Current Student Profiles


Jennifer Hartmann is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology who originally hails from Nova Scotia. She holds a Bachelor of Music in history and literature from Dalhousie, and a Master of Arts in musicology from McGill. A violist by training, her research deals with the social function, occupational narrative, and business strategies of wedding string quartet musicians. She lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with her husband, MUN folklore alumnus Nic Hartmann, and their two daughters, Mari and Rosi. She currently works as an oral history transcriber for the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. 


Mathias Kom is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Memorial. He carried out his doctoral research in Germany, where he explored how the translocal antifolk community in New York and Berlin is built through labour, friendship, celebration of the local, and intimate cosmopolitanism. When he isn't wearing out the tips of his fingers revising his dissertation, Mathias is busy renovating a farmhouse in rural Prince Edward Island, teaching popular music at UPEI, and touring with his folk band The Burning Hell. Listen to Mathias talk about his research here


Aubrey Maks has been playing the guitar since the age of twelve, and has been singing in choirs since her school years in Pennsylvania. While pursuing a Bachelor's in Music Education and Composition at the Westminster Choir College, she performed as a chorister with both national and international orchestras in New York City and Philadelphia. During a year of studies in Graz, Austria, she had the opportunity to sing with KUG Kammerchor as well as hone her German skills. Aubrey decided to continue her studies in the Master's program in Ethnomusicology at Memorial, shifting the focus of her research from Balinese gamelan to Maori popular music.


Toshio Tatsu Oki started taking violin lessons under the Suzuki method at the age of four, and has been playing the piano since he was ten. He attended an Engineering program at the University of Western Ontario for three years. After discovering the world of social sciences, he undertook an Honours Bachelor's degree in International Development at York University. It was not until he moved to Japan that he discovered Irish music and started playing his violin again with more passion. The desire to pursue his passion for Irish music led him to the Master's program in Ethnomusicology at Memorial. His research interests lie in hybrid musical processes with a focus on the phenomenon of Irish music in Japan.Listen to Toshio talk about his research here


Inspired by Eddy Van Halen's 1991 guitar solo on "Right Now," Glenn Patterson picked up the electric guitar at the age of twelve. His musical interests shifted from rock, blues, and jazz to traditional fiddle and banjo music during his undergraduate engineering degree at Queen's University (Canada). He then moved to Montreal to pursue a Master's in electrical engineering at Concordia and also hosted a weekly bluegrass and old-time jam session and organized square dances in Montreal and southern Quebec. Having met prominent field recordists in the old-time music revival encouraged him to pursue a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Memorial. His research focuses on home recording; popular culture, memory, and media; proactive archiving; and community-engaged and collaborative research within the English-speaking minority of Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula. His PhD dissertation has involved creating a digital sound archives with a local anglophone health and social services advocacy organization, Vision Gaspé-Percé Now. Their blog is available at Along with fiddler/musicologist Laura Risk, he also co-produced the CD-booklet "Douglastown: Music and Song From the Gaspé Coast" between 2010 and 2014; this project was awarded Quebec's 2014 Prix Mnémo for a project deemed remarkable in documenting oral heritage in Quebec.


Michelle Robertson is from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her musical life began with piano duets played alongside her mother, and by the age of seven, she was composing her own songs. During her high school years, she started learning the clarinet and later the alto saxophone. In 2003, Michelle received a joint diploma in Music Industry and Performance and Recording Arts at the College of North Atlantic in Stephenville, Newfoundland. In 2010, she entered Memorial University to complete her Bachelor's in Folklore with a minor in Music and Culture. Among her many research interests are North American popular music, the music industry, sound production and identity, urban ethnomusicology, women and song, and Canadiana.


Damien Laframboise is a PhD student in ethnomusicology at Memorial University. He holds a double-concentration honours BA from Laurentian University in music and Italian studies and an MMus from Western University in solo piano performance and literature. His present research interests include the role of music in relation to issues of cultural identity and authenticity, and the uses of music in ethnic integration and dissemination of Canada's immigrant groups, with specific interest in Ontario's Italian-Canadian communities.


Before making his way to Memorial University Dave Ewenson played an active role in Halifax, Nova Scotia's vibrant music scene as a performer, radio show host, and recording engineer. His research interests stem from recent work with neo-traditional musicians in northern Ghana and north African asylum seekers in south Tel Aviv, Israel. Dave wants to continue exploring the potential for music in development and empowerment projects while also focusing on the recording studio's place in the music making process. Listen to Dave Ewenson talk about his research here


Carolyn Chong’s research interests include the role of the arts in Indigenous resurgence, decolonization, health, and social justice movements. Living in northern Norway for two years inspired her to pursue a multi-sited doctoral research project examining pan-Indigenous musical performance and arts festivals (northern Canada and Norway) and their role in redefining Indigenous-settler relationships. Before returning to the field of ethnomusicology, Carolyn worked in mental health as an Occupational Therapist in London, England. Listen Carolyn Chong's talk here


Daniel Neill is a Ph.D student in ethnomusicology from Toronto, Ontario. Previous to his studies at Memorial University, he completed a B.Mus in jazz studies through Humber College and an M.A. in musicology at York University while maintaining a busy schedule as a professional drummer and drum instructor. Currently, Daniel’s research is focused on the pedal steel guitar, an instrument that he became interested in through his work as a drummer with various country, blues and Americana artists. His current research is concerned with the roles of gender, social class, and the politics of labour in the instrument maker’s workshop. In addition to his activities as a musician, his interest in riding and maintaining vintage motorcycles has greatly influenced his research interests.


Jane Dennison is a dancer focusing on traditional Newfoundland set dancing for her graduate studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has been collecting, performing and teaching traditional dances from various countries for more than 25 years. She was the principal author and dance consultant for a teaching resource for Newfoundland and Labrador schools and has presented papers and workshops at national and international traditional dance and music conferences. Jane recently retired from a career with the Government of Canada as an international trade commissioner specializing in technology innovation.


Jing Xia is a professional guzheng player and teacher from China. During her master study of music administration, she also acted as concert host and chairman secretary of Hunan Symphony Orchestra. Her articles have been published in the Chinese journals Cultural Study and Music Space. Since moving to St. John's, she has been an active performer in city's music scene. As a Ph.D. ethnomusicology student, she is interested in the fusion music combing the guzheng and western genres, and the transformation of this traditional instrument, including instrumental structures, performance styles, and compositions. Her research focuses on the modern development of the guzheng in the western world, especially in the North America.


Certified by the Canadian Association for Music Therapy, Monique McGrath is a music therapist and ethnomusicologist interested in music, health, and culture. Her current research focusses on music therapy with children on the autism spectrum in Uganda. By gaining a profound understanding of Ugandan local beliefs and traditional healing practices related to autism, Monique aims to develop new culturally-informed methods for music therapists interested in cross-cultural work.


an image of student Diego PaniDiego Pani became involved with music in his teenage years, learning both the traditional multipart singing of Santu Lussurgiu, his hometown in Sardinia, Italy, and starting a punk rock band. This interest in both traditional and popular music drove his subsequent research, which focused on the dynamics of learning, performance and the diffusion of music by young generations of musicians, in reference to the use of media as a learning device (historical recordings), as well as the construction of social meaning via audio and video materials, in the oral/vernacular traditions of Sardinia and popular music of North America. In addition to his academic studies, he sings with the Sardinian heavy blues band King Howl and manages Talk About Records, a DIY record label that specializes in the production of records and events of blues, Americana and rock 'n' roll artists.


Jordan W. Zalis is a first-year doctoral student in ethnomusicology who holds his bachelor of music in vocal performance and master of arts in music and culture from Carleton University. His research is focused on sound, music, and sport as they relate to ideas concerning individual and group identity, social organization, and politics. Places like the stadium, the ballpark, and the sofa are where he chooses to study music and media and where he feels at home as a researcher. When away from the field, Jordan is an active creator and performer of new musics ranging from song to experimental sonic composition. Listen to Jordan’s feature on CBC’s “PhDs On the Go” here.


an image of student Jacob Danson FaradayJacob Danson Faraday has worked as a performer, sound designer, recording engineer and touring sound technician for many years. Inspired by this work, he now examines the relationships between electronic music instrument design, user communities and e-waste to further broader goals of ecological electronics design, re-use, and reparability. Currently enrolled in the ethnomusicology PhD programme, he holds an MSc from the University of Edinburgh in digital composition and performance, and a BMus from Dalhousie in classical guitar performance. Jacob can be reached at


picture of student Christian DaubleChristian Dauble is from Dunedin, Florida. At the age of twelve he began studying the highland bagpipe, under Pipe Major Sandy Keith, as part of Dunedin’s Scottish Arts program. He completed a B.A. in Music and a B.S. in Anthropology at Florida State University. During his time at FSU he continued to study the bagpipe, as well as the Chinese guzheng and Balinese gamelan gong kebyar. A first year Master’s student, Christian is interested in studying performance practice of the classical Ceol Mor music of the highland pipe along with identity and nationalism within the broader piping community.


picture of student Ellen McCutcheonEllen McCutcheon is originally from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia but has spent many years living between Canada and the USA. She has completed a Bacherlor's degree in Music with a concentration in Intercultural studies from Houghton College, in Houghton, NY. While at Houghton, she developed a love for music and various cultures which has led her to become a 1st year MA student in Ethnomusicology. Her research interests include East African music and how it can affect development and the education of refugees.


picture of student Ophelia RavencroftOphelia Ravencroft is a music historian and social activist from Halifax, Nova Scotia who has made her home in Newfoundland since 2008. Presently, she is engaged in an ethnography and oral history of the St John's metal community, with a particular eye to concepts of identity and of genre definition among local metalheads. Outside academia, she is a feminist activist who advocates especially for the rights of sex workers, and heads the committee behind St John's SlutWalk.


Music, Media and Place

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000