Austin Ali is an award-winning composer, trumpet player and conductor from Dallas, Texas. Musicians from Washington, D.C. to Costa Rica, to Valencia and Spain have performed Ali’s music, including symphony orchestras, brass bands, jazz ensembles, soloists, chamber groups, wind ensembles and choirs. Outside the concert stage, Ali composed, orchestrated and conducted the score to the feature-length film “Dear Leo” in Austin, TX. He holds degrees in Music Composition and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, and in spring 2020, Ali received the George H. Mitchell Award for Academic Excellence for his thesis “A Musical Portrait of Triton, the Rogue Moon of Neptune.” Ali currently studies music composition at The Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles (M.A., Class of 2022). At UCLA, Ali currently serves as a teaching assistant for Dr. Ben Phelps and studies composition with Dr. Richard Danielpour.
I am a second-year Master’s student in composition and am very excited to be joining the Graduate Student Council this year. I also perform frequently on the piano/keyboard and enjoy playing many different styles of music. As a member of the council I hope to facilitate change according to the wants and needs of the student body, and foster a connected, collaborative and supportive community throughout the School of Music.
Delegate for Musicology
Alex Moore is a Ph.D. student at the SOM’s Department of Musicology. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Music History at UCLA. Moore’s research interests include Western popular music, with a recent focus on hip-hop, Afrofuturism and film music. He is a strong advocate in developing equitable, diverse and inclusive communities within academia; collecting unique interests and experiences between student groups, schools and departments. Moore has previously worked in non-profit music education and the entertainment industry. He plays the double bass, mostly as a hobby, and at times professionally.
Shahwar Kibria Maqhfi is a Ph.D. scholar at the School of Music in ethnomusicology and her work is centered on the contemporary cultures of Sufi-Islamic music in South Asia. She completed her M.Phil. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India where she wrote her dissertation on Qawwali in Contemporary South Asian Popular Cultures. Her explorations of the expanding network of Sufi music in global music cultures have continued in the form of: academic presentations and lectures at national and international academic conferences; articles published in leading online English news and culture platforms including Firstpost and Economic and Political Weekly; and course modules on film and music that she curated and taught as an assistant professor of film and media sciences at the University of Calcutta. Maqhfi loves to cook and aspires to be the undisputed Biryani Wizard of UCLA.