Graduate Students, Past and Present

Jacqueline Avila Jacqueline Avila

Dr. Jacqueline Avila is an Assistant Professor in musicology at the University of Tennessee. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in music from the University of California, Riverside and a B.A. in music with a dual emphasis in French horn performance and music education from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Her research interests include Mexican modernism, nationalism, and cinema and media studies. She was a recipient of the UC MEXUS Dissertation Research Grant and the American Musicological Society’s Howard Meyer Brown Fellowship, and has presented her research at several conferences in the United States and Mexico. She is currently writing a book manuscript tentatively titled CineSonidos: Cinematic Music in Early Mexican Film, which is an examination of meaning and cultural representation in Mexican film music.  
Gary Barnett Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett completed his doctoral studies in historical musicology in the spring of 2012 after an extended research trip to Lisbon, Portugal where he received a scholarship with the LUSO/Gulbenkian foundation to study the compositions of Carlos Seixas (1704-1742).  His dissertation was entitled Three Manifestations of Carlos Seixas (1704-1742): A Study of Historiographical Biography, Reception, and Interpretation. As a student at UCR, he performed as both soloist and continuoist with the Musicum Collegium, as well as performances with the Chamber Singers and Choral Society.  Gary has enjoys posting Youtube videos with his carillon and organ teacher, David Christensen (UCR Carilloneur), in the UC Belltower.  Currently he resides in Orange County, California where he maintains a private piano studio and continues accompanying.
Joshua Brown Joshua Brown

Joshua Brown holds a B.A. in history, with a minor in music, from UC Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in ethnomusicology from UCR. In 2003, Josh lived in Seville, Spain and began his ongoing study of flamenco guitar at the University of Pablo de Olavide. He conducted research in Seville during the 2011-12 academic year, supported by a Fulbright IIE fellowship. This work addresses how Andalusian histories, landscapes and performance spaces relate to musical and social practices within flamenco communities. Also, the Morón style of flamenco serves as a central case study through which Josh evaluates stylistic and performative elements within the context of tradition. For his M.A. thesis, he explored how popular music, American folk ideology and leftist politics converged and intensified at a key folk institution in Los Angeles known as the Ash Grove. Other research interests include the politics of identity and race, cultural memory, social movements, political activism and the bearing of historical conceptions and constructions on the discipline of ethnomusicology.

David Kendall

David Kendall completed the PhD in Musicology at UCR in 2010 and his continuing research interests include colonial liturgical music of the Philippines, organology and 19th century wind instrument performance practices. David currently lectures in music at UCR and at La Sierra University.  Additionally, he is a brass instructor at Loma Linda Academy, serves as Music Minister at Immanuel Lutheran Church, is Musical Director of the Armory Band (a 19th-century brass band playing period instruments), and serves on the Board of Directors of the Period Piano Center and Museum and Makibahagi (a Filipino arts and culture organization). David lives in Riverside with his wife, Shiela, and two daughters, Carmina and Mikaëla.

David Kandall

Mindy LaTour O'Brien Mindy LaTour O’Brien

Mindy LaTour O’Brien graduated with an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCR in 2009 with a thesis entitled, “Upward-bound: Music Listening and the American Dream in a Mexican American Community.” During her time at UCR, she played violin and sang in Mariachi Mexicatl and was a member of Mayupatapi. Mindy is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Musicology at UCLA where she is developing specialties in 16th-century music and contemporary popular musics.
Alyson Payne Alyson Payne

Alyson Payne completed her doctoral studies in 2012, with a dissertation entitled, “The 1964 Festival of Music of the Americas and Spain: A Critical Examination of Ibero-American Musical Relations in the Context of Cold War Politics,” advised by Dr. Leonora Saavedra. She received her master's degree from Bowling Green State University, under the direction of Dr. Carol A. Hess. Her interests include music and politics during the twentieth century as well as music and nationalism.
Jacob Rekedal Jacob Rekedal

Jacob Rekedal is currently finishing his Ph.D in Ethnomusicology, while living in southern Chile with his wife Liliana Pérez.  Jake entered the UCR Ethnomusicology program (Dept. of Music) with a dual focus on bluegrass mandolin and Chilean folkloric musics, in the fall of 2006. In 2008 he completed his master’s research on bluegrass, based both on fieldwork with musicians in southern California, and on reflections and research about bluegrass in different regions of the United States, and in different political and social contexts. In late 2009, Jake left California for Temuco, a city in southern Chile, where he has conducted grant-funded research with support from the University of California’s Pacific Rim Research Program, and from Fulbright IIE. Jake’s two subsequent years in Temuco involved research on music as it relates to the concept of frontera (or borderland)—an idea which has characterized the cultural, political and social dynamics of the region around Temuco since well before the arrival of the Spanish in the 1540s. Southern Chile is rich in folkloric music styles, but also in hip-hop, rock, indigenous Mapuche music, and various types of fusion music unique to the region. Jake’s dissertation deals with case studies in several genres, and their relationships to tumultous struggles over territorial sovereignty and social welfare. Currently, Jake is writing his dissertation while working as an adjunct professor at the Universidad de la Frontera in Temuco, where he teaches “Introducción a la Etnomusicología.”
Desmond Stevens Desmond Stevens

Desmond Stevens received his BA degrees in Music Education and Sociology from UCLA in 2009. He also holds an MA in Musicology from UC Riverside (2011). During his time at Riverside, he focused his studies on the music of nineteenth and twentieth century Latin American classical and popular musics. His thesis investigated the music of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla and the Argentine expectations of national musical identity. Since receiving his master's degree he worked as a music teacher in public middle and high schools in the LA and Orange Counties. Currently he is working as the instrumental music teacher at Rancho Alamitos High School in Garden Grove where he is fusing traditional high school instrumental instruction (strings, winds, and percussion) with a specifically tailored curriculum incorporating elements of Western music history, World music history, and Ethnomusicology which reflects the diverse demographics of his school's student body.
Robert Wahl Robert Wahl

Robert Wahl is an entering PhD student in Musicology at the University of California, Riverside. He holds a Master’s Degree in Musicology from California State University, Long Beach where he studied the music of Paraguayan guitarist Agustín Barrios Mangoré. Robert will continue his studies in Musicology at UC Riverside with a focus on guitar in Ibero-American Music. During his studies, he also enjoys playing and performing classical guitar with any free time he finds.


The Otto Mayer-Serra Award for Music Research

The University of California, Riverside, and the Center for Iberian and Latin American Music (CILAM) call for submissions for the Otto Mayer-Serra Awards, given annually for the best unpublished articles on any aspect of Iberian or Latin American Music.


Two awards will be given:  First Place, $2000; Second Place, $1000.  There will also be an Honorable mention, but with no monetary award.  The two award-winning essays will be published in Diagonal:  An Ibero-American Music Review, a new, peer-reviewed online journal of the Center for Iberian and Latin American Music at the University of California, Riverside.


All scholars are eligible to apply, regardless of age, nationality, or place of residence.


The winners will be selected by a committee of outside reviewers, nominated by CILAM. The names of the committee members will be made public after a decision has been reached. The committee’s decision is final and may not be appealed. If no submission is deemed worthy, the prize may not be awarded. The committee may disqualify any participant who does not meet the requirements established by this call.

Application process

A completed application will consist of the following:

1. Authors of articles to be considered for the awards should submit one complete copy in word doc or pdf format as an attachment to an email addressed to Walter Clark ( Articles should not exceed 40 pages, inclusive of references, illustrations, and musical examples. All material should be double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman Font, with margins of at least one inch.

2. To allow for the anonymous review of submissions, the author’s name should appear only in the cover letter, which should also contain the full title of the submission and all relevant contact information. Authors should avoid identifying themselves in the manuscript itself (title page, header, notes) or in the file information.

3. The article must be unpublished and written in Spanish or Portuguese and will be published correspondingly in either language.
Application deadline: October 25, 2014. Prize winners will be notified by January 25, 2015.

After being notified, the winning authors will submit publication-quality musical examples and illustrations in TIFF (300dpi) and the text in Word format. The author will be responsible for arranging the corresponding permits for publication.

The Otto Mayer-Serra Prize for Music Research was established in 2008 by Instrumenta Oaxaca, Gobierno del Estado de Oaxaca, Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas,  Coordinación de Difusión Cultural UNAM, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes and Pauta.  It is funded by the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences at UCR.

The Center for Iberian and Latin American Music at the University of California, Riverside, is pleased to announce the winner and honorable mention in the 2013 Otto Mayer-Serra Competition, for the best essay on Latin American music in either musicology or ethnomusicology.  This annual competition honors the memory of the Spanish-Mexican musicologist Otto Mayer-Serra (1904-68) and seeks to continue his groundbreaking research on the music of Latin America.  The OMS competition accepts submissions in Spanish or Portuguese.  The winner receives a cash award of $1500, and his or her article will be published in Latin American Music Review.

This year’s judges reviewed numerous essays and were duly impressed by their high quality.  Information about next year’s competition will be available in early 2014.

2013 Otto Mayer-Serra Competition Results


Bernardo Illari:  “¿Una nueva y gloriosa nación?  Retórica y subjetividad en la Marcha patriótica rioplatense de 1813.”

Honorable Mention

Julio Mendívil:  “El imperio contraataca:  La representación revivalista de la música incaica y los primeros brotes de nacionalismo en la musicología sobre la región andina.”

The Center for Iberian and Latin American Music is grateful to all those who submitted essays to this competition and looks forward to future contributions.  It especially wishes to thank the three judges who reviewed the submissions:

John Koegel, chair (California State University, Fullerton)
Frederick Moehn (King’s College London)
Melanie Plesch (University of Melbourne)

Walter Aaron Clark
Professor of Musicology
Director, Center for Iberian and Latin American Music
University of California, Riverside


Encuentros/Encounters 2014
Sounding Communities: Music and the Abrahamic Religions
in Medieval Iberia

University of California, Riverside, February 20-21

Columbia University, February 27-28, 2014

In medieval Iberia, the coexistence of Christians, Jews, and Muslims yielded a remarkable confluence of traditions.  Medieval poetry, song, and other forms of performance in Arabic, Latin, Hebrew, and Romance are central sources for the cultural and social history of the Iberian Peninsula.  This international conference will bring together scholars of music, literature, and history to reflect on the insights that the sounding arts and their context can offer into Iberian communities and the interactions among them.

Sounding Communities will be dedicated to the memory of María Rosa Menocal (1953-2012), whose influential book The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain was widely read as an eloquent account of peaceful coexistence.  Although her vision of convivencia is contested, Menocal’s contributions continue to inform the study of medieval Iberia, and to remind us of the prevalence of cultural interchange through music and poetry.

Background Music: The habanera "La paloma" (The dove) by Sebastián Yradier (1809-65), arranged for guitar by Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909), performed by Pepe Romero on his album Corazón Español (Hollywood Records, 2005).