2019 Workshop Faculty and Guest Artists
Janet Robbins is professor emerita of music education at West Virginia University
in general music methods, Orff
Schulwerk, and qualitative inquiry. Her teaching and scholarship
reflect an interdisciplinary focus, promoting partnerships between university,
schools, and communities; integrating music, movement, and language; studying
as culture; and examining intersections of research and practice. Janet has
presented many professional development workshops at regional, national, and
international venues. Her publications on practitioner inquiry and creative practices
in music education have appeared in such journals as Research Studies in Music Education, The Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, Arts Education Policy Review,
The Quarterly Journal of Teaching and Learning, The Mountain Lake Reader, Journal of Music Teacher Education,
The Orff Echo. Her 2014 chapter “Practitioner Inquiry,” in
The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music
be published in a forthcoming second edition in 2020.
twenty years, Janet was 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 collaborative. She served the American Orff Schulwerk
Association in many capacities as co-chair of AOSA’s 1995 National Conference/Carl
Orff Centenary, chair of the Research Interest Group, a member of
The Orff Echo editorial board, and chair of the International Outreach
Committee supporting Orff Schulwerk professional development around the world.
Janet’s interest in cross-cultural creativity led to the study of music and dance
in Northeast Brazil and intersected with her role as 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). Her book
chapter, “Crossing Borders: Building Bridges for an International Exchange in
Music Teacher Education,” in
Alternative Approaches in Music Education: Case Studies from the Field (Rowman
& Littlefield, 2010), provides a window on students’ study-abroad experiences.
Janet has returned to study creative practices and musical culture in Northeast
Brazil many times, including during two sabbatical projects in 2006 and 2011.
currently a Fulbright Specialist and received an award to travel to
the Federal University of Pernambuco in 2018 to collaborate on projects aimed
at promoting music, culture, and creative practices taking place at the nexus
of music education and ethnomusicology.
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
(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
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.
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
. 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,
, and in the third edition of Gary Cook’s
. He is a
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
Percussion Trio and a member of the Vic Firth educational team.
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.
Originally from Clermont county, Ohio, Sophia Enriquez is a scholar, folklorist,
and musician completing a PhD in ethnomusicology at Ohio State University. Sophia
is a graduate of WVU’s undergraduate music education program and
participated in the WVU orchestra, wind symphony, choir, and bluegrass and
old times bands.
Sophia’s work as a scholar and performer incorporates the musical traditions of her
mixed Mexican-Appalachian heritage. Specifically, she documents artists across
the Appalachian region who exchange, mix, and reconfigure Latinx and Appalachian
Music. Her project also follows the musical life of her great grandfather who migrated
from the Texas-
mexico border to the Mississippi delta in the 1920s where he was a leader
in Mexican and country music communities. Her work tells the untold stories of
Latinxs across Appalachia and shines light on their many rich musical contributions
to the region.
Sophia has worked on several public folklore projects to engage the folk and traditional
arts in Southern Ohio and central Appalachian, including curating the
Placemaking in Scioto County” traveling community exhibit through the Center
for Folklore Studies at OSU. She performs in Columbus, Ohio as part of the
Good Time Girls—a female folk and Americana trio that writes original music
inspired by women’s intersectional experiences—and is a student of Mexican traditions
such as mariachi and
I was born Chris Haddox in Logan, WV in 1960. My first exposure to
music I would eventually come around to write and play came from my dad. He was
always singing songs that seemed strange to me…turns out they were old folk songs he had heard growing up in rural WV in the
30’s. My other early musical influence was my dad’s older brother—my uncle
Jim—a fantastic country blues singer and picker. My first formal music lessons
came on the piano at age 6 and I continued those until age 18. I wrote my
first song in the second grade—stealing a few lines from a poem that a
fellow classmate wrote about missing his father. As a teen
I was influenced by John Prine, Neil Young, John Denver, Kenny Rankin and folks
like that...whatever my older sister was listening to.
During my first year of college I met a guy who played the Dobro and who introduced
me to the music of Tony Rice, Norman Blake, Clarence White, and other great
guitar pickers. For the next several years I devoted most of my musical time to bluegrass
flatpicking...never attaining guitar whiz status, but doing ok with it. A few years later
in graduate school I happened upon an album of recordings by the Delmore Brothers
from the late 20s and early 30s...my life was forever changed by that music--the lyrics, the singing, and the picking. I quit college
and moved to Nashville—determined to make a life as a songwriter.
Well…that didn’t quite pan out as expected, despite three healthy stints in Music City.
I left Nashville for the last time in the late 80s and have continued to write/perform
original songs in the folk/traditional/oldtime, and country veins.
Like most writers, I try to find new ways to address old topics. My songs are an
attempt to make sense of the world around me. I write about people, places, events,
ups and downs, and in-
betweens that continue to shape me. Some are funny, some sad, some sarcastic
but they are all honest…even the ones
that are full of lies. If any of
this strikes your fancy, come on out for a listen!
I feed my family by being
professorly at West Virginia University
--teaching a variety of courses around sustainable design and community development.
Rome Hamner has been performing and teaching
taiko for 20 years and holds a Level 1 Orff certificate. She has launched and co-directed three successful arts organizations and is
currently founder and Artistic Director of the South Bay Beat Institute in San Jose.
She serves on the international Taiko Community Alliance board, as General Manager
for San Jose Taiko and plays in several ensembles. Her performance highlights include
drumming while suspended 200ft above an audience of 20,000, performing at international
festivals, televised performances, and combining circus/fire arts with
taiko. She presented
at PASIC in 2019.
In addition to extensive composing and performing, Rome teaches
taiko in schools and community settings. She has developed lessons for thousands
of students and provided trainings on arts education, arts integration, and teaching
taiko using Orff
methodology. Her blog "How To Teach Taiko" is a resource for
taiko players new to teaching and music teachers new to
Jesse Milnes and
and Emily Miller perform country and old-time music, singing close harmony with Jesse's unique
finger-picked guitar style and a healthy dose of old-time fiddling.
Emily was raised playing and singing Louvin Brothers and Stanley Brothers
songs with her parents while they traveled the world as news editors. She is
now a lead singer and twin fiddler in the country band, the
as well as
Musical Director of the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble and the Artistic
Director of the Augusta Heritage Center. Jesse grew up surrounded by West Virginia
old-time music, learning from masters like Melvin Wine and Ernie Carpenter
as well as his father,
Gerry Milnes. He regularly plays for square dances around West Virginia
when he isn't on the road playing as a duo with Emily. Jesse and Emily live in
central West Virginia.