Skip to main content

College of Arts and Sciences Newsroom

Ohio Music Teachers Association names University of Dayton music professor commissioned composer chair and state board member

By Ashley Junkunc ’21

The Ohio Music Teachers Association named Stefanie Acevedo, University of Dayton assistant professor of music theory and technology, its 2021 commissioned composer chair and a state board member 一 a role where she oversees an annual project to commission a new composition by a selected Ohio composer.

Acevedo oversees the annual Ohio search by selecting a three-person judging panel, asking for nominees, curating composition portfolios and serving as a liaison between the commissioned composer and OhioMTA.

The winner is commissioned to compose a piece to be premiered at the OhioMTA annual conference. This year’s winning commissioned composer was HyeKyung Lee, associate professor of composition at Denison University, whose piece will be premiered at the OMTA State Conference in October at Northern Kentucky University. The commissioned piece is then submitted for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Distinguished Composer prize, scheduled for March 2022.

Acevedo heard about the opportunity from Patrick Reynolds, a previous commissioned composer chair and University professor of conducting. When the OhioMTA position became available, Reynolds recommended Acevedo to the board.

“It’s really exciting to have a colleague think of you for such a role,” Acevedo said. “For me, it’s humbling and encourages me to introspect and use the leadership position to make a change in the world, the field of music and others’ careers.”

The OhioMTA is a chapter of the MTNA, an organization dedicated to building a vital musical culture and an enlightened musical public through teaching and support for music educators and students. Part of this mission includes encouraging the creation of new works by American composers through collaboration with state associations in the generation and performance of music through its national composer commissioning program.

As the commissioned composer chair and a state board member, Acevedo’s goal is to make decisions that maximize diversity and representation of gender, background, and musical style. She has demonstrated this in her selection of the three commissioned composer of the year judges.

“Our judges’ panel consisted of two men and one woman, and I tried to find judges with diverse racial identities and musical backgrounds 一 including training in and performance and composition of Western classical, American folk, popular, electroacoustic, and non-American musical traditions to emphasize the fact that compositional quality is not limited to a specific musical style,” Acevedo said. “I can throw my voice in the hat as far as making these decisions, especially because little things like this really count in shaping people’s careers and for diversifying representation in academic music circles.”

Julia Randel, associate professor and Department of Music chair, is excited for Acevedo’s opportunity to support diverse Ohio composers and promote the creation of new music. Randel believes Acevedo will bring some of these experiences back into the classroom.

“Dr. Acevedo will connect with composers writing exciting and innovative new music, which she will be able to introduce to our students and faculty. This is valuable for our students as performers, composers and all-around musicians,” Randel said. “We have a growing number of students studying composition, and Dr. Acevedo’s involvement with this program will make them more aware of how to seek out opportunities like this and get their own work out there. This is especially important for women and people of color who have historically been underrecognized as composers.”

In addition to her work as the OhioMTA commissioned composer chair and state board member, Acevedo is also the media and communications chair for the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, a member of the Society for Music Theory IT/Networking committee and faculty advisor for the University’s student chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, National Fraternity for Women in Music. She served as the student member of the Society for Music Theory’s Committee on the Status of Women (2013-2016), a board member for the International Alliance for Women in Music (2009-2015) and member of the student advisory board on Yale University’s Title IX committee. All of these roles showcase her commitment to diversity and inclusion in academia and the music industry.

“One of my main platforms is this idea of expanding diversity through access to resources and representation,” Acevedo said. “It’s a problem in the music academy that we don’t have equal representation. This is something we need to make sure we address.”

Acevedo fell in love with making music and performing it for others as a young girl. She started playing the trombone for her middle school band and now, while in her third year at the University, she is making an impact on the field at large. She also performs with the University Javanese Gamelan ensemble and studies carillon.

“It’s rare to be able to get paid for doing something that you love 一 I’m listening and geeking out about music all the time, and it’s really neat that I can share that with my students at the University of Dayton,” Acevedo said.

For more information, visit the Department of Music website.

Previous Post

University of Dayton criminal justice studies course goes live with inmates serving sentences on death row

University of Dayton students in this spring’s Introduction to Criminal Justice course are learning first-hand about life on death row by speaking directly with inmates featured in the book Crimson Letters: Voices from Death Row by author Tessie Castillo.

Read More
Next Post

College Faculty in the News: April 23, 2021

News agencies across the region, the nation and throughout the world often reach out to our faculty experts for their perspectives on today's issues. This media coverage highlights the service, research and scholarship taking place in the College of Arts and Sciences. Find links to a number of recent stories below.

Read More