• BMus Royal Academy of Music
  • MMus The Juilliard School
  • M.A. Dartmouth College
  • M.Phil., M.A., Ph.D. New York University

Areas of Expertise

  • Opera
  • Philosophy of the Voice
  • African American History
  • Comparative Literature
  • Gender and Sexuality


I am the inaugural Franco Professor of the Humanities, Artistic Director of the Davidson Concert Series, and President of the American Musicological Society, Southeast (2022-2024). I am an invited guest editor of Opera Quarterly, serve on the editorial board of Musicology Now, and am an editor for Oxford’s Grove Dictionary of Music for topics 1900-present. As a musician, I perform regularly with Charlotte Strings Collective, Charlotte Symphony, Opera Carolina, and Chamber Music for All. I also pen extensive program notes and provide invited lectures at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. Before arriving at Davidson College, I was a professor at Tufts University, New York University, and a Visiting Scholar at MIT. My Ph.D. in Historical Musicology was completed at New York University where I was a MacCracken Fellow and recipient of the Dean’s Dissertation Award. My research focuses on depictions of femmes fatales in opera, Black female subjectivity, voice studies, French modernism, the fictionality of characters, Nina Simone, holography and music and espionage. 

My current book project, Deconstructed Divas: Narrative and the Operatic Femme Fatale (under review), argues that the femme fatale trope was a catalyst that contributed to the erosion and fracture of musical form that characterized the Modernist period; it was the trope itself, endowed with certain qualities of subjectivity, that led to innovations of musical form and to the transcontinental exchange of the femme fatale. In essence, the femme fatale became an avatar of resistance; she resisted and subverted gendered norms and formal musical norms while at the same time becoming a medium for racial and social dissent. As an interdisciplinary project—gender and sexuality studies, voice studies, Black studies, narratology, history of science, and French and German literary histories—this work reframes discussions of narrative aesthetics, constructions of womanness, and political subversion.

I have been invited to present my research at Michigan State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, The Juilliard School, New York University, Texas State University, Tufts University, Catawba College, and Winthrop University. My peer-reviewed publications (published and forthcoming) can be found in 19th-Century Music, Musicology Now, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies. My research has been supported with the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship from the American Musicological Society, the NYU Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Visiting Scholar Fellowship at MIT, a Faculty Fellowship from the Nielsen Center for the Liberal Arts, and was awarded a “Society Scholar” fellowship with the American Council of Learned Societies, among others.

After pursuing performance degrees from conservatories, I supplemented my practical knowledge with literary and musicological scholarship. I studied at Dartmouth College, where I completed a degree in Comparative Literature, with a focus on French and German literature. With the GRI Fellowship, I worked in the Opéra national de Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, and Théâtre du Châtelet archives.

I began my performance career studying viola at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Paul Silverthorne and Jon Thorne, where I was a prize-winner of the Theodore Holland Viola Competition. Following that, I was a C.V. Starr scholarship recipient at The Juilliard School where I studied with Samuel Rhodes and Karen Dreyfus. I have played with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, performed at Schoenbrunn Palace, Cadogan Hall, Henry Wood Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, and Royal Festival Hall, as well as performed concerts in France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Austria. I have worked with conductors Semyon Bychkov, Sir Colin Davis Alan Gilbert, Sir Simon Rattle, Edward Gardner, Leif Segerstam, and Yan Pascal Tortelier. I have performed with numerous ensembles as soloist or ensemble member, including the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony, Garland Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Arlington, Du Bois Orchestra of Harvard University, Charities Philharmonia, Brent Symphony Orchestra, Verdandi Camerata, London Arts Orchestra, and the London Shostakovich Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Clear Lake Symphony, and in the 2014 movie, Annie. In 2015, I was invited by the American Viola Society to perform a recital at The Colburn School as a “Rising Star.” Other recitals have been performed at Tenri Cultural Institute, Cambridge, and Lincoln Center, among others. I regularly contract for orchestral performances at Carnegie Hall. In 2023, I participated as a panelist and violist in the Recording Inclusivity Initiative, in partnership with WDAV 89.9, mounting the first official recordings of works by BIPOC composers Damien Geter and Xinyan Li.

I am founder and CEO of ChamberWorks Summer Institute (est. 2010), featured in the Dallas Morning News, which provides high-quality music education for low-income and underrepresented beginning to intermediate music students. In 2020, ChamberWorks was awarded the “Making a Difference Award” by New York University. To further bridge the gap between intellectual and performer, I studied Music Education at Columbia University and, at Juilliard, held the positions of Graduate Teaching Fellow for Music History, Music Theory, and was a Morse Teaching Artist Fellow.

Courses Offered: 

  • History of African-American Music
  • Opera
  • Silence
  • Afrofuturism
  • Voicing Self
  • Blackbusters: Musical Biopics
  • The Future (Humanities)
  • Justice (Humanities)