The Department of Music at Miami University Announces Five New Faculty Members

Students in the Miami University Department of Music will be greeted by a number of exciting new faculty members when in-person instruction returns this fall. Five new instructors will teach in areas such as Music Education, Music Technology, Music Theory, Voice, and Viola. “Times of change create moments of opportunity, and the Department of Music has taken full advantage of the moment in identifying outstanding individuals who will immediately impact our community of scholars,” noted department chair Chris Tanner.

Meet the new faculty members: 

elizabeth-reed.jpgDr. Elizabeth A. Reed, Music Education, received her Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of South Carolina. While there, she was the Assistant Director of the UofSC String Project and taught Music Appreciation. As a researcher and clinician, Dr. Reed focuses on professional music teacher identity, culturally responsive teaching, the String Projects, and pitch perception. Her dissertation, Examining Professional Music Teacher Identity: A Mixed Methods Approach with Stringed Instrument Teachers, was published in 2018. She also has numerous performances and accomplishments as both a conductor and cellist.

rivera.jpgJessica Rivera, Voice, possesses a voice praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “effortless precision and tonal luster.” A Grammy Award-winning soprano, Ms. Rivera is one of the most creatively inspired vocal artists performing before the public today. The intelligence, dimension and spirituality with which she infuses her performances on great international concert and opera stages has garnered Ms. Rivera unique artistic collaborations with many of today’s most celebrated composers, including John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jonathan Leshnoff, Nico Muhly, and Paola Prestini, and has brought her together with such esteemed conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Markus Stenz, Bernard Haitink, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

sam-reenan.jpgDr. Sam Reenan, Music Theory, has previously served as a Lecturer in Music at Hamilton College. He earned the Ph.D. in music theory at the Eastman School of Music in 2021 and holds the M.A. in music theory from Eastman (2018) and degrees in music theory and biological sciences from the University of Connecticut (2014). A recipient of Eastman’s 2017–18 TA Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Reenan has taught throughout the Eastman curriculum and supervised Graduate Review as well as Second-Year Aural Musicianship. His primary research focuses on issues of genre, large-scale form, and narrative in early twentieth-century symphonic music. Sam is co-author of two open-access articles: a 2020 article on graduate instructor peer observation in the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy; and a 2016 article exploring seventh-chord voice-leading transformations, published in Music Theory Online.

sheffield.jpgDr. Eric Sheffield, Music Theory and Music Technology, is a musician and maker currently interested in physics-based modeling, networked performance, and popular music. He has served as the technical director for the Electroacoustic Barn Dance and has performed and presented work nationally and internationally at several conferences and festivals, including NowNet Arts, NYCEMF, Root Signals, SEAMUS, NIME, and EMM. Sheffield holds an MA in Media Arts (Performing Arts Technology) from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Music (Experimental Music and Digital Media) from Louisiana State University. He will teach in both the Music and Emerging Technology in Business and Design departments.

fischer.jpgChristopher Fischer, Viola, joined the viola section of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2018. In the summer he is the Principal Violist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Previous engagements have included Assistant Principal Viola of the North Carolina Symphony, Principal Viola of the Midland-Odessa Symphony, and Fellow at the New World Symphony. Born in Columbia, Missouri, Mr. Fischer holds degrees from Indiana University and University of Missouri. His principal teachers have included Atar Arad, Leslie Perna, and Yuval Gotlibovitch. Mr. Fischer has taught previously at North Carolina State University and the University of Texas at the Permian Basin.

“We are thrilled to bring the talent and brilliance of these notable artists and educators to the College of Creative Arts at Miami University. They continue Miami's long history of excellence in teaching and the College of Creative Arts’ record of graduating artists who thrive,” said Liz Mullenix, Dean of the College of Creative Arts.