At a Glance

Graduate student enrollment (as of Fall 2016): 18

  • 2 Masters students (1 Musicology 1 Ethnomusicology)
  • 16 Doctoral students (9 Musicology, 7 Ethnomusicology)


Current Students

Brett Kostrzewski  is a doctoral candidate in musicology, 
Brian Barone Brian Barone is a first year PhD student in historical musicology. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in guitar from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Julian Gray. Before coming to BU, Brian was adjunct professor of guitar at Wesley College and kept busy on New York’s independent music and theater scenes as a classical guitarist, rock multi-instrumentalist, and music director. He is a co-founder and co-director of the New York Guitar Series and has written about music for Those Who DigThe Brooklyn Rail, and The Awl
Shuchita Rao Shuchita Rao is a first-year part-time M.Mus. student in Musicology. Her research interests center around the transmission of the most ancient classical music tradition of North Indian Classical Music (Hindustani music) known as Dhrupad in musical communities across the United States. She received her Masters degree in Computer Applications and Post-Masters in Instructional Technology from Bridgewater University. She actively teaches Hindustani vocal music through her own institution RASA and Learnquest Academy of Music and regularly gives performances in Hindustani Classical and Semi-Classical music. She has published two popular CDs, authored a textbook on Dhrupad compositions and regularly writes for ethnic magazines based in India as well as USA on topics of Indian music, art and culture. She works as a full-time employee of Boston University in the capacity of a technical trainer in the Human Resources department.
Ian Coss HEADSHOT Ian Coss is a second year doctoral student in ethnomusicology with interests ranging from immigrant radio programs to Balinese gamelan. Before beginning his studies at BU, Ian spent a year studying music in Indonesia on a Darmasiswa scholarship, worked for an educational start-up in Tokyo, and taught middle school here in Boston. He has performed regularly since the release of his second solo record in 2014, and has also worked as a freelance radio producer for Afropop Worldwide and The World. Follow all of Ian’s various projects at
 Robert Crowe is pursuing a PhD in historical musicology. His research focuses on the last operatic castrati during the Napoleonic Age. He has presented papers or lecture recitals at the AMS national convention, the SSCM national convention, the Society for Nineteenth-Century Music in Britain (Cardiff) and the International Conference on Baroque Music (Salzburg). He has worked over twenty years as a male soprano, was a 1995 National Winner of the Metropolitan Opera Competition and has sung over 70 main roles in the United States, Europe and India, including leading roles in all three Händelfestspiele, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Staatsoper unter den Linden and Het Concertgebouw. He has released two solo recordings with Hänssler Profile and Bavarian Radio of seventeenth-century sacred motets.
Jeff Dyer 180px Jeff Dyer is a first year doctoral student in Ethnomusicology. After graduating from Hamilton College with a B.A. in music, Jeffrey received a Watson Fellowship to research the Khmer Rouge’s continuing effects on music in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Since then, he has taught high school English while continuing to study Southeast Asian music. In 2013, he received a Fund for Teachers Fellowship to study music in India. Jeffrey has presented at a Cambodian Studies Conference at Northern Illinois University and has guest lectured on Cambodian music at numerous institutions, including Tufts University, Williams College, and Arizona State University. Jeffrey’s article on the history of the Cambodian kse diev will be published in Asian Music Vol. 47., no. 1 in January, 2016.       
 Pamela Feo is in her fourth year of the PhD program in Musicology. Her research interests include early twentieth-century French music, Berio’s engagement with literature, and sound studies, with a focus on listening practices. Before commencing doctoral studies at BU, Pamela worked in Outreach and Publications for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and completed a Publications Fellowship at Tanglewood. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Tufts University.
John Forrestal John Forrestal is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Ethnomusicology. He holds an MM in Musicology from Boston University, and is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer, and performs with several ensembles, including MIT’s Gamelan Galak Tika and BU’s Gamelankemana. His research focuses on music, identity, and fighting sports in Thailand, particularly Thai boxing. He is also interested in the music of the Process — Church of Final Judgment, a 1960s New Religious Movement, as well as music, anarchism, and post-industrialism. He is an internationally accomplished  muay Thai boxer, lives in Winthrop, and loves coffee. Perhaps too much.
Shao Ying Ho is a native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She holds MM degree in Music History and Literature from Texas State University-San Marcos. Her research interests include Johannes Brahms, musical historicism, and the impact of philosophy and literary criticism on musicology. She loves piano playing as well, and is an active accompanist and chamber musician.
 Emily Howe is a doctoral student in Ethnomusicology. Her passion for community music-making has taken her into schools, prisons, and places of worship in Boston and around the world. A graduate of BU’s choral conducting program, Emily is the Music Director of the university’s non-auditioned Choral Society, and she conducts several ensembles of the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus, which strives to inspire social change through music. Since 2012, Emily has co-developed and co-taught an interactive music course called “Empowering Song” in two Massachusetts prisons. This work has led to ethnomusicological interests in music and incarceration, music and well-being, and music pedagogy in non-traditional settings. Other research interests include global children’s music and world choral music cultures.
 Jeannette DiBernardo Jones is a doctoral candidate in historical musicology with a B.A. in history and music and a M.Mus. in musicology. Her dissertation focuses on the environment of polyphony in mid-fifteenth century French-speaking Europe. She also has research interests in disability studies (especially Deaf culture) and sustainability studies. Her essay, “Imagined Hearing: Music-Making in Deaf Culture,” appears in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies (2014). Her essay, “A Theological Interpretation of Viriditas in Hildegard of Bingen and Gregory the Great,” can be found here. She has presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Disability Studies, the Society for American Music, the International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, and the Medieval and Renaissance Music conference. She lives in the country outside of Boston and enjoys tromps in the woods with her husband and two young sons.
Rachel Headshot Rachel Kurihara is a third year doctoral student in historical musicology. Originally from Cambria, California, Rachel relocated to the east coast in 2006 for college and is now happily stuck here in Boston. She holds degrees from Harvard (AB in Music and Sanskrit and Indian Studies) and Boston University (MM in Choral Conducting). Her research focuses on music and colonialism in the early modern period, with a particular interest in cathedral traditions of New Spain. Within this context, she is concentrating on early globalization, liturgy, and music as a means of identify formation. Her other interests include early American repertories and music along confessional boundaries in sixteenth-century Europe. Rachel currently enjoys working as a church musician in Boston, as well as singing in and directing small vocal ensembles and playing flutes of all kinds. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband Adam and beagle mutt Lucy.
 Jason McCool comes from a long line of Irishmen who have been asked “is that your real last name?” Having returned to his birth city after teaching, acting, and lecturing hipsters about Mahler in DC, Jason is a second-year PhD candidate in Historical Musicology researching Irish song, sound studies and modern jazz. He holds a performance degree from the Eastman School of Music (jazz trumpet) and a Master’s in Musicology from the University of Maryland (thesis on Keith Jarrett), has toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and has worked as a pre-concert lecturer for the Baltimore Symphony. He is Artistic Director of Solas Nua in Boston, a theatre company focused on contemporary Irish drama, and is a member of Actors’ Equity
Julia  Julia O’Toole is a long-time Bostonian. She is the founder and artistic director of Calliope, a collaborative choral/orchestral ensemble in Boston that strives to use music for social betterment through innovative programming that juxtaposes familiar and unfamiliar repertoire by centering on a common thread. She began her musical career with a degree in vocal performance from BU, and later found her true niche as a conductor and musicologist. She also teaches voice at several Boston-area institutions. As a PhD candidate in Historical Musicology, she has particular interest in the relationship between voices and instruments in choral/orchestral works, most specifically Dvořák’s comic operas, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Menotti’s tragic operas.