Current Students

MA students

André Lorenz Bitun Feria is a Filipino music educator. He received a diploma in Creative and Performing Musical Arts in 2019 and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education cum laude in 2020 from the University of the Philippines. A volunteer research assistant at the University of the Philippines Center for Ethnomusicology, he hopes to research the multigenerational voices of the Filipino diaspora in Canada. His other research interests include decolonizing the music classroom, equity and social justice in music education, and the emergence of Philippine Pop (PPop) music. André is also a choir conductor, arranger, and a freelance music instructor.

Ulises Garcia Figueroa is originally from the city Toluca in Mexico. He has a Bachelor of Communication Sciences from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, with a specialization in media production. He is interested Latin American popular music and how its expression is related to society and culture. Racism, new masculinities, and gender issues are also among his research concerns. In addition to music, he is interested in storytelling, scriptwriting, and audiovisual production.

Mahina Graham-Laidlaw received her Bachelor of Music in Viola from Memorial University in 2021. After living and performing in St. John’s for the past five years, Mahina hopes to explore her lifelong experience in Western classical music and its relationship to the community. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, she began playing viola at a young age, found a passion for music, and now specializes in orchestral performance. Her research interests include the implications of colonialism for music and its institutions.

Veronica Oliver received her Bachelor of Music Therapy from Acadia University. She has a rich background in opera and Western art song and is passionate about the potential therapeutic effects of opera. Folk rituals pertaining to death are another of her research interests, and she seeks to understand how the voice is used to honour the dead and create a space for sacred holistic connections. Veronica hopes to research the portrayal of women’s grief in opera, as well as the social influences of opera in twentieth century culture and opera’s effects on how women grieve. Combining this research with her music therapy background, she ultimately seeks to explore how opera and Western art song can be integrated therapeutically for those nearing the end of life.

Arsalan Pareyal is a music educator, jazz fusion guitarist, rubab player, composer, and producer from Karachi, Pakistan. Arsalan started his music education in 2009 at the National Academy of Performing Arts in Karachi, Pakistan, He completed his MA from the Karachi University in 2020, where he studied international relations and music diplomacy. Arsalan’s research thesis entangles the relationship between music, culture, diplomacy, and music education in Pakistan. He’s research interests includes the institutionalization of music education during the post-colonial era in Pakistan and the similarity between raga-based music and jazz music.

Amélie Roberts received her Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance from the University of Ottawa in 2019. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 territory, Amélie grew up in the vibrant Winnipeg arts scene as a freelance musician and as a music educator. After taking a brief hiatus to study English literature, Amélie was drawn toward ethnomusicology by an enduring passion for Icelandic music. Her research interests include the Icelandic diaspora in Manitoba, independent record labels, and music tourism within rural communities.

Brenda Teh earned her Bachelor of Classical Music from UCSI University in Malaysia. Her keen interest in music research led her to intern as a research assistant at the Institute of Music, UCSI University, where she delved into the topic of censorship in the sonic arts and visual culture in Southeast Asia. This experience sparked her interest in exploring the impact of cultural policies on the practices of Malaysian traditional performing arts, as well as the role of audiovisual archives in maintaining the cultural sustainability of these traditional art forms. In addition to her primary focus, Brenda’s research interests also include virtual ethnography in digital spaces and ludomusicology.

PhD students

Henrique Medeiros Batista is a multimedia artist and scholar. He earned a DMA in contemporary music performance with a cognate in culture from Bowling Green State University. In percussion performance, he has earned degrees from James Madison University (MM) and the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música. His current project on queer Brazilian popular music embraces the intersection of postcolonial theory and queer studies. Henrique’s scholarly interests also include Afro-Brazilian religious music, streaming services, and the vernacular web. You can explore more of his work at

Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Karen Mize Berglander (She/They) completed a dual BA in German and Music, with an emphasis in voice, at the College of Saint Benedict and pursued an MA in Musicology at the University of Denver. They are an active performer, serving as a member of the supplemental chorus for the Colorado Symphony, as well as singing in academic choirs, opera workshops, and the University of Denver’s gamelan and kathak dance ensembles. Karen’s research examines experiences and expressions of femininity and queerness in the North American DIY punk scene and aims to tackle those issues from both academic and activist perspectives. As an activist, Karen is particularly interested in the role that DIY performance venues play as safe spaces and the ways these venues can be utilized as a point for community outreach among at-risk populations.

Christian Dauble is from Dunedin, Florida. They began studying the Highland bagpipe at the age of twelve under Pipe Major Sandy Keith, as part of Dunedin’s Scottish Arts program. They went on to complete a BA in Music and a BS in Anthropology at Florida State University. During their time at FSU, they continued to study the bagpipe as well as the Chinese guzheng and Balinese gamelan gong kebyar. Christian has recently completed the master’s program in ethnomusicology at Memorial. They are interested in studying the performance practice of the classical Ceòl Mór music of the Highland pipe, along with issues of identity and nationalism within the broader piping community.

Eric Taylor Escudero is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. He has a BA in Communication and Multimedia from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo and an MA in Music and the Environment from the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland. At UHI, his final project, entitled Mirrors, consisted of a collection of songs and other pieces inspired by a journey from Brazil to Scotland. His research interests include the music and traditions of southeastern coastal communities in Brazil, Fandango Caiçara, and issues of identity in folk music. Eric is involved in a solo folk/rock music project ( and serves as songwriter, guitarist, and arranger for Brazilian singer Ana Luísa Ramos (

Andrew Kagumba is a PhD student in ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and holds a PhD in Music Education from Texas Tech University. A native of Uganda, Andrew engages in research that explores issues of Indigenous tourism, music sustainability, national parks and the displacement of Indigenous communities, and music and cultural rights, particularly among the Batwa peoples of southwestern Uganda. His current research explores how Batwa children make sense of experiences of displacement and landlessness through expressive practices, such as music, movement, play, language, and dress. Andrew has a strong interest in applied ethnomusicology, including advocacy for cultural rights, the promotion of civic engagement, and the revitalization of the endangered musics of Indigenous communities in Uganda. He is a recipient of the Van Appledorn Visual and Performing Arts Fellowship (2014–2017). He is a member of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Committee for Students and Early Career Researchers. Andrew has presented papers at conferences in the US, Canada, Germany, Norway, and Uganda, including the past two ICTM conferences and, most recently, the 2022 Society for Ethnomusicology annual meeting.

Edwin Mansook is a music pedagogue and multi-instrumentalist with a diverse background in teaching, performing, arranging, directing, composing, and producing. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano performance, arranging, and pedagogy from the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, Germany. As an experienced pedagogue with more than 15 years of teaching at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, he has facilitated an applied approach to topics in memory, performativity, and sound studies. He hopes to draw on these strengths in his research, which investigates masquerade music in his native, racially diverse Guyana and in the Afro-Guyanese Diaspora. He attributes his foundations in understanding and creating music to Gloria Mansook, his mother and music teacher. Further interests for research include gospel music in the Caribbean and West Indian Diaspora and improvisation in Afro-Caribbean music. Edwin is the founding director of Judah Arts Foundation, a professional music institution.

Toshio Tatsu Oki started taking violin lessons under the Suzuki method at the age of four and has been playing 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.

Diego Pani became involved with music in his teenage years, when he learned the traditional multipart singing of Santu Lussurgiu (his hometown in Sardinia, Italy) and started a punk rock band. This interest in both traditional and popular music drove his subsequent research, which focuses on the ways that the current generations of young musicians learn and perform music, the use of historical recordings in musical transmission, and the construction of musical meaning via audio and video materials in the oral and vernacular music traditions of Sardinia and 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 live events by blues, Americana, and rock ‘n’ roll artists.

Mark Lenini Parselelo is from Narok County in Kenya. He began his music studies at the age of fifteen, studying music theory and performing traditional Kenyan music and dances at the Kenyan Music Festivals. He later joined Kenyatta University for his Bachelor’s degree, where he was introduced to ethnomusicology and musicology. In 2014, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Kenyatta University and in 2017 joined the Kenyatta University Department of Music and Dance faculty to teach music technology and performance courses. From 2018 to 2020, he held the Erasmus Plus scholarship to study in the Choreomundus Program. This enabled him to study at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Szeged, the University of Clermont Auvergne, and the University of Roehampton. In July 2020, he graduated with a Master’s in Dance Knowledge, Practice, and Heritage. His current research interests are in Maasai music, the Dinka people, Kenyan contemporary music, and music education.

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. His experience of meeting prominent field recordists in the old-time music revival encouraged him to pursue a PhD 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, Glenn 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.

Humberto Piccoli is originally from Rio Grande, Brazil. He has a BMus in Popular Music from State University of Paraná and a MMus in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Manitoba. He is a jazz musician, host of Music Filter, an online interview show with music business professionals, and director of the Album Club, a weekly online music appreciation meeting. His research interests include organizational interactions within jazz scenes and issues of identity and politics in the Brazilian samba tradition.

Peter Verdin has been playing in DIY bands since he was in high school, including one alleged ska band whose existence he will neither confirm nor deny. He plays both upright and electric bass and is well-versed in a variety of stringed and keyed instruments. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, he spent several years working in a recording studio as a sound engineer and travelling the US as a bass player with the neo-Americana group, the Gypsy Lumberjacks. Peter completed an MA in ethnomusicology at University College Cork, where his work focused on transnationalism and its effect on ideas of locality. His other research interests include the impacts of globalization on contemporary music, mediation, memory, and musical consumption. You can listen to some of the tracks Peter has played on or recorded at and

Phil Yetman is originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland. He is currently in the Ph.D. program at Memorial University, where he also completed his B.Mus. in 2004. Phil’s interests in Afro-Cuban musical and religious practices have taken him to Toronto; Montreal; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Miami; and, of course, Cuba. In the summer of 2023, he completed a survey of the country’s carnival music traditions as they are performed in Havana, Matanzas, and Santiago de Cuba, while at the same time resuming his ongoing work with batá drummers and drum makers. In his academic research, Phil hopes to focus on how Cuban bataleros draw on iconic rhythms to reference not just the general attributes of various deities in the Yorùbá/Lukumí pantheon, but also specific mythological stories.

Jordan Zalis is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Previously, Jordan earned both a Bachelor of Music (Honours, with High Distinction) in Vocal Performance and a Master of Arts in Music and Culture from Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. Recipient of the Helmut Kallmann Award for Research in Canadian Music, a short-term research exchange at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Jordan’s academic interests sit at the intersection of sound, music, and sport where he questions the powers of sound in sport's massive public theatres. His ongoing thesis work investigates matters of experience and perspective, asking hundreds of people the same question: "What does basketball sound like?" The result is a dynamic multimedia project and set of essays, criticisms, and oral histories that have afforded Jordan the opportunity to present his research to audiences across Canada, and in Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and South Korea. If you're interested in reading what an emerging ethnomusicologist thinks about the sound of sport, Jordan has published work on the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier and the sounding politics of TD Place Stadium, where he "Listened to Football in Ottawa" (Insular Livros 2020; Routledge 2021). Most recently (2023) Jordan's research and ideas were featured in an interview on CBC Weekend AM. Along with writing and performing original music, Jordan manages a small Toronto-based record label and music publishing house, named Suplex Music and [xlds], respectively. When not in the field (studying sound, music, and sport), Jordan is out in the park, practicing environmental soundscape recording while embracing rivers, lakes, oceans, and forests.