qasbahs (small towns). She follows hereditary practitioners
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Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Gender, Music, South Asia, Folk Songs, Caste
Mukesh Kulriya
Mukesh Kulriya entered the Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology in Fall of 2018, having previously received an M.Phil in Theater and Performance Studies and a Master’s degree in Arts and Aesthetics, both from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Mukesh’s research focuses on the intersection of music and religion in South Asia in the context of gender and caste. His Ph.D. research
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Composition – Mahlerian Romanticism, Eastern-European Modernism, and Japanese traditional music
Mason Swan Lewis
Mason Swan Lewis is an American composer and pianist. Residing in Manhattan Beach, California, he currently attends the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music as a doctoral candidate, having also received his B.A. and M.A. in Composition from UCLA. His primary composition professors have included Richard Danielpour, Adam Schoenberg, Sean Friar, Ian Krouse, and Bruce Broughton. As a composer, Lewis
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Music Performance Jazz, Tenor Saxophone
Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis, tenor saxophone, was born in Uniondale, New York and grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He began studying saxophone at age nine. Lewis received a Bachelor of Music degree from Temple University, where he studied with Dick Oatts, Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield and Ben Schachter. He has recorded with the Temple University Jazz Ensemble and Studio Orchestra. Lewis has
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Music Performance Jazz, Trumpet
Aidan Lombard
Aidan Lombard, trumpet, was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Chicago. He began playing trumpet at age 10. Lombard attended the University of Miami as a Stamps Scholar and received a Bachelor of Music degree. He later received his master’s degree from the Berklee College of Music, where he performed with the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. Lombard has
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Musicology – Research Focus: Northern Arizona punk scene in Flagstaff in the 1980's and 1990's
Kristen Martinez
Kristen Martinez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Musicology. She received her Master’s in American Indian Studies at UCLA, as well as her Bachelor’s in History with a minor in Comparative Religions. She is Chicanx and a Yaqui (Yoeme) direct descendant from Sonora, Mexico, and has grown up in the San Gabriel Valley. She is heavily involved in the punk scene as a
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Ethnomusicology
William Matczynski
William Matczynski is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnomusicology whose dissertation research focuses on festivals, sound/urban space, and media in Accra, Ghana—specifically in the city’s traditional Ga-Dangme communities along the Atlantic coast. Centering on the annual Ga Homowo Festival, his dissertation project interrogates how festivals provide a unique frame for action by a constellation of local and state
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Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Chicanx and Latinx Protest Music, Decolonization, Mestizaje, Immigration and Diaspora, Critical Intersectionality, DIY (do-it-yourself) Punk as Organizational Method
Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani
Lorali is a graduate student in Ethnomusicology at UCLA. She completed her B.S. in Anthropology with a minor in music from the University of La Verne in 2019. During her time at La Verne she studied abroad at the University of Chile where her research focused on issues of Indigenous education and equity in Chile’s Indigenous Mapuche community. Her current
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Ethnomusicology - Research Focus: contemporary western art music, cultural production, feminist anthropology, hermeneutics and aesthetics
Alec Norkey
Alec Norkey is a PhD student in the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA. After receiving his BM degree from Hope College in Violin Performance and Chemistry, Alec completed MM degrees in both Violin Performance and Ethnomusicology at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. His ethnomusicology master’s thesis explored issues of postcolonialism, intersectional feminism, vocality and queer theory, Japanese popular music, Japanese
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Composition - Composer and sound designer at the WACO Theater Center in Hollywood
Marcus Norris
Composer and producer Marcus Norris was called a “New Musical Talent in our Midst” by Chicago’s N’digo Magazine in response to his “When Composer’s Lose Composure” concert. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition at Columbia College Chicago and subsequently earned his Master of Music in Composition at Florida International University. He expects to earn his Ph.D. in Music
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Armenian Music Ensemble - Violin
Arutyun Piloyan
Arutyun Piloyan, a native of Armenia, graduated from the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory and currently is continuing his education as a Master’s student at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of music and a violinist of the VEM ensemble studying with Professor Movses Pogossian. Arutyun completed his graduate Artist Diploma studies at the Schwob School of Music in the USA as a
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Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Hybridization of Traditional and Contemporary Arts in Cambodia and Khmer Diaspora
Rane Prak
My name is Rane Prak. I was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and immigrated to the United States with my family when I was young. I grew up in a small town in Southeast Texas called Woodville. Engaging with various performing arts and storytelling helped me to navigate my immigrant identity. I have a broad performing arts background comprising diverse
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Ethnomusicology – Research Focus: Traditional and popular musics of the Middle East and Central Asia
Mehrenegar Rostami
Mehrenegar Rostami is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ethnomusicology and a specialist in traditional and popular musics of the Middle East and Central Asia. Her dissertation examines modern manifestations of the Silk Road phenomenon and the ways in which this phenomenon has influenced the formation of world music festivals in the age of neoliberal capitalism. She has conducted
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Ethnomusicology
Simone Salmon
Simone Salmon is a PhD student in Ethnomusicology at UCLA. She received her bachelor’s degree in music with concentrations in music theory and harp performance from UCLA (2011) and her master’s degree in Musicology from the University of Oxford (2014). She specializes in Sephardic Jewish music from the late-Ottoman Empire and has published in 100 Years of Sephardic Los Angeles
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Music Performance Jazz, Alto Saxophone
Lenard Simpson
Lenard Simpson, alto saxophone, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and began playing the saxophone at age 11. While in high school, he was selected to participate in the GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Session. Simpson received a Bachelor of Music degree from Northern Illinois University. After graduation, he moved to Chicago, where he performed with Brian Lynch, Robert Irving III, and
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Musicology – Research Focus: Development of weaponized music and sonic environments over the 20th and 21st centuries
Danielle Stein
Danielle Stein is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Musicology at UCLA, where she has co-coordinated the Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series and served as Managing Editor of ECHO: A Music Centered Journal. She holds a M.A. in Musicology from UCLA, a M.M. in Voice Performance and Opera Studies from California State University Northridge, and a B.M. in Voice Performance
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Ethnomusicology
Dexter Story
Ethnomusicology Ph.D. student and Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow Dexter Story is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer based in Los Angeles. He has worked in multiple facets of the music industry, from marketing at Priority and Def Jam Records to talent buyer at the legendary LA venue Temple Bar. With an M.A. in African Studies and two recent East Africa-influenced
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Ethnomusicology
Tingting Tang
Born in Yunnan, the only Chinese province with 25 different ethnic minority groups, Tingting came to UCLA with a deep understanding of the history, traditions, and challenges in Chinese ethnology and ethnomusicology studies. Having completed an intensive six-year field study at the foothills of the Himalayas, Tingting collected her findings into her first book: Initial Studies on Naxi Folk Songs
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Music Performance Jazz, Drums
Malachi Whitson
Malachi Whitson, drums, was born in Richmond, California and began playing drums at age 7. He received awards for his musicianship from the Stanford Jazz Workshop, San Jose Jazz Workshop and Folsom Jazz Festival while in high school. Whitson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific and a Master of Fine
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Ethnomusicology
Wan Yeung
After receiving his B.M. degree in guitar performance from the University of California, Irvine, Wan Yeung completed his M.A. degree in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, where he researched Cantonese operatic songs and naamyam narrative singing in Hong Kong. He is currently supported by a Fulbright-Hays grant to conduct dissertation fieldwork in Hong Kong , looking at the sustainability of Cantonese
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UCLA Doctor of Musical Arts Choral Conducting candidate
Joung A Monica Yum
Incheon-born conductor Joung-A Yum has embarked on a diverse career as mezzo-soprano, choral director, and pianist. She first started to play the piano at age three, mesmerized by the vivid contrast between the black and white keys. After receiving the Bachelor’s in Piano Performance, Joung-A realized her true passion was vocal music and worked to earn her Masters in Choral
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VEM Ensemble, Viola
Damon Zavala
Growing up, Damon was always surrounded by music. To his parents and to his family, there was a shared understanding about the importance of music. Throughout his childhood, Damon’s exposure to music weaved between many genres and subsequently he likes to think this early intervention is reflected in his present broad musical interests. Throughout his high school career, Damon grew into an
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