August 2010 Convention
Anaheim, CA

PhD/DMA Dissertation Competition

Ju-Hee Kim

As a recent dissertation author myself, I decided to attend the PhD/DMA competition so that I could report on the format and style of the presentations for future competition applicants. These presentations were of the sort often found in conferences of other disciplines, but less typically at NFA conventions. Each winner had the opportunity to summarize her dissertation, which was then followed by a question-and-answer period.

Ju-Hee Kim discussed her paper, "Multicultural Influences in the Music of Isang Yun as Represented in his Concerto for Flute and Orchestra" (University of Alabama, 2009). Isang Yun (1917–1995) was a Korean-German composer who lived in Osaka, Paris, and Berlin at various points in his life. His work has often been described as successfully melding the influences of the East and the West. Kim's paper is an analysis of Yun's Concerto for Flute, which was premiered at the Summer Music Days Festival in Hitzacker, Germany, in 1977 by Karlheinz Zöller.

Susan D. Fain

Susan D. Fain presented her dissertation, "An Application of the Principles of Anatomy, Physiology, and Neurology to the Balancing and Playing of the Flute" (University of Oklahoma, 2009). Fain's work was impressive in its scope, as she undertook a large and important topic for flutists. As a trained physical therapist, Fain has a distinctive background that makes her especially capable of approaching the topic. After conducting an online survey and interviews with major flutists to discern what aspects of fluting needed the most attention, Fain thoroughly studied how flutists can improve body use and prevent injury.

Both presenters were clearly experts on their topics after extensive research, and their presentations were illuminating. I hope that more people will attend the competition winner's presentations in the future!

—Rebecca Johnson