Alexis Millares Thomson is a PhD candidate in music theory whose research interests include the study of microtonal harmony and tuning systems, and the analysis of music post-1945 and 19th-century sonata forms. His dissertation focuses on developing a set theory for just intonation and introduces a theory of harmonic complexity to analyze harmonic progressions in contemporary Western microtonal music. Alexis has presented his work at the annual meetings of the Society for Music Theory and Music Theory Midwest. He holds a BFA with great distinction from Concordia University, specializing in Music Composition, and an MA in Music Theory from the University of Toronto, where he was awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. His doctoral work is supported by a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Alexis has also taught music theory at the University Settlement Music & Arts School in Toronto, worked as Co-Coordinator and Tutor for the Student Service Program for undergraduate students at the Faculty of Music, mentored undergraduate and graduate students in theory, and served as Treasurer and President for the Music Graduate Students’ Association. Originally from Mexico City, Alexis now lives in Toronto with his spouse and their dogs, where they also frequently foster rescue dogs and cats.
Emma Soldaat is a PhD candidate in music theory at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Steven Vande Moortele. Her research, supported by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, examines form in Mahler’s symphonies by combining form-functional theory with the philosophies of memory of Henri Bergson and Marcel Proust. She has presented her work at the Society for Music Analysis, Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Midwest, MUSCAN, and Royal Musical Association annual meetings, as well as at graduate conferences across Canada. Emma is also active within the UofT graduate community, serving on the Music Graduate Student’s Association as Writing Group Coordinator (2020-Present), President (2019-2021), and Secretary (2018-2019). She has also chaired the University of Toronto Graduate Music Conference (2019-2020), and acted as Graduate Roundtable Coordinator (2018-2019). She lives with her fiancé Benjamin and their black cat Ziggy.
Hannah Davis-Abraham is a PhD candidate in music theory under the supervision of Daphne Tan. Her dissertation explores a collaborative approach to the analytical process, incorporating interviews with performers and composers as a means of discovering and communicating a work’s themes. Hannah published an article “Pacing, Performance, and Perception in Alice Ping Yee Ho’s Angst” in Contemporary Music Review in 2023. She also has presented her work at Music Theory Midwest, Dialogues: Analysis and Performance, and the 2023 Society for Music Theory. Hannah holds an MA in Music Theory from the University of Toronto (2020), as well as a BMus (Honours) in Piano Performance from Memorial University (2018). Her research is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship.
Michelle Grosser is a PhD candidate in music theory with active research interests in music cognition and ludomusicology. Her dissertation investigates the role of the soundtrack in video games by exploring the cognitive nature of multimodal congruence and incongruence, evaluating how sound and music carry information and influence player actions and decisions, and considering the role of prior experience in gaming. Michelle has presented her research at the Music and the Moving Image Conference, the International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, Press Start: A Video Game Music Symposium, and has published in the Journal of Sound and Music in Games. In 2023–24, she is an Adjunct Professor of Music Theory at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College and a Master of Music in Music Theory from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. When she is not studying or teaching, Michelle loves to read fiction and hike in the Appalachian Mountains with her partner and their OH SO ADORABLE PUPPY DOG, Luna.
Wes Khurana is a PhD student in music theory at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Ryan McClelland. His research focuses on optional sections of verse-chorus forms in recent popular music. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Wes worked as a musician, recording engineer and sound designer. Wes holds a Bachelor of Music in performance from the University of Toronto, an Audio Production Diploma from the Harris Institute for the Arts, and a Master’s of Arts in music theory from the University of Toronto. Wes’s doctoral research has been supported by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and his MA research project on Beethoven’s middle-period string quartets was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Wes served on the Music Graduate Students’ Association (MGSA) as Secretary from 2020–21 and Treasurer from 2021–23.
Kaylene Chan is a first-year PhD student in music theory. She holds a MA in music theory from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Victoria (voice concentration), and a Diploma of Music with Distinction from Capilano University. Her academic interests are in vocal timbral analysis and perception, the analysis of groove embodiment in popular music, and pedagogy of music theory. She is active within the UofT music community, currently serving as the President of the Music Graduate Student Association (MGSA), previously serving as Secretary from 2022–23, and works as private music theory and skills tutor for undergraduate students with the FMUA’s Student Services Program (SSP). She maintains a private voice studio and frequently substitutes as a vocal teacher. Outside of academics, Kaylene loves going on walks, eating instant noodles, and spending time with her baby niece.
Gabriella Vici is a first-year PhD student in music theory. Her main research interests are in early twentieth-century music, with a focus on form, hybridity, post-tonality and the tensions that often lie between past and present compositional practices in this repertoire. Originally from Australia, she completed her Bachelor of Music (with Honours) and Master’s of Music in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney, followed by an MA in Music Theory at the University of British Columbia. Her current studies are supported by the Connaught International Scholarship. Gabriella is currently a theory and skills tutor for the FMUA’s Student Services Program (SSP) and holds a keen interest in teaching and the study of music theory pedagogy. When visiting home, she enjoys playing violin in orchestra and walking her dog, Goose.
Evan Chan is a direct-entry PhD student in music theory supported by the Manitoba Arts Council and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. His interdisciplinary interests include form in Chinese-Western music, music cognition, technology in music theory pedagogy, musical theology, and neurologic music therapy. He holds a BMus in Music History (Gold Medal) from the University of Manitoba, where he focused on Gregorian chant and pursued instrumental studies with Laura Loewen, David Moroz, Darryl Friesen, and Steven Dyer. In the community, Evan served on the board of directors for Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers and was a founding member of several non-profit organizations in Manitoba. Recently, he was awarded the Honour 150 Medal by the Government of Manitoba, for exemplary service and leadership to the community. In his spare time, you can often find him playing the organ at Trinity College and Wycliffe College, serving as a marriage commissioner, swing dancing with UT-Swing, or searching for the new food hotspots in Toronto!
Elwyn Rowlands is both a violinist and pianist who is currently undertaking a Direct-Entry PhD in music theory. Her research explores the structure of cadenzas within violin concerti and covers a wide array of repertoire from circa 1700–1950. She also has a keen interest in musicology, particularly ballet history. Elwyn holds a BA (Honours) in Music from Durham University and undertook an ERASMUS+ Placement at Sorbonne Université. She has spoken at several conferences in Europe, such as the Entretiens de Musique Ancienne en Sorbonne and the Hild Bede Progress and Transitions Conference. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watercolour painting, and puppetry.
Claire Heinrichs is a second-year MA student in music theory. Her work is supported by a Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master’s Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Claireʼs current research interests are centred on music cognition and the relation of musical elements to relaxation and anxiety. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance (Honours, 2022) from the University of Toronto where she studied under Annalee Patipatanakoon; she also holds a certificate in Health Applications in Music from the University of Toronto. She has enjoyed performing with a variety of ensembles including the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (2017–19), the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra (2018–22), and Prairie Virtuosi (2018–23). In her spare time, Claire enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her husband and their puppy, Magnolia.
Evan Tanovich is a second-year MA student in music theory. His studies are supported by a Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master’s Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He received a Bachelor of Music in composition with a minor in political science from the University of Toronto in 2022. Evan’s research interests include theories of musical form, schema theory, composing in historical styles, and the music of Prokofiev. His research on Schubert’s idiosyncratic approach to main theme construction in the 1825/26 piano sonatas won the 2021 Ailsa Jessie and James Bernard Moulsdale Essay Prize (University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music). In the summer of 2022, Evan received a University of Toronto Excellence Award to work as a Research Trainee under the supervision of Professor Steven Vande Moortele on the “Analyzing Sonata Form in European Concert Music, 1815–1914” project. His recent research on displacement techniques in Prokofiev’s music was awarded Music Theory Southeast’s Irna Priore Prize. He has also presented at conferences hosted by the Music Theory Society of New York State, Society for Music Analysis (TAGS), Music Theory Midwest, Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory (RMSMT) and at SMT 2023 (Denver).
Daniella Kistemaker is a first-year MA student in music theory. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance (2023) from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied under Lori Gemmell. While there, she won the Ken Murray Concerto Competition in 2022 and performed the first movement of the Concertino for Harp and Orchestra by Germaine Tailleferre with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in April 2023. Daniella’s academic interests include the analysis of twentieth-century post-tonal music and the influences of Latin American dance forms and rhythms on contemporary classical repertoire. She also teaches harp in her own studio, sometimes substitutes in various churches as an organist, and is the Artistic Director of the Canadian Musicians Co-operative.