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Course Faculty

WVU Faculty

Katelyn Best headshot Katelyn Best

Katelyn Best (PhD, Florida State University) is teaching assistant professor of musicology at West Virginia University. As an ethnomusicologist, her research explores music in Deaf culture, hip hop, sound studies, musical movements, and cultural activism. She received a Carol Krebs Research Fellow Award to conduct fieldwork throughout the U.S. and was awarded the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) Crossroads Music and Social Justice Paper Prize and the SEM Applied Ethnomusicology Paper/Project Prize for work based on this research. She has presented this work both nationally and internationally and has published articles within  Lied und Populäre Kultur and the  Journal of American Sign Languages and Literatures, a peer-reviewed digital journal with publications in American Sign Language. Her most recent publication, titled “Ethnocentrism 2.0: The Impact of Hearing-Centrism on Musical Expression in Deaf Culture,” was published in  At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice (Indiana University Press).


In addition to her work at West Virginia University, she is an active member of the SEM Applied Ethnomusicology Section, the Crossroads Section for Difference and Representation, and the Popular Music Section. She was also a founding committee member and former chair for the SEM Disability and Deaf Studies Special Interest Group. During her time at Florida State University, she directed the  World Music Ensemble  for the College of Music Summer Program and served as co-director of the  Florida State University Andean Ensemble , focusing on performances of sikuriadas and tarkeadas.

Janet Robbins headshot
Janet Robbins 

Janet Robbins is professor emerita of music education at West Virginia University with specialization in general music methods, Orff Schulwerk, and qualitative inquiry. Her teaching and scholarship reflect a career-long interest in ethnographic research, practitioner inquiry, and Orff Schulwerk’s music and movement approach. Her book chapter “Practitioner Inquiry,” appears in Approaches to Qualitative Research: The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education, Vol. 1(2020). For more than twenty years, Janet was part of Eastman’s summer Orff Schulwerk program, both as a teacher and as director of a teacher-research collaborative, Orff SPIEL (Schulwerk Project: Implementing Eastman’s Levels). Her interest in cross-cultural creativity was sparked by her work with Music Alive!, a federally funded faculty-student exchange project between WVU and Brazil partner universities in Recife and Rio de Janeiro (2006-2012). She chronicles university students’ study-abroad experiences in her chapter “Crossing Borders: Building Bridges for an International Exchange in Music Teacher Education,” published in Alternative Approaches in Music Education: Case Studies from the Field (2010). Janet traveled to Brazil to study music and dance traditions of Northeast Brazil for two sabbaticals (2006 and 2011), and in 2018 she returned to the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife as a Fulbright Specialist for a project, “Music, Culture, and Creative Practices,” aimed at promoting the nexus of music education and ethnomusicology. She has been coordinating WVU’s World Music Pedagogy summer course since 2015.

Travis Stimeling Travis Stimeling

Travis Stimeling (PhD, musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is professor of musicology and director of the WVU Bluegrass and Old-Time Bands. A scholar of commercial country and Appalachian traditional music, he has published numerous books and articles, including such books as  Nashville Cats: Record Production in Music City  (Oxford University Press, 2020),  The Opioid Epidemic and U.S. Culture: Expression, Art, and Politics in an Age of Addiction  (West Virginia University Press, 2020),  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).


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 served 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.

Mike Vercelli headshot 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 Faculty - Artists

Cbailey Chanler Bailey  

Chanler has been involved in the percussive a rts in one form or another - private lessons, Drum & Bugle Corps, collegiate drumline instructor since a very young age. While a Percussion Performance major at West Virginia University, Chanler began playing steel drums as part of WVU's World Music Program, under the direction of Dr. Phil Faini. He was a member of WVU's Percussion '90 Ensemble that traveled across West Virginia to share World Music.

In 1992, as part of WVU’s World Music Center’s initiative, steel drum pioneer, Dr. Ellie Mannette came to WVU and formed the University Tuning Project to pass on the steel drum art form. Chanler began his apprenticeship as a steel drum craftsman, tuner, and clinician at that time.

Chanler created cbStudios in 2007 to reconnect with teaching and performing. His classes meet weekly and perform at fundraisers and festivals throughout West Virginia. He began teaching steel band at West Virginia University in 2021. 

Additionally, Chanler builds, tunes, and makes accessories for the steel drum. For over 20 years, he has been a craftsman for Mannette Instruments, guided by the late Dr. Mannett and travels as a tuner and clinician.

Patricia Campbell headshot

Patricia Shehan Campbell

Patricia Shehan Campbell is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, working at the interface of education and ethnomusicology. Her expertise is in children’s musical cultures and World Music Pedagogy, with multiple publications that include Songs in Their Heads; Music in Childhood; the Oxford Handbook on Children’s Musical Cultures; Music, Education and Diversity, Teaching Music Globally; Oxford’s 28-volume Global Music Series; and the Routledge World Music Pedagogy Series.  Campbell is recipient of the 2012 Taiji Award, the 2017 Koizumi Prize for work on the preservation of traditional music through educational practice, and an Honorary Membership in the Society for Ethnomusicology since 2021. She is educational consultant to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the Alan Lomax recordings, and the Global Jukebox.

A photo of Juliana Cantarelli posing Juliana Cantarelli Vita

Juliana Cantarelli Vita is Assistant Professor of Elementary and Early Childhood Music Education at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School. She earned her Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington and serves as a member of The Orff Echo's Editorial Board. Juliana has published on children’s musical cultures, collective songwriting, world music pedagogy, feminist spaces for music-making, and Afro-Brazilian drumming traditions in the Journal of Folklore Education, Malaysian Journal of Music, and The Orff Echo, with upcoming publications in the International Journal of Community Music, the Oxford Handbook of Early Childhood Music Learning and Development, and the Oxford Handbook of Feminism and Music Education. She has presented research and clinical sessions at conferences of the National Association for Music Education, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the International Society for Music Education, and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.

A photo of William Coppola presenting in front of a screen

William Coppola

William J. Coppola  is assistant professor of Music Teaching and Learning at USC Thornton School of Music. He was previously an assistant professor of music education at the University of North Texas. He is also co-author of World Music Pedagogy Volume IV (Instrumental Music Education, 2018) and Volume VII (Teaching World Music in Higher Education, 2020), published by Routledge. He holds degrees from the University of Washington, New York University, and Hofstra University, and was previously an elementary music director with New York City Public Schools. 

Sophia Enriquez Sophia Enriquez

Sophia M. Enriquez (she/her)  is a scholar and educator working at the intersections of Latinx and Appalachian cultures. She works as Assistant Professor of music at Duke University where she also teaches in the Program for Latinx Studies in the Global South. Sophia earned her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Ohio State University where she also completed graduate certificates in folklore and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies. Building disciplinary relationships across Latinx studies, Appalachian studies, and ethnomusicology, Enriquez’s work sheds light on the complexities of the shifting cultural landscape of Appalachia and the South and challenges assumptions about Latinx community, migration, and belonging through music. Enriquez is also a practitioner of American folk musics and has performed with groups such as the Good Time Girls, a female folk trio in Columbus, Ohio, and the Lua Project, a Mexican-Appalachian fusion band in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Mary Linscheid

Mary Linscheid

Mary Linscheid is a native of Harmony Grove—just outside of Morgantown, WV. She is a multi-instrumentalist and a songwriter, releasing her first EP in 2022 called “A Place To Grow Old” that explores the connection Appalachians have to their homeland through music. In the past, she has performed with the eclectic old-time music band, The Odd Socks, the female-lead folk trio called The Honeysuckle Vines, and is a current member of The WVU Bluegrass & Old-Time Ensembles. An English Creative Writing major with Appalachian Studies and Appalachian Music minors, she can often be found playing fiddle in local old-time jams, reading novels, or wildcrafting herbs on her family farm.

Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller headshot

Emily Miller and Jesse Milnes

Jesse Milnes 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 the artistic director of the Augusta Heritage Center as well as singing and playing fiddle with her country band the Sweetback Sisters. 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.  

Martina Vasil headshot Martina Vasil

Martina Vasil is an Associate Professor of Music Education and Interim Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Music at the University of Kentucky. Her interest in world music is deep-rooted, as her parents immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia in 1980. Martina grew up listening to the music from her parents’ homeland and has integrated world music into curricula throughout her teaching career. As she entered academia, she took advantage of many opportunities to travel, including an immersive week in Bali (learning music and dance) and a week in Liberia providing professional development to local music teachers. She regularly performs as a musician and dancer with the University of Kentucky Balinese Gamelan Ensemble and integrates World Music Pedagogy into her undergraduate general music methods courses.

Martina’s research in culturally relevant pedagogy has led her to explore music and music-making that children and adolescents find meaningful (playground games and popular music). She has presented her research on media influence, children’s play, and music-making internationally, nationally, and regionally and is a frequent presenter for Orff chapters across the nation. Her book chapter “Children’s Traditional Playground Musicking, Creativity, and Media Culture” was recently published in The Routledge Companion to Creativities in Music Education. Martina will return to Liberia in August 2023 as a Fulbright Specialist to visit schools and work with teachers.