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CHMHE Annual Undergraduate Musicology Prize

This competition recognizes excellence in undergraduate thesis writing (usually carried out at the end of a three or four year Music degree programme). In June each year, university music departments and music colleges are invited to nominate one undergraduate thesis for the annual musicology prize. Those achieving 1st, 2nd and 3rd places are offered expenses towards attending and presenting a paper based on their presentation at the annual postgraduate conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland.

Previous Winners

Twelvth CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2018

First Prize
Tara Lacken (DIT), ‘“The Sinner’s Opera”: Victorian morality and the London premiere of La Traviata in 1856’, Supervisor: Dr Maria McHale

Second Prize
Student: Aisling Douris (MU), ‘Soundings of the Poetic Self: The Role of Music in Seamus Heaney’s Poetry’, Supervisors: Prof Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Dr Laura Watson

Third Prize
Hugh Hartigan (UCD), ‘Music, Place and Space: The Keen / An Caoineadh’, Supervisor: Dr Frank Lawrence

Jury: Dr Seán Doherty (DCU) and Dr Tríona Ní Shíocháin (UCC)

Eleventh CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2017

First Prize
James McGlynn (UCC), ‘Scoring Realities: Sonically Conveying Narrative, Temporality and Characterisation in HBO’s Westworld’ (2016), Supervisor: Dr Danijela Kulezic-Wilson

Second Prize
Ellie McGinley (DkIT), ‘“From the Periphery to the Forefront”: An Investigation of the Processes of Revival in the Donegal Fiddle Tradition and its impact on perception’, Supervisor: Sean Keegan

Third Prize
Marie Edmonds (MIC), The Significance of Traditional Music to the Ewe Community of South-Eastern Ghana, Supervisor: Dr Paul Collins

Jury: Dr Denise Neary (RIAM) and Dr J. Griffith Rollefson (UCC).

Tenth CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2016

First Prize
John Mc Dowell (DIT), ‘An Overview and Performance Guide to Joaquín Rodrigo’s Fandango from Tres Piezas Españolas’, Supervisor: Dr Adrian Smith

Second Prize
Lisann Wassermann (UCC), ‘Voices of Dissent: Exploring Irish Traditional Singing and Socio-Political Thought’ Supervisors: Kelly Boyle and Mary Mitchell-Ingoldsby

Third Prize
James McConnell (QUB), ‘Belgian Organists in Ireland. A Case Study: Arthur de Meulemeester and Léon Rittweger’, Supervisor: Dr Sarah McCleave

Jury: Dr Estelle Murphy (MU) and Dr Mark Fitzgerald (DIT).

Ninth CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2015

First Prize
Adam McDonagh (DIT), ‘A Performer's Search for Musical Understanding in Fryderyk Chopin's Polonaise-Fantaisie Op. 61’, Supervisor: Dr Paul McNulty

Second Prize
Carrie McCarthy (DkIT), ‘Social Inclusion and Equality: A Critical Analysis of Music Education Provision in Co. Sligo’, Supervisor: Dr Helen Lawlor

Third Prize
Alice McGrath (CIT Cork School of Music), ‘Music in the Virtual World: An examination of dynamic music in videogames through the use of case studies from selected genres’, Supervisor: Róisín Maher

Jury: Dr Róisín Blunnie (Mater Dei Institute) and Dr Ioannis Tsioulakis (Queen’s University, Belfast).

Eighth CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2014

First Prize
Daniel Beuster (CIT Cork School of Music), ‘A Study of Arvo Pärt’s Approach to Setting Text to Music with Reference to Three Diverse Works: The Deer’s Cry, Nunc Dimittis and Dopo la Vittoria’, Supervisor: Róisín Maher

Second Prize
Brendan Cleary (DkIT), ‘Crossing the Biographical Bridge: Exploring Music and Poetry in Tchaikovsky’s Goethe and Heine Settings’, Supervisor: Dr Aisling Kenny

Third Prize
Alice Goodwin (DIT), ‘The Essence of Wagner's Ring Cycle: The Influence of Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach in Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen’, Supervisor: Dr Paul McNulty

Jury: Dr Adrian Scahill (Maynooth University) and Dr Adèle Commins (Dundalk Institute of Technology).

Seventh CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2013

Joint First Prize
Peter Lyness (QUB), ‘Aspects of George Crabbe's Aesthetic in Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes’, Supervisor: Dr Aidan Thomson

Maddie Kavanagh (UCD), ‘Syntax and Form in Mendelssohn's Symphonic Sonata Forms: A Case Study of Symphony No.3 and Symphony No.4’, Supervisor: Professor Julian Horton

Third Prize
Gillian Hopper (DIT), ‘The Performative Role of Opera Costume’, Supervisor: Dr Marian Deasy

Jury: Dr Jaime Jones (UCD) and Dr Michael Murphy (MIC).

Sixth CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2012

First Prize
David Scott (DIT), ‘“The Postmodern Opera”: Opera's Recent Developments in a Postmodern Society’, Supervisor: Dr Mark Fitzgerald

Second Prize
Dominic Fryers (QUB), ‘Moore's Irish Melodies: Cultural Nationalism in a Pro-Union Era’, Supervisor: Dr Fintan Vallely

Third Prize
Stephanie Ford (NUI Maynooth), ‘“Art is not a Métier”: The Schola Cantorum and the revival of religious music during the Third Republic’, Supervisor: Dr Laura Watson

Jury: Dr Kerry Houston (DIT) and Dr Aileen Dillane (UL).

Fifth CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2011

Joint First Prize
Fiachra Ó Longáin (University of Ulster), ‘The Aesthetics of Death Metal and Black Metal: An Exploration of their Sound, Imagery and Conceptual Content’, Supervisor: Dr Adam Melvin

Luke Birmingham (Dundalk Institute of Technology), ‘Towards a Classified and Annotated Catalogue of Music for Teaching and Learning Salsa Dance’, Supervisor: Paul McGettrick

Second Prize
Gráinne Blake (University College Cork), ‘Opera's Rejuvenation: Experimentalism, Innovation, Transformation’, Supervisor: Dr Christopher Morris

Jury: Professor Fiona Palmer (NUI Maynooth) and Dr David Rhodes (Waterford Institute of Technology)

Fourth CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2010

First Prize
Paul Gilgunn (St. Patrick’s College, DCU), ‘Rhys Chatham’s A Crimson Grail: A Transition between Minimalist and Post-minimalist Music’, Supervisor: Dr Rhona Clarke

Joint Second Prize
David Collins (UCD), ‘Modelling of the Human Singing Voice: An Overview and Evaluation of its Prospects as a Compositional Resource’, Supervisor: Dr Wolfgang Marx

Giovanni Baviera (TCD), ‘Accademia Ethos and Madrigal Singing as represented in Anton francesco Doni’s Dialogo della musica’, Supervisor: Andrew Johnstonen

Jury: Professor Thérèse Smith (UCD) and Dr John O’Flynn (SPD, DCU).

Third CHMHE Undergraduate Musicology Competition, 2009

First Prize
George Jackson (TCD), ‘Wagner Performance in the Twentieth Century: A Study of Tempo and “Expressive Gesture” in Two Excerpts from Die Walküre’, Supervisor: Dr Simon Trezise

Second Prize
Maurice Burns (UCD), ‘Leone and Morricone: Scoring the “Spaghettis”’, Supervisor: Dr Jaime Jones

Jury: Dr Paul Everett (UCC) and Professor Jane Edwards (IWA, UL).