David Pellow researched a double bass concerto by Antonio Scontrino (1850-1922) and the musician who performed it, Waldemar Giese. He constructed a complete timeline of the work and the composer, resulting in a valuable addition to the history of the double bass and its pedagogy, and an expansion of the historical significance of Pittsburgh to the music world.
Nathan Seeley explored segregation, urban renewal, and integration in Pittsburgh through the eyes and music of unionized musicians of Locals 60, 471, and 60-471 of the American Federation of Musicians from the late nineteenth-century to the mid-1990s.
Nathan wrote: “The fellowship allowed me to visit the Music Library for an extended period of time, and what I found was truly helpful for my studies. The Music Library contains newspapers, old newsletters printed locally, limited-in-print books, interviews, and countless jazz records, all of which were extremely helpful for my research. Together, they provide a deep understanding of Pittsburgh’s music history, especially its jazz scene, which was one of the most lively in the country.”
Michelle Smith came to the Music Department to research Spanish and Latin American vocal music. Resources she found in the collection helped to provide a background in Latin American culture and musical practices. While in Pittsburgh, she also had the opportunity to attend a recital of Spanish song.
Anqwenique Kinsel used the fellowship to support her ongoing project Sirens & Queens: A Celebration of Black Women Composers, which seeks out the works and contributions of black women in the jazz and classical music fields, past, present, and future. In addition to research in the library, Anqwenique created a lecture-recital that was open to the public, invited other singers to join, and hosted discussions with composers and musicians.
David English researched the life of Frederic Archer (1838-1901), founder of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Director of Carnegie Music Hall, and renowned organist. Mr. Archer played an enormous role in Pittsburgh’s music history yet he is largely forgotten and even buried in an unmarked grave in Homewood Cemetery. The fellowship allowed David to create a Frederic Archer marionette and hire organist Brandy Irish to provide live accompaniment during a puppet presentation of Archer’s life that featured the organ at the Homewood Cemetery chapel.
Dave English and Brandy Irish
The Homewood Cemetery Historical Fund used their fellowship to support research for a performance as part of their Founders Day celebration in August 2017. This included a free concert of World War I songs selected from the Music Department’s historical sheet music collection.
Phat Man Dee & Members of the Cultural District
Program of the performance. Click to enlarge.
*Please note: Ron Horton (trumpet) was replaced by Paul Cosentino on clarinet.