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.

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.

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.

Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Joanna Simoens received a Bachelor’s of Musicology from the Université de Montréal. Joanna fell in love with music while taking unorthodox violin lessons from her neighbour in Winnipeg. After spending a chapter of her life as a classical viola student, she eventually gravitated towards folk music. Inspired by her French and Belgian heritage, Joanna’s research interests lie in Francophone diasporas and the exploration of identity through music.

PhD students

Henrique Medeiros Batista earned a DMA in contemporary music performance with a cognate in culture from Bowling Green State University, and he also holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in percussion performance. His scholarly interests include issues of identity surrounding Brazilian concert and popular music, transatlantic cultural flows between Lusophone Africa and Brazil, and cultural theory. In addition to his academic and performance accomplishments, Henrique is an avid amateur photographer. You can explore more of his work on henriquebatista.weebly.com.

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 (http://erictaylor.bandcamp.com) and serves as songwriter, guitarist, and arranger for Brazilian singer Ana Luísa Ramos (http://analuisaramos.bandcamp.com).

Kiersten Fage holds a BMus and a BA (Honours) from the University of Western Australia and an MMus in Early Music (Baroque Cello) from McGill University. Kiersten grew up in the small coastal town of Albany, Western Australia, surrounded by folk music; she performed regularly with her cello in bands, sessions, and folk festivals. These experiences inspired her honours thesis, “Searching for the Scots Cello,” which investigated the relatively unexplored area of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Scottish folk cello playing. This research became an integral part of her master’s research project, which involved performances of eighteenth-century Scottish dance music on period instruments. Kiersten’s current research explores the rise, fall, and contemporary revival of folk cello playing in North America. From African American cello players in dance bands of the Colonial period, to cello players in the string bands of the early twentieth century, to contemporary folk cellists, Kiersten’s research aims to recognise folk cello playing as an established tradition. Kiersten is also involved with a project at the Centre d’études acadiennes at the University of Moncton, creating digital transcriptions of Acadian folk songs and tunes.

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.

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.

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.

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 http://gaspesiancommunitysound.com. 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.

Ophelia 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.

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 https://widowjones.bandcamp.com/ and https://howlers.bandcamp.com/.

Jordan W. Zalis is a doctoral student in ethnomusicology who holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a 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.