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2019 Workshop Faculty and Guest Artists

WVU Faculty

Janet Robbins Janet Robbins 

Janet Robbins is professor emerita of music education at West Virginia University with specialization in general music methods and qualitative research methods of ethnography and teacher research. Before receiving her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, she taught music in the Arts IMPACT program in Columbus, Ohio, where her career-long interest in interdisciplinary teaching and research began. Janet has presented at numerous regional, national, and international venues and published in such journals as  Research Studies in Music EducationThe Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music EducationArts Education Policy Review The Quarterly Journal of Teaching and LearningThe Mountain Lake ReaderJournal of Music Teacher Education, and  The Orff Echo. Her chapter, “Practitioner Inquiry,” appears in  The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education  (2014).  Janet has served the American Orff Schulwerk Association in many capacities as co-chair of the 1995 AOSA National Conference celebrating the Carl Orff Centenary, member of The Orff Echo editorial board, chair the International Outreach Committee supporting Orff Schulwerk professional development around the world, and past chair of the Research Interest Group. For more than twenty years, Janet has been on the summer faculty of the Orff Schulwerk Professional Development Course at the Eastman School of Music, both as a teacher and as director of the Orff  SPIEL  teacher-research project (1991-1994).  Janet’s interest in cross-cultural creativity led to the study of music and dance in Northeast Brazil and intersects with her role as a lead faculty for  Music Alive! , a federally funded faculty-student exchange project between WVU and Brazil partner universities in Recife and Rio de Janeiro (2006-2012). Janet conducted research while on sabbatical in Brazil in 2006 and 2011 and has presented regional and national workshops for music teachers on Brazilian children’s songs and traditional music of Northeast Brazil. She organized a panel, “Creating a Cross-Cultural Dialogue for International Exchange,” for the 2014 International Society for Music Education Conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Her book chapter, “Crossing Borders: Building Bridges for an International Exchange in Music Teacher Education,” appears in  Alternative Approaches in Music Education: Case Studies from the Field (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010). In 2016, Janet joined the Fulbright Specialist Roster with plans to continue to expand her understanding of music, culture, and the many creative spaces for making and teaching music from a global perspective. 

Travis Stimeling Travis Stimeling

Travis Stimeling (PhD, musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is associate professor of musicology and director of the WVU Bluegrass and Old-Time Bands. A scholar of commercial country and Appalachian traditional music, he is the author or editor of several books, including  Songwriting in Contemporary West Virginia: Profiles and Reflections (West Virginia University Press, 2018),  Fifty Cents and a Box Top: The Creative Life of Nashville Session Musician Charlie McCoy  (West Virginia University Press, 2017),  The Oxford Handbook of Country Music (Oxford University Press, 2017),  The Country Music Reader (Oxford University Press, 2015), and  Cosmic Cowboys and New Hicks: The Countercultural Sounds of Austin's Progressive Country Music Scene (Oxford University Press, 2011). He is currently working on two books:  Nashville Cats: Record Production in Nashville, 1945-1975 (supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the WVU Faculty Senate, the West Virginia Humanities Council, and the Case Western Reserve University Center for Popular Music Studies) and  Opioid Aesthetics: Expressive Culture in an Age of Addiction.


In addition to his work as a scholar, Stimeling has also been quite active in service to the profession and the state of West Virginia. He served as a Senior Editor for  The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2013), and he current serves as the book review editor for the  Journal of the Society for American Music and as series editor for West Virginia University Press’s “Sounding Appalachia” series. He also serves on the board of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.


Prior to joining the faculty of WVU, he served on the faculty of Millikin University.

Michael Vercelli Mike Vercelli
Dr. Michael B. Vercelli is the director of the World Music Performance Center at West Virginia University. Michael holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance with a minor in Ethnomusicology from the University of Arizona. Michael’s research focuses on the transmission and performance practice of percussive traditions of Africa and African Diaspora. He has conducted long-term fieldwork on the xylophone traditions of Ghana and has studied in Brazil, Uganda, Cuba, and Bali. Dr. Vercelli has received many awards for both his performance and study of indigenous music and has released recordings with master Ghanaian xylophonists Tijan Dorwana and Bernard Woma. Michael has received the Snowshoe Institute Award of Excellence for Scholarship in the Arts and the WVU College of Creative Arts awards for Outstanding Service and Internationalizing the College. At WVU, Dr. Vercelli directs summer study abroad courses to Ghana and Brazil, focusing on music, dance and cultural emersion. Dr. Vercelli has published in the Percussive Arts Society’s journal,  Percussive Notes, and in the third edition of Gary Cook’s  Teaching Percussion. He is a participating member in the Society for Ethnomusicology and Percussive Arts Society where he serves on the World Percussion Committee. Michael has given lectures, performances, and workshops across the United States, Mexico, Brazil, China, Portugal, and Iceland. He is a founding member of the Zumbumba Percussion Trio and a member of the Vic Firth educational team.   

Guest Artists

Juliana Cantarelli Vita Juliana Cantarelli Vita

Born and raised in Recife, Brazil, Juliana began studying violin when she was eight years old at the Conservatório Pernambucano de Música. Growing up surrounded by the rich musical traditions of northeastern Brazil, she had opportunities to play in traditional ensembles that integrated string quartet with a folk Brazilian fiddle ( rabeca). She obtained her Bachelor's of Music in Music Education degree at the Federal University of Pernambuco, where she continued to blend her interests in ethnomusicology and music education, participating in many workshops, masterclasses, and local music festivals. In 2016, she obtained her Master’s of Music in Music Education degree from West Virginia University, where she developed her thesis, "Listening To Their Voices: An Ethnographic Study of Children’s Values and Meaning Ascribed to Learning World Music in Elementary School General Music." Juliana has presented numerous papers and workshops on Northeastern Brazilian and Community Music at state, national, and international conferences. She is currently a doctoral student and teaching assistant at the University of Washington in Seattle.