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MemberJohn Covach

…Eastman School Of Music…

John Covach is Director of the University of Rochester Institute for Popular Music, Professor of Music in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Theory at the Eastman School of Music. He has published dozens of articles on topics dealing with popular music, twelve-tone music, and the philosophy and aesthetics of music. He is the principal author of What’s That Sound? An Introduction to Rock Music (W.W. Norton) and has co-edited Understanding Rock (Oxford University Press), American Rock and the Classical Tradition (Routledge) and Traditions, Institutions, and American Popular Music (Routledge), Sounding Out Pop (University of Michigan Press), and the Cambridge Companion to the Rolling Stones (Cambridge).

MemberBen Baker

…Eastman School Of Music…

Ph.D., Music Theory, Eastman School of Music (anticipated completion 2020)
M.M. Jazz Piano Performance, New York University (2011)
B.A., Music and Mathematics, St. Olaf College (2009)

I’m a Ph.D. student and Sproull Fellow in music theory at the Eastman School of Music. My research focuses primarily on improvisation, including the development and modeling of improvisational fluency, the role of improvisation in jazz and popular music, and related issues of embodiment and flow. I also study mathematical models of musical spaces. I’m a dynamic and skilled teacher – after my first year teaching in the undergraduate theory curriculum, I was awarded Eastman’s Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. I also serve on the board of the Music Theory Society of New York State, and the editorial staff of Intégral. Prior to coming to Eastman, I worked for five years as a versatile freelance pianist in New York City, where I served as an adjunct music director and vocal coach at NYU, accompanied festival choruses at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, performed in numerous professional jazz and pop groups, and maintained a private piano studio. I remain active as a pianist, both in NYC and in Rochester. Outside of music, I enjoy running and following politics. I also recently completed a four-year term as the New York City Representative on the St. Olaf College Alumni Board.

MemberSam Reenan

…Eastman School Of Music…

Sam Reenan is a Lecturer in music at Hamilton College and a Ph.D. candidate in music theory at the Eastman School of Music. He holds the M.A. in music theory from Eastman (2018) and the B.M. in music theory and the B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Connecticut (2014). A recipient of Eastman’s 2017–18 TA Prize for Excellence in Teaching, he has taught throughout the Eastman curriculum, most recently serving as supervisor for Sophomore Aural Musicianship. Sam is co-author of a 2016 article exploring seventh-chord voice-leading transformations, published in Music Theory Online. His dissertation focuses on issues of genre, large-scale form, and narrative in early modernist Germanic works described as “maximalist.” He has presented spoken papers on a range of topics including pitch structure in Henri Dutilleux’s Ainsi la Nuit (Music Theory Society of New York State, Ninth European Music Analysis Conference, 2017), theoretical approaches to sonata form in Mahler’s late symphonies (Society for Music Theory, 2018, 2020), T. W. Adorno’s analytical aesthetics (Music Theory Midwest, 2019), graduate instructor peer observation (Pedagogy into Practice, 2019), and commercial jingles (Society for American Music, 2020). Sam has been editorial assistant with Music Theory Online since 2016 and is a past co-editor of Intégral, where he led the journal’s transition to an online, open-access format. Outside of music theory, he enjoys sampling local coffee roasters, running, biking, rock climbing, hiking in the Adirondacks, and attending operas at the Met.