M.A. ethnomusicology

Andrew Colwell


Andrew was born in Mexico City to a Colombian mother and American father, but raised overseas in several countries and in the USA. He recieved his BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where, after experimenting in various media formats, he focused on critical theory and representations of globalization in art. After graduating, he lived in Mongolia for two years where he mainly studied xoomi, or what is generally called “throat-singing” in the West, but also performed in numerous contexts ranging from the traditional to the experimental, a weekly jazz gig to a collaboration with Altan Urag, composers of the soundtrack to “Mongol” (2007). He performed at Xoomi Naadaam 2007, a festival for Mongolian throat-singing, at which he was awarded membership to the Mongol Xoomi Association thus becoming its first American member. His current work continues to explore the Mongolian soundscape and global flows of music into, out of and within it. His more general interests include improvisation, nomadic musical traditions and specialized vocalization techniques.

Stephanie Choi


Stephanie received her B.A. in Korean traditional music from Seoul National University in Korea. Since she began┬áplaying kayagum (the 12-stringed Korean traditional zither) in 1995, she has performed and studied a wide range of Korean traditional music from court and folk to newly-composed music. Her current research focuses on popularization and modernization of ch’angjak kugak (newly-composed Korean traditional music), which is now thriving especially in an ensemble form in South Korea. Her fieldwork is based on the 21st Century Korean Music Project, a traditional music contest that has been held yearly by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports and Gugak Broadcasting System since 2007. Her research interests include popularization and modernization; commercialization and musical change; and the government engagement in traditional music.

Yun Fan


Sarah Politz


Sarah received her B.M. in jazz trombone from Oberlin Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio, where she studied with Robin Eubanks. She also holds a B.A. in English with honors from Oberlin College. In 2007, she was awarded the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to pursue her year-long, independent project on African jazz in Ghana, Benin, Mali, Senegal, and South Africa. Sarah is currently based in New Haven, Connecticut, where she performs with the Theodicy Jazz Collective. Her M.A. thesis is about the role of traditional religious styles in brass band music from People’s Republic of Benin.

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