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Graduate Students

Chen-Kang Kao

Chen-Kang Kao is a PhD student in digital composition at the University of California, Riverside. He got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at National Taiwan Normal University and had a firm foundation in music theory. His master’s thesis was on the application of total serialism to his own works. After graduation, he started to find interest in electronic music and continued to compose and present his pieces every year. Knowing his lack of knowledge in electronic music, he decided to study abroad and was awarded a studying abroad scholarship by the Ministry of Education. In his doctoral studies, he tries to find his way to integrate music with dance and Asian elements, hoping to make music more diverse and approachable.

Email: ckao028@ucr.edu

Sam C. Shin

Sam C. Shin is an electroacoustic composer and creative coder whose work explores the impact of technology on contemporary life and draws from his love of electronica and Korean culture. His work has been presented at festivals and conferences such as the SEAMUS National Conference, Electronic Music Midwest, and the SPLICE Institute. Sam is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Digital Composition at UC Riverside where he studies with Ian Dicke, Dana Kaufman, and Paulo Chagas. Other composition teachers include Elainie Lillios and Mikel Kuehn at Bowling Green State University, Michael Sidney Timpson and Chihchun Chi-sun Lee at Ewha Womans University, and Eric Chasalow at Brandeis University. When not composing, Sam can be found exploring southern California with his wife and taking pictures of his cat.

Email: slong028@ucr.edu

Rory Fewer

Rory Fewer (he/him) is a Ph.D. student in the ethnomusicology program at University of California, Riverside. His research involves Bangkok’s club scene, queer affect, and the making-rhythmic of the “ethnic” within dance music aesthetics.His current project examines electronic dance music as a tool of futurity praxis within queer rave collectives in Bangkok. He holds a B.A. in individualized study from New York University.

Email: rfewe001@ucr.edu

Owain Graham

Owain Graham is a doctoral student in ethnomusicology at UCR. His research interests include indigeneity and ritual music in lowland South America. He is a recipient of the UCR Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship (2016-2017).

Before moving to California to pursue his studies in ethnomusicology, he taught music theory and founded the program for classical guitar studies at the Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio, TX. Mr. Graham received his master of music degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he studied guitar performance and pedagogy with Matthew Dunne. While attending UT San Antonio, Mr. Graham was awarded first prize at the 2013 College of Liberal Fine Arts research competition for his presentation entitled Linear Analysis and Interpretation in Schubert’s “Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano” (D821). Mr. Graham also holds a B.M.p. from Stetson University in DeLand, FL where he was awarded the William E. Duckwitz Talent Scholarship and studied classical guitar with the internationally renowned performer and teacher, Stephen Robinson.

Email: ograh001@ucr.edu

Viet-Hai Huynh

Viet-Hai Huynh (he/him) is a doctoral student in ethnomusicology at UC Riverside whose research interests include Asian American youth culture and its relationship with electronic dance music and rave culture, the recent proliferation of Asians in the popular music industry, and the K-pop industry and idol factory. He is fascinated with the ways music and media alter perceptions of Asian-Americans through reaffirming and negating existing stereotypes, such as the model minority and the effeminate Asian, while simultaneously contributing to new tropes and subjectivities, such as the ABG and Kevin Nguyen. His research stresses an interdisciplinary approach, exploring the intersections between music and anthropology, ethnic studies, and media studies. Viet-Hai graduated from UC Berkeley with high honors and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. A strong advocate for equal access to arts education, he volunteered with the Community School of Music and Arts in the Bay Area, mentored students at Berkeley Arts Magnet School, and worked with HLAB Inc. in Japan. He hopes to bridge the gap between academia and the public, serving and working with under-represented minorities to learn how to best support their paths forward.

Email: vhuyn054@ucr.edu

Eloy Neira

Born in Lima, Peru, Eloy Neira de la Cadena is a Ph.D. student at the University of California Riverside. Musician, activist, and philosopher, he holds an MFA in trumpet performance and an MA in Aesthetics & Politics from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). In addition, Eloy earned a BA in music at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). Eloy is a freelance performer and children’s music teacher. Before starting his Ph.D. studies, Eloy worked for the Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) and Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) as a teacher of Music and Music History (2019). In 2019 he developed the Music of the World and Music of the US classes curricula for the Jazz Symphonic Orchestra Music Education Program. These classes focus on teaching history, social issues, and culture through music-making and appreciation.

Email: eneir002@ucr.edu

Mariangela Nobre

Mariangela Nobre is a Ph.D. student in Ethnomusicology and a recipient of the 2023 and 2022 Gluck Fellowship, the 2022 Manolito Pinazo Award, the 2019 Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship Award at UC Riverside, and the 2016 GOFP Fellowship Award at UCLA. She is also the recipient of the 2021 KI Mantle Hood Prize Honorable Mention Recipient for the paper “Samba the Brazilian Utopia” at the 2020 Annual Meeting of The Southern California and Hawai’i Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Her interdisciplinary research focuses on Afro diasporic music in Latin America, immigration, colonialism, and imperialism, constructions of race and nationalism, with a particular interest in music and rituals in Brazil.

Mariangela holds a bachelor’s degree in ethnomusicology with jazz studies concentration from the University of California Los Angeles where she studied with legendary jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell, musicologists like Dr. Roger Savage, and ethnomusicologists like Dr. Cheryl Keyes among others. She also received her MA in African American studies from the University of California Los Angeles under the supervision of Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History Robin D. G. Kelley who was also the advisor of her theses “Umbanda: Resistance and Reinvention of Afro Brazilian Identities, Spirituality, and Syncretism in Los Angeles.”

She has an active career as a singer/songwriter. Her music was on the national TV channel Lifetime, and she was featured as an actress on Lifetime TV and Rai Italia. In 2017 she was invited to record and compose music for TV personality Deepak Chopra’s album and book “Home-Where Everyone is Welcome” which also became a USA-Amazon best seller. In the same year she recorded live from UCLA the album “Live and Alive from Gershwin to Jobim” produced by Chrome Music Records which reached the Jazz Billboard charts. She was also signed by a record label in Europe where her single charted n. 1 on the iTunes Latin charts and gained her a gold record with more than 5 million streaming. She sang on the 2015 Grammy Awarded album “Los Animales” and the 2022 Grammy nominated album “If You Will” featuring legendary Brazilian singer Flora Purim. For the past two years Mari has toured with her band Joyas Prestadas featured on ABC7 as the official legacy band of Mexican American icon Jenni Rivera. Mari is currently working on a new album titled “Brincos Dieras” produced by famous producer Pedro Iniguez in Mexico to be released in 2024.

As a performer, she is the recipient of a Latin Grammy certificate, an American Songwriter Award, the Jazz Ed Magazine Readers’ Poll Award recipient for Best World Music Album of the Year, and Best World Music Artist of the Year, and the KXRL Radio Award among others. She also performed with the Dean Martin’s string orchestra in Italy where she received the Dean Martin’s Award for promoting the value of diversity through her music.

She is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the Screen Actors Guild.

Email: Mnobr001@ucr.edu

Cahlia Plett

Cahlia “Cal” Plett is a current doctoral track graduate student of ethnomusicology at University of California-Riverside. Before beginning Ethnomusicology at UCR, Cahlia graduated with a Harp Performance degree from DePauw University. Cahlia’s life-long experience playing on the arpa paraguaya (Paraguayan harp) focused a career on performance and music outside the European sphere. Cahlia also minored in Gender and Sexualities Studies in undergrad, amplifying their fascination with opportunities for decolonial liberation and resistance within music practice.

Cahlia’s current research focuses on popular music in South America, specifically Brazil and Paraguay, emphasizing queer liberatory and anti-state violence grassroots work occurring alongside music practice and performance. Fascinated with musical tradition where Cahlia’s family is from, their research will aim to bring the Guaraní language to UC-Riverside campus’ and explore notions of the crossover between “Language and Music Reclamation.”

Email: cplet002@ucr.edu

Hannah Snavely

Hannah Snavely is a PhD student in ethnomusicology at UC Riverside, with research interests in Chilean folk music, gender, and national identity. During 2022-3, she conducted dissertation research in Valparaíso and Santiago, Chile, focusing on the Chilean folklorist Margot Loyola and her students, examining the ways that national cultural heritage values and performance practices are taught and transmitted. Hannah holds an MA in ethnomusicology from UC Riverside and a BA in Music and Spanish from Messiah University, Pennsylvania. A multi-instrumentalist, she continues to perform with ensembles in the Southern California region and in Chile. In her free time, Hannah enjoys hiking, bouldering, sewing, and searching for the world’s best ice cream.

Email: hsnav001@ucr.edu.

Allan Zheng

Allan Zheng is a PhD Candidate in ethnomusicology with a designated emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies. His dissertation explores the relationship between sound and the body in the Cambodian performing arts. Allan holds an MA in ethnomusicology from UC Riverside and a BA in music from Colorado College. His work has been supported by the Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Center for Khmer Studies, Small Grant for Graduate Students from Society for Asian Music, and Humanities Research Grant from UCR Center for Ideas and Society. He has also received Clara Henderson Award from the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Ki Mantle Hood Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology Southern California and Hawaiʻi Chapter.

Email: azhen018@ucr.edu

Pedro López de la Osa

Pedro López de la Osa is a Spanish guitarist who specializes in chamber music, pedagogy and research.

He studied with Alfredo Capriles, and completed his Guitar Degree at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid with José Luis Rodrigo with whom he developed deep technical and musical skills. Two great mentors than followed: Betho Davezac and Eduardo Fernández with whom he then completed his professional training. He earned his Musical Education degree at the La Salle University in Madrid with the renowned pedagogue Raquel de las Heras. He later completed his Master Degree in chamber music, with honors, at the Girolamo Frescobaldi National Conservatory of Music in Ferrara (Italy) with Tiziano Mealli and Stefano Cardi. Curious still, he then completed his second Master’s Degree in music, this time in research, at the Autónoma University of Madrid with Germán Labrador. He was Pleased to receive in 2007 the Joaquín Rodrigo Prize in chamber music.

As a professional guitarist, Pedro López de la Osa has focused on chamber music, forming a successful duo with the pianist Pablo López de la Osa and the guitarist Paolo Benedetti. No but he also enjoyed performing with many duos, trios, quartets, as well as orchestras….in Spain, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Palestine, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Poland, with recordings for Radio Spain, Canal 7-Costa Rica and RTVE. He has given masterclasses while a guest in there widely varied nations.

Pedro López de la Osa has pedagogic and research works published and performed in Spain, South Korea, Colombia, Italy, and Palestine. Currently López de la Osa is a graduate student in musicology at the UCR.