New Faculty

Kwasi Ampene

Kwasi Ampene

Kwasi Ampene comes to U-M with a joint appointment in LSA  and the SMTD in winds and percussion. He received a general diploma of music from the University of Ghana-Legon, a master’s in music theory from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. His dissertation focused on processes whereby nnwonkoro songs, initially informally sung by women, have been transformed within Akan society and are now being sung by men as well as women in concert halls and in recorded performances.  His book Female Song Tradition and the Akan of Ghana: The Creative Process in Nnwonkoro grew out of that work.

 

Ampene has actively pursued a multi-faceted career as a scholar of Akan song and court music as a teacher and as a highlife performance artist. His research interests include the compositional conventions and theories in oral cultures with emphasis on the Akan of Ghana, metaphor and the theory of embodied cognition, the intersection of phonology, oral composition and performance, music and social change, and popular music.  As a teacher, Ampene most recently held the position of associate professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Colorado-Boulder, College of Music, where he was the director of their Summer Program in Ghana since 2002 and the director of that university’s West African Highlife Ensemble and outreach program since 2000.

 

 

Patricia Hall

Patricia Hall

Patricia Hall joined us this fall as professor of music and chair of the Department of Music Theory.  Dr. Hall received her BA in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976, an MA in music theory from Columbia University in 1980, and a Ph.D. in music theory from Yale University in 1989.

 

An internationally recognized scholar, Hall continues a line of scholarly inquiry she has been following for three decades, Alban Berg’s sketches for Wozzeck.  She has developed a unique familiarity with the subject, with a book scheduled for publication by the Oxford University Press.  Berg is not Hall’s only scholarly interest; she has done serious work on film music: she gave a paper at last year’s meeting of the American Musicological Society on Leni Riefenstahl’s 1938 propaganda film Olympia. An article is scheduled to appear in The Oxford Handbook of Music Censorship in 2012 in the “Music and Politics” electronic journal, the editorship of which she will continue at Michigan.  Hall has served as a teaching assistant at Columbia University, an acting instructor at Yale, and an instructor at Mills College.  She has served as the head of the theory division at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for some 20 years.

 

 

Sile O'Modhrain

Sile O'Modhrain

Sile O’Modhrain joins us as associate professor in Performing Arts Technology.  She earned a BA in music and a licentiate in piano teaching from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.  She holds an MS in music technology from the University of York in England, and a Ph.D. in computer-based music theory from Stanford University, and received a postgraduate certificate in higher education and training from Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland.

 

O’Modhrain has worked as a researcher and faculty member at the prestigious MIT Media Lab, Media Lab Europe, and currently holds the title of senior lecturer (the equivalent of a tenured associate professor) and research director of the Sonic Arts Research Center at Queen’s University of Belfast. She has worked for the BBC as an audio engineer and studio manager.  Her research focus is on haptics—touch and gesture—and its relationship to music performance and the development of new interfaces for technology-enhanced instruments that extend the boundaries of musical expression. Also impressive is her combination of experience in many areas related to audio, psychoacoustics, computer music, cognition, and gestural control of music.  She is internationally known and respected in her field, as evidenced by her record of scholarly accomplishment in well-regarded journals and as a frequent speaker at international conferences.

 

 

Michael Jonathan Ovalle

Michael Jonathan Ovalle

Michael Jonathan Ovalle joins the Department of Winds and Percussion as assistant professor.  A graduate of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, he holds both the BM and MM in percussion performance, working with Michael Udow, Julie Spencer, Michael Gould, Gerald Cleaver, and Salvatore Rabbio, as well as additional studies with Ted Piltzecker.
 A percussionist and composer and arranger, Ovalle has been the Director of Percussion Studies at The University of Toledo, a member of the jazz faculty quintet, and served as the director of the Percussion Ensemble and the Latin Jazz Ensemble.

Recent compositions include Epic Proportions, commissioned by Texas A&M and premiered at the Percussion Arts Society’s 2010 international convention in Indianapolis.  The Spring High School Jazz Ensemble (TX) premiered his new jazz ensemble composition Bluesin’ Altitude at the 2010 Midwest Clinic in Chicago.  As a drum set/ jazz artist, Ovalle has shared the stage with jazz luminaries at the Detroit International Jazz Festival, Lansing Jazz Festival, Jazzloop, and the Art Tatum Jazz and Heritage Festival.  He collaborated with drummer/composer, Roland Vazquez as a vibist and congureo on his Music for 3 Jazz Players and Percussion Quartet.  His performing career includes stints as a concert percussionist and chamber musician.

 

 

Michael Gurevich

 

Michael Gurevich

 

Michael Gurevich, new assistant professor of Performing Arts Technology, was a lecturer at the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast in the Performative Interactions research group, which explores new aesthetic possibilities that can emerge in performance with interactive systems. His research is framed through the interdisciplinary lens of interaction design, using quantitative, qualitative, ethnographic, and practice-based methods.

 

Gurevich received a BM with honors in computer applications in music at McGill University in Montréal. He earned a Ph.D. and master’s in computer-based music theory and acoustics from Stanford University, where he worked at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and completed a post doc.  He spent two years as a research scientist at the Institute for Infocomm Research, one of Singapore’s leading R&D institutions.  His Ph.D. focused on computational acoustic modeling of whale and dolphin vocalizations, but concurrent and subsequent research has been primarily in the area of interaction design in creative and performative contexts.  Along with research in interactive music, Michael co-directed QUBe, an ensemble for experimental and improvised music with acoustic and electronic instruments.  He is also active as a composer of interactive, fixed media, acoustic, and game pieces, and a designer of installations and interactive devices.

 

 

 

Eugene Rogers

 

Eugene Rogers

 

Eugene Rogers received his DMA and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and his BS in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Rogers was the Director of Choral Activities at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he conducted the Macalester Concert Choir, the Highland Camerata, and Festival Chorale.  He is a passionate conductor and teacher whose spirited performances include a wide variety of musical styles and genres.  He has extensive experience working with choirs of all ages and levels of ability.  Rogers was named “most influential educator” two years running for his teaching and ground-breaking achievements as founder and director of Waubonsie Valley (IL) High School's first multi-cultural ensemble, the Unity Chorus.

 

Rogers has appeared as guest conductor, adjudicator, and lecturer in over fifteen states, as well as Canada, Singapore, England, Portugal, and Italy.  He was one of three featured conductors for Singapore's Inaugural World Youth Choir Festival.  As a singer, Rogers has performed with the World Youth Choir, The Portland Symphonic Choir, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Chorale, and the May Festival Chorus in Cincinnati. Last summer, he traveled and studied the choral traditions of East Africa (Tanzania) and recently published three editions of Tanzanian Choral Music under the Hal Leonard World Music Series.