Ph.D., Composition, Duke University (2004)
Dissertation Composition:  Having Once Been for piano, percussion trio, harp and string orchestra, 26’
Dissertation Article: “Think Accordion, Hear Breath: Breath and Breathing in Julia Wolfe’s Four Marys

Abstract:The opening of Julia Wolfe’s Four Marys is striking for its highly visceral gestures.  Wolfe reinforces the physicality of her work with her evocative tempo marking for the opening, “Breathing, think accordion”, and her program notes are also replete with images of breath and breathing. Wolfe’s references to breath and organicism lend Four Marys to a musical analysis that connects the work’s opening gestures to her attention to the embodiment of music through performance.  Theoretical analyses that take into account the physicality of performance and considerations of body in composition open new avenues for feminist analyses of sexual difference in music.

In this paper, I consider the suitability of feminist theories of body and I draw upon music theorists that look to the body and subjectivity as analytical models for Wolfe’s opening of Four Marys.  I also examine the viability and politics of theorizing the body as a location of musical difference.  Finally, building on my discussion of this literature, I offer an analysis of the opening of Four Marys that prioritizes theories and observations of body, musical gesture and performance as analytical tools.

Women’s Studies Certificate, Duke University (2004)
Instructional Technology Certificate, Duke University (2004)
AM, Composition, Duke University (2001)
BA, Music, Tufts University (1997)


  • Instructor, Lawrence University (2005-present)
  • Instructor, Duke University (2001-2003)
  • Instructor, Duke University String School (2003-2004)
  • Instructor, Talent Identification Program at Duke University, East Campus (2002)
  • Teaching Assistant, Duke University (2000- 2001, 2003, 2004)
  • Private Piano, Composition, Theory and Musicianship Studio (1995-present)


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Lawrence University (2005-2007)
  • American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings at Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York City, participating composer (2005)
  • National Symphony Orchestra American Residencies Commission, North Carolina Finalist (2005, final adjudication in May, 2005)
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow (2005)
  • Duke University Summer Research Fellowship (2003)
  • Aleane Webb Dissertation Award (2003)
  • William Klenz Prize for Composition, Duke University (2002)
  • Selected for Masterclass with Eighth Blackbird (2002)
  • Composer Residency,North Carolina Governor’s School West (summer 2000)
  • Duke University Music Department, full Graduate fellowship (1999-2004)


  • Sloan Hoffmann for the Eastman School of Music “Women in Music” Festival (Nor Does the Snake, 2005)
  • pulsoptional (how terrible orange is, 2005)
  • Anima Dance for the American Dance Festival (music for Double Blind, 2004)
  • Jessi Knight Walker, choreographer (Music for Notre Vida, 2003-2004)
  • Berenice Torres, visual artist (Paper Music Quartet, 2003)
  • Vassar Mahagonny Ensemble (Paeon, performed 2001)
  • North Carolina Governor’s School Women’s Chorus (Black Mountain Epigrams, 2000)
  • Joan Tower’s 60th Birthday at Tufts University (LX, 1999)
Scholarly Interests

Music and Gender: iconography and representations of women in music and music literature, perceptions of body, canon(s) scholarship.
Hip-Hop: the relationship of the Western classical tradition to hip-hop culture, race and Western classical music, sampling and appropriation discourse.
American Experimental Tradition: extended instrumental techniques and improvisation  including graph scores interpretation, twentieth century performance practice.

Professional Presentations, Guest Lecture/Demonstrations and Residencies
  • Wildacres Residency Program (2005) 
  • Women’s Studies Commencement Activities (May, 2005)
    Graduate student commencement address
  • Sweet Briar College BFA workshop (March, 2005)
    Guest artist
  • Duke University Music Department; Minimalism(April, 2004)
    Guest speaker: Julia Wolfe’s Feminist Minimalism
  • Duke University Music Department; Music and Language (February, 2004)
    Guest artist/speaker: I am Talking about Performing in a Room: Music, Language and the Space(s) of Performance,
  • South Central Graduate Music Consortium, University of Virginia (September, 2003)
    Composing a New Music Ensemble in Durham, NC
  • Casa Gaia, Pátzcuaro, Mexico (summer, 2003)
  • Duke University Colloquium Series. (February, 2003)                                                                                                                                    Composing a New Music Ensemble in Durham, NC
  • Hip Hop/Global Flows conference at Duke University
    - A Basic Hip-Hop Vocabulary, conference preparation crash coursefor Duke faculty and students (January, 2003)
    - Charting the Musical Journey, panel member (February, 2003)
  • Goodbye Twentieth Century radio show on 88.7 WXDU, Durham, NC
    - Women Composers (April, 2002)
    - The New Minimalism (March, 2002)
    Guest composer/DJ
  • Duke University Dance Program; Diaghilev Ballet
    Guest lecturer: Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (spring 2001, fall, 2002)
  • Talent Identification Program at Duke University, East Campus
    - Steve Reich’s Piano Phase and Early Minimalism (summer 2002)
    - John Cage’s Music and Thought, a Lecture/Demonstration (summers 2000, 2001, 2002)
    John Zorn’s Cobra, a Lecture/Demonstration (summer 2001)
    - Gender and Identity (summer 2001)
  • North Carolina Governor’s School West (summer 2000)

Administrative Experience

  • Co-founder, Co-director, Development director: pulsoptional composers’ collective
  • Liaison for radio station and local composers: Goodbye Twentieth Century on WXDU; helped initiate and design format for weekly Durham, NC “new music” show
  • Coordinator: Fundamentals of Music Theory course at Duke University; trained new instructors and oversaw administration of three sections (fall, 2002)
  • Committee on Popular Music, Duke University Music Department (2003)
  • Hip Hop/Global Flows Interdisciplinary Committee, Duke University (2003)
  • Lecture Series, Student Advisory Committee, Duke University Music Department (2003-2003)
  • Student Accounts, New England Conservatory Extension School; managed all accounts for preparatory and extension school (1997-1999)


Member of • AMC (American Music Center) •ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers)

• CMS (College Music Society)• IAWM (The International Alliance for Women in Music)

• pulsoptional new music ensemble + composer’s collective •