Gwynne Kuhner Brown, Assistant Professor of Music History and Music Theory
Gwynne Kuhner Brown is delighted to be on the faculty of her alma mater. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, she chose Puget Sound for her undergraduate education because it afforded her the opportunity to be challenged as a pianist and music scholar while exploring her many other interests, including history, English literature, and drama.
Dr. Brown graduated from Puget Sound with a BM in piano performance. She received the MM in music theory from Indiana University and completed the PhD in music history at the University of Washington. Her doctoral dissertation studied the racial and aesthetic controversies provoked by George Gershwin's opera, Porgy and Bess. She has presented papers at national meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Society for American Music. Her essay entitled "Performers on Catfish Row: Porgy and Bess as Collaboration" is included in Moors, Militants, and Minstrels: Representing Blackness on the Operatic Stage (University of Illinois Press, 2011). She is currently writing a book about approaches to the arrangement and performance of spirituals by African-American choral directors including Eva Jessye, Hall Johnson, William Levi Dawson, and Jester Hairston.
Reflecting on her work, Dr. Brown says, "It's a joy to work with the engaged and enthusiastic students at the University of Puget Sound. I enjoy sharing my love of music with majors and non-majors alike. In my classes I strive to approach music from a variety of perspectives, including the aesthetic, historical, cultural, and theoretical."