UC Davis Music Department Lands Several Big Honors

book cover of Experiencing Latin American Music

The American Musicology Society (AMS) has honored two professors, an alumna and a student in the UC Davis Department of Music.

Distinguished Professor Anna Maria Busse Berger has been elected an honorary member of the society. Busse Berger was recognized for creating “an innovative and original body of scholarship reflecting a lifelong commitment to understanding the role of memory in the transmission, performance and composition of music in Europe before the early modern era and in early 20th-century Africa.” She has been at UC Davis since 1988 and has won numerous awards.

Professor Carol A. Hess received the AMS award for a book in the teaching category for Experiencing Latin American Music. The book draws on identity, the body, religion and more as a point of departure for musical understanding. Hess (Ph.D., musicology, ’94) has been at UC Davis since 2012.

Ana R. Alonso-Minutti (M.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’08, musicology) received the Ruth A. Solie Award for co-editing Experimentalisms in Practice: Music Perspectives from Latin America. Alonso-Minutti is an associate professor of music at the University of New Mexico.

The Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship for a minority graduate in musicology was awarded to Serena Yang, a doctoral candidate in musicology. She is the first UC Davis student to earn the fellowship.

In addition to the AMS awards, associate professor Mika Pelo is one of 15 composers awarded a commission award from the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University. The foundation seeks to strengthen composition and to bring contemporary concert music closer to the public. In addition to the commissioning fee, a subsidy is available for the ensemble performing the premiere of the commissioned work. Pelo will collaborate with the Bay Area contemporary music ensemble Earplay for the commission. Last year Pelo won a Guggenheim Fellowship.