Graduate Students

Steven Hicks’s research explores the composition, transmission, and reception of music in late eighteenth-century English- and German-speaking Europe through an examination of print culture. Specifically, his dissertation places Joseph Haydn’s last oratorio with librettist Gottfried van Swieten, Die Jahreszeiten/The Seasons (1801), within a longer legacy of poetic, literary, and visual print culture during the Enlightenment. This dissertation will be the culminating step in completing a PhD in musicology and the collaborative program in book history and print culture at the University of Toronto.

Prior to arriving at UofT, Steven trained as a classical guitarist and chorister. After earning a BA in music with a minor in English literature at Laurentian University, he completed an MA at Carleton University, writing a thesis on how contemporary media practices informed the work of Canadian pianist and composer, Glenn Gould. At UofT, Steven has frequently worked in collaboration with the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology, completed a printing apprenticeship at the Robertson Davies Library and Bibliography Room at Massey College, and undertaken numerous pedagogical courses and workshops through the TATP, Woodsworth College, and Centre for Community Partnerships.

Amanda Hsieh (MPhil, Oxon) is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in Musicology (expected Spring 2020). Her dissertation ‘Male Hysteria, Degenerate Operas’ explores how a body of Austro-German operas from around the time of World War I interacted with contemporaneous politics of masculinity, in the process constituting an aesthetic resistance to the dominant narrative of Schoenbergian Modernism. More broadly, she is interested in questions of voice, agency, identity, and belonging. Her research has been supported by the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) among others. She has spoken at international conferences across the world, including the regular meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Royal Musical Association, the International Musicological Society, and the Transnational Opera Studies Conferences. Most recently, the AMS New York State-St Lawrence chapter awarded her the student paper prize for her work on re-reading Schreker’s reception in the first decades of the twentieth century. Her writings can be found in Music & Letters and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association. Amanda loves teaching, and she has taught historical survey classes as well as opera and cultural politics at the Faculty of Arts and Science. After her PhD, she plans on writing a postcolonial history about opera between Germany and Japan around the years of 1900.

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Lindsay Jones is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the career of Italian-born guitarist Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) and his participation in Vienna’s musical markets. In her dissertation, she argues that Giuliani’s approach to guitar composition and performance reveals not a desire to cultivate a solo classical guitar repertoire, but a concerted effort to present the guitar, and by extension, himself, as a musical commodity to Viennese markets associated with the Congress of Vienna celebrations, the lucrative virtuoso concert, and the burgeoning folk music movement. Lindsay is an active member of Toronto’s classical guitar community, and she maintains a studio of twenty classical guitar students. In her spare time she enjoys weightlifting, cycling, and the occasional video game.

Image of Laura McLaren

Laura McLaren is a Ph.D. student in musicology. Her research interests are in popular music, feminist theory, music video, and digital media. She completed her Master of Arts with Specialization in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa. She has contributed to The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music Video Analysis and the forthcoming Bloomsbury Handbook of Music Production. She has also presented her research at IASPM-CAN.

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Sadie Menicanin is a current PhD student in historical musicology. Broadly, her research is oriented towards music and visual culture of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and her interests include Austro-German modernisms, musical temporality and spatiality, staging and dramaturgy, film music, and urban cultural geography.

Her dissertation focuses on gardens as both urban and musical spaces in early twentieth-century Vienna. Analyzing the intertwined politics and aesthetics behind various gardens on the stage and in the city in this context, she explores how musical iterations of these spaces can inform a deeper understanding of the significance of gardens within urban life, and vice versa. She reads these spaces through the conceptual framework of heterotopia, demonstrating how gardens were engaged in aesthetic, social, commercial, and political channels and signified an “other” space in the shifting urban landscape of Vienna around World War I.

In addition to her academic life, Sadie is an avid runner and ultimate frisbee player. She is also a pianist and lover of choral music, and is currently a member of Toronto’s Exultate Chamber Singers.

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Tegan Niziol is a third-year PhD student in musicology at the University of Toronto. She earned her Bachelor of Music (2014) and Bachelor of Education (2015) degrees from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and her Master of Arts in Musicology degree from the University of Toronto (2017). Tegan’s scholarly projects focus on interrogating the historiography of musical Modernism. Her master’s research considered the challenges posed by Sergei Rachmaninoff to the Modernist narrative, and her current doctoral research, supported by a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, investigates the role of nationalism in historiography, and cross-cultural forms of Modernist musical activity that transcend national borders. Complemented by her expertise in education, her research also considers the historical narratives that form the basis of undergraduate music history curricula, informing her classroom practice as a teaching assistant. Tegan is an active member of the musical community at the University of Toronto and in Toronto more broadly. She works on UofT archival projects as a Faculty of Music library assistant, she is co-coordinating the 2019-2020 roundtable series for musicology and theory students, and this past year, she gave pre-performance opera chats with the Canadian Opera Company.

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Rena Roussin is a second-year doctoral student in the Faculty of Music, where her research is supported by a doctoral CGS Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholarship. Before arriving at UofT, Rena completed an MA in Musicology at the University of Victoria and a B.A. Honours degree in Music at Acadia University. Her research focuses on the ways western art music interacts with social activism, particularly in the music of the First Viennese School, and has been presented at numerous conferences, including the Annual Meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Canadian University Music Society. Her in-progress dissertation, “Intersectional Haydn: Musical Activism, The Late Oratorios, and the Long Eighteenth Century” examines how Haydn’s late oratorios interacted with changing cultures of disability, gender, and race in the Age of the Enlightenment — and what it means to perform the composer’s works in our own age, as our concepts of equity and inclusivity once again undergo radical changes.

As an Indigenous woman of Haida and Métis heritage, Rena also has a major interest in researching and assisting in efforts to decolonize western art music, both by increasing its accessibility to people from all backgrounds and walks of life, and by using its artistic platforms (especially opera) to further Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation. Rena joins her research to activist projects, including work with the Canadian Opera Company’s Indigenous Circle, and participation in several diversity and Truth and Reconciliation Committees based out of the Faculty of Music as well as Massey College, where she is a resident Junior Fellow.

Apart from her research, Rena remains active as a singer and pianist, and can also frequently be found honing her acting abilities at Second City Toronto.

Image of Carolyne Sumner

Carolyne Sumner is a fourth year PhD Candidate in Musicology, and is studying under the supervision of Dr. Robin Elliott. Carolyne’s current doctoral research investigates the significance of musical networks in Canada during the postcentennial period, and looks at the role played by cultural policymakers and gatekeepers in the outcomes of these networks. Using the Centennial celebrations as her starting point, her research considers how the cultural climate fostered during the period leading to 1967 impacted existing and developing networks by offering numerous collaborative, performance, publication, and recording opportunities. In doing so, she examines how these circumstances transformed during the postcentennial period, and how changes made to cultural policy and the activities of cultural gatekeepers from 1968 onwards impacted the careers of Canadian composers and their ability to build thriving professional networks.

Since the beginning of her academic career, Carolyne has presented her research at several graduate and professional conferences, and her work has been published in both Les Cahiers de la Société québécoise de recherche en musique (SQRM) and Intersections. Over the course of her studies, Carolyne’s research has also been generously supported by various provincial and federal academic awards and grants, including the Ontario Graduate Student award and most recently, a SSHRC Doctoral fellowship award

Current MA Students

  • Hannah Brown
  • Kevin Forfar
  • Emily McCallum
  • Brandon Wild
  • Kolby Zinger-Harris