Department of Music Lecture Series


All Lectures are free and open to the public.

Funded by the Dan Lucas Memorial Fund.



Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019
7:00 pm
Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall, UNCA Campus

Melodie Galloway

Professor of Music

Vocal Health Practices for Life-Long Singing:
Developing vocal strength and flexibility for healthy singing at every age

Research shows that singers who learn proper vocal technique will sing better and understand the vocal instrument and its production. Techniques that teach developing breath support, resonance and placement, focused vocal tone and articulation, along with building confidence and proper alignment in the body, improve the overall experience and increase the chances that beginning and advanced singers will enjoy a lifetime of beautiful singing. Recent studies have also shown that making music and singing in a choir are both beneficial at any age. Stacey Horne, author of Imperfect Harmony, includes several studies of singing and the effects on human emotion and the brain in a 2013 Time article.1 Oliver Sacks extensive work with older patients using music to improve or unlock the brain explore, among other aspects, effects of singing and choral socialization in different ages.2  This lecture explores issues of overall vocal health, what happens to the voice as we age and the tremendous benefits of singing and singing in a choir at every age. 1 Horne, Stacey (2013). Singing changes your brain. Time Online.

1 Horne, Stacey (2013). Singing changes your brain. Time Online.
2 Sacks, Oliver W. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. New York, NY. 2007. 

Melodie Galloway holds a Master’s degree from Florida State University in Vocal Performance and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her experience as a conductor and soprano soloist includes opera, musical theatre, and jazz. Her credits as a conductor include a 2012 Carnegie Hall invited performance featuring 200 singers and orchestra. She led combined choirs and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra (Krakow) in Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living in May 2017 in Vienna, Prague and Salzburg. As the Director of UNCA’s Asheville Singers, she has been invited to perform as part of the Holiday Open House Performances at the White House from 2006-2016, including a private audience with President and Mrs. Obama in 2012. She was the conductor-in-residence in Syros, Greece, for MidAmerica Productions, NY, in 2019. Currently, Dr. Galloway is an  Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she is the Coordinator of Choral and Vocal Studies. She is in demand as a clinician, conference presenter and consultant for arts advocacy.


Monday, Oct. 21, 2019
7:00 pm
Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall, UNCA Campus

Mark Burford

Mark Burford

Associate Professor of Music, Reed College
B.A., Music, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1994

M.A., Historical Musicology, Columbia University, 1999
Ph.D., Historical Musicology, Columbia University, 2005 

“Mahalia Jackson, Bessie Smith, Marian Anderson, and the Legibility of Black Women’s Voices”
This talk focuses on gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s positioning in relation to two African American vocalists that she cited as influences but who are not often thought of in conjunction with each other: blues singer Bessie Smith and contralto Marian Anderson.  Listeners were fond of noting similarities that they heard between the voices of Smith and Jackson, but for many, including, Jackson, Anderson remained a benchmark as well, if in more complicated ways.  The triangulation of discourse on the voices of these three women, and in particular the representation of their voices through the reception of Mahalia Jackson, invites to consider how we imagine and racialize “encultured” and “natural” voices, while raising questions about ways black women’s voices are heard, understood, and generate meaning.  If, as Nina Eidsheim, argues, “voice” is best understood as an active verb, not a noun, and bodies that are considered different are habitually heard as different, how do we hear and make sense of black women’s bodies who “voice” differently?

Mark Burford is Associate Professor of Music at Reed College, where he is also chair of the American Studies program. His research and teaching focuses on late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Austro-German concert music and twentieth-century popular music in the United States, with particular focus on African American music after World War II. His scholarship has appeared in the Journal of Musicology, 19th-Century Music, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Current Musicology, Musical Quarterly, the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and other edited collections. His article “Sam Cooke as Pop Album Artist—A Reinvention in Three Songs” received the Society for American Music’s 2012 Irving Lowens Award for the outstanding article on American music. He is the author of Mahalia Jackson and the Black Gospel Field, released in 2019 by Oxford University Press, and editor of the forthcoming Mahalia Jackson Reader, an anthology of writings on Jackson for Oxford’s Readers on American Musicians series.


Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020
7:00 pm
Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall, UNCA Campus

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 Brian Felix

“Beethoven the Improviser”

Brian Felix is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Department at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where he teaches classes on jazz theory and improvisation, jazz history, keyboard skills, music business, the Beatles and the Grateful Dead. Felix holds a B.A. in Music from Rutgers College, a M.M. in Jazz Performance from DePaul University and a D.M.A. in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. His research interests include jazz and improvised musics, the Grateful Dead and the Beatles. His work has been published in the journal Jazz Perspectives and he is the co-author of Interactive Listening: A New Approach to Music. Felix is also a professional keyboardist—he was co-leader of OM Trio, an acclaimed jazz-rock group that toured internationally between 1999-2004.  He continues to perform regularly in the Asheville, NC area with his organ jazz group Fly Casual, the electric Herbie Hancock tribute group Flood and other various projects.


Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
7:00 pm

Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall, UNCA Campus


Andy Jurik

Guitarist, arranger, and educator Andy Jurik actively explores the intersection of classical and popular music. As a solo guitarist, his repertoire includes arrangements ranging from Scottish lute works and Brazilian choro to Radiohead and the Beatles. Enthusiastic about the possibilities of third stream music (a hybrid of classical and jazz), Jurik prizes the compositions of genre-fusing guitarists like Ralph Towner, Roland Dyens, and Dušan Bogdanović. Demeler, his voice/guitar duo featuring vocalist Rachel Hansbury, reimagines Edith Piaf classics, Carter family standards, and timeless Celtic folk songs. Duo Cortado, his long-running duo with guitarist Devin Sherman, actively commissions new works to expand the scope of repertoire for guitar duo. 

Andy’s research in third stream music and contemporary improvisation results in activity on both the concert stage and the lecture hall. He presented a paper on improvisation in historical and contemporary contexts at the 2019 Dublin Guitar Symposium. Andy lectured on his doctoral research on the classical guitar’s role in classical/jazz fusion was presented at the 2017 Guitar Foundation of America convention in Fullerton, CA. Recent performances include the ASCAP-award winning Southern Exposure concert series, Brevard College, the Wired Music series, Carnegie Mellon University, Presbyterian College, Central Piedmont Community College, the ArtFields Festival, and the Southern Guitar Festival. 

Andy currently teaches at Western Carolina University (music appreciation, music theory, aural skills) and University of North Carolina Asheville (guitar, Astor Piazzolla ensemble). He earned degrees from the University of South Carolina (DMA, 2016), Austin Peay State University (M.M., 2012), and Ithaca College (B.M., 2008). Andy’s previous instructors include Christopher Berg, Stanley Yates, Pablo Cohen, and Steve Brown; masterclass and individual studies include Mark Stewart (Paul Simon, Bang on a Can All-Stars), Lorenzo Michelli and Matteo Mela (SoloDuo), Derek Gripper, and Ricardo Cobo.

Andy acts as co-director of the Asheville Classical Guitar Society, a collective that sponsors monthly open meetings, concerts, and masterclasses in the Western North Carolina area. His online critical writing for PopMatters and Spectrum Culture has been recognized by the Kronos Quartet, Nonesuch Records, New Amsterdam Records, and Innova Recordings.


Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020
7:00 pm
Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall, UNCA Campus

Keynote Lecture – Gabriel Solis

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor of Musicology
Affiliate in African American Studies
Chair of Musicology
Dean’s Fellow, College of Fine and Applied Arts

B.A. (musicology), University of Wisconsin; Ph. D. (musicology/ethnomusicology), Washington University in St. Louis

A scholar of African American music and of Indigenous musics of the Southwestern Pacific, Gabriel Solis has done ethnographic and historical research with jazz musicians in the United States and with musicians in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Drawing on work in African American studies, anthropology, and history, he addresses the ways people engage the past, performing history and memory through music. Additionally, his work explores musicians’ and audiences’ interactions with and personalization of mass-mediated musical commodities in transnational circulation. He has received the Wenner Gren Foundation’s Hunt Fellowship, the Arnold O. Beckman Fellowship for distinguished research, the Madden Fellowship for research in technology and the arts, an Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities fellowship, and most recently a Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory senior fellowship.  He received the honorable mention for the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Jaap Kunst Prize for “Artisanship, Innovation, and Indigenous Modernity in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea: Ataizo Mutahe’s Flutes,” in 2013. His articles have appeared in The Musical Quarterly, Ethnomusicology, the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Popular Music and Society, Musicultures, and a number of edited collections. He is the author of a book on contemporary performances of Thelonious Monk’s music, titled Monk’s Music: Thelonious Monk and Jazz History in the Making (University of California Press, 2007), and a book on John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk’s work together in the late-1950s (Oxford University Press, 2013), and co-editor with Bruno Nettl of a collection of essays on improvisation cross-culturally. He is currently working on a book on Tom Waits and the theatrics of masculinity, and on a study of the history of connections between artists and activists in Australia and Papua New Guinea and their counterparts in the African diaspora, titled The Black Pacific. In addition to jazz, Dr. Solis has studied capoeira with Contramestre Dennis Chiaramonte of Livre como Vento, Professor Doutor of ASCAB and Instructor Macaquinho of Capoeira Angola Palmares.