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Graduate Students

Xin Liu

Xin Liu is currently completing an M.M. in Musicology at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. He received a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Nanjing Normal University in Nanjing, China. Before switching from performance to musicology, Xin worked as a program notes writer and music translator in China. He translated Edwin Fischer’s book Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas, a guide for students & Amateurs, which will be published in 2020 by Sanlian Philharmonic Publishing House. He is also the program notes and lyrics translator for the 2019 Beijing Music Festival. Xin conducted several interviews with renowned musicians, including Jaap van Zweden and two Chinese “Cardiff Singers of the World,” Shenyang and Yang Guang. As a Baritone, Xin has performed in China and the United States in roles such as Perichaud and Rabonnier in Puccini’s La rondine, night visitor in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and as a nameless soldier in the Chinese opera Sister Jiang.

Areas of interest: German lieder, German literature, Gregorian chant, Chinese art songs and the cross-cultural study of Chinese and western music.

Sojourner McClure

From a young age, Sojourner has worked in the field of classical guitar, studying its stylistic elements and repertoire. He has also studied jazz, fingerstyle, and country style guitar. A musical flexibility has allowed Sojourner to make a name for himself as an exceptional performer of many different styles, with a special touch for musical expression. Sojourner is currently earning a dual masters in guitar and musicology.

Areas of interest: the function of music in philosophy, religion, and politics; aesthetics.

Rachel O'Connor

Rachel O’Connor is a classically trained horn and trumpet player from Toronto, Ontario currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in French horn and Masters of Musicology at Peabody Conservatory. Rachel was based out of Los Angeles from 2013 - 2018, and enjoyed an active freelance career there, having appeared with numerous regional orchestras, opera companies and musical theatre productions. Some of these credits include the American Youth Symphony, Dream Orchestra, Valencia Symphony, Claremont Concert Orchestra, Center Stage Opera, Opera by the Glass, and the UCLA Philharmonia. She has also recorded on several film scores, sessions and live music videos.

Rachel is passionate about education, having taught students of all ages, from kindergarten through college and beyond, in classroom, private, masterclass and group settings. In 2018, Rachel had the pleasure of travelling internationally to lecture and teach through the Youth Orchestras of the Americas “Global Leaders Program.” She ran brass festivals at conservatories, universities and camps in Chile, Bolivia and Mexico. She also held a position as a lecturer in Brass Pedagogy at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music from 2017-2018. In 2019 Rachel was awarded the prestigious Presser Award from Peabody Conservatory—a $10 000 grant which she used to fund an 8-week teaching artistry and performance tour in Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico.

Rachel’s orchestral training is extensive, having appeared with Canada’s only training orchestra, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, for four seasons. She has also performed as a soloist internationally in addition to participating in orchestral, chamber and contemporary music festivals.

Areas of interest: the intersection of music education, pedagogy, inclusion and diversity; the El-Sistema model within and outside of Venezuela.


Kendra Preston Leonard

Kendra Preston Leonard is a musicologist whose work focuses on women and music in the 20th and 21st centuries; music and screen history; and music and disability. Her current research projects are on American composer Louise Talma and her works; the musical representation of the English early modern period on screen; and the use of pre-existing art music for silent cinema. She is the director of the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive (

Michael Markham

Michael Markham's research is on the music of the early Italian Baroque. He joins SUNY Fredonia from Stanford University where he was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities and visiting lecturer in music and cultural history from 2006 to 2008. He received his B.Mus in classical guitar and an M.M. in musicology from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.

In 2001 he received his M.A. and in 2006 his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of California – Berkeley. His dissertation is entitled The Heritage of Campaspe: Oral Tradition and Giulio Caccini's "Le nuove musiche" (1602). It touches on theories of performance and space in early 17th-century Italy and the problem of text and Italian solo song in the Renaissance.

His writings on early Baroque performance spaces, on solo song, on Monteverdi and Bach, and on music history pedagogy have appeared in The Cambridge Opera Journal, The Opera Quarterly, Repercussions, and Seventeenth-Century Music. He has twice presented at the annual conference of the American Musicological Society and has given scholarly lectures at the University of Cambridge, Stanford University, The University of California – Berkeley, Stony Brook University, and The University of South Carolina.

Tanya Merchant

Tanya Merchant is an ethnomusicologist whose research interests include music’s intersection with issues of nationalism, gender, identity, and the post-colonial situation. With a geographical focus on Central Asia and the former Soviet Union, she has conducted fieldwork in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Russia. She is an avid performer on both the Uzbek dutar and the Baroque bassoon and has given concerts with ensembles in the U.S., England, and Uzbekistan. Her recent publications include articles on Uzbek popular, folk, and traditional musics, which appear in journals such as Cahiers de Musiques Traditionnelles, and Image and Narrative.

Andrew Shryock

Andrew Shryock (MM '06, Musicology) is a member of the musicology faculty at Boston Conservatory. His research examines intersections of text and music in the oratorios of George Frideric Handel. He has published on similar topics in rap music. He received a Ph.D. in musicology from Boston University.