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Former Davisite honored for scholarly research

Erica Siegel, who grew up in Davis and attends UC Riverside, has won the prestigious Nicholas Temperley Prize from the North American British Music Studies Association. Courtesy photo

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From page A4 | August 24, 2012 |

Erica Siegel, a graduate student at UC Riverside who grew up in Davis, has won a prize for a paper she presented at the fifth biennial conference of the North American British Music Studies Association.

The Nicholas Temperley Prize, awarded July 28, recognizes the graduate student whose paper is deemed the finest read at the conference. It is named in honor of Temperley, a longtime faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a champion of the study of British music of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

This year’s conference honored Temperley’s 80th birthday and his scholarly work. The conference theme was “Anglo-American Connections.”

The Temperley Prize is highly competitive and, as Temperley noted when presenting the prize to Siegel, recognizes both her scholarship and her professionalism in presenting her paper, said Byron Adams, professor of music at UC Riverside and Siegel’s adviser.

“Erica Siegel’s paper was recognized with this signal honor in large part due to the original research, elegance of organization, and enlightened connections evinced in her scholarship, but also the poised way in which she read her paper,” Adams said. “This is indeed a great honor for Erica, for the musicology program at UC Riverside, and for the department of music as a whole.”

Siegel’s paper, “ ‘I’m not making this up, you know!’ The success of Vaughan Williams’ students in America,” presented original research on the American careers of composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks and composer-comedienne Anna Russell and their relationships with their former teacher, Ralph Vaughan Williams, regarded as one of Britain’s greatest composers.

“As a teacher, Ralph Vaughan Williams treated both his male and female students equally and with respect during a period in which sexism was not only prevalent, but socially accepted,” Siegel explained. “He was not only a strong advocate for his women pupils during their years of study with him at the Royal College of Music, but also well after.

“My interest in the reception of Peggy Glanville-Hicks and Anna Russell was an outgrowth of my research on another student of Vaughan Williams — Elizabeth Maconchy. As I began to explore the reception of Maconchy’s music in the United States, I became interested in the reception of other women composers who had also studied with Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music in London.”

Siegel, who grew up in Davis and lives in Riverside, earned a bachelor’s degree from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University and a master’s degree in musicology at UC Riverside in June. Her master’s thesis was titled “‘What a delicious, what a malicious imputation!’ Gender and Politics in the Reception of Elizabeth Maconchy’s The Sofa.” Her Ph.D. research will focus on the life and works of British composer Maconchy. She hopes to pursue a career in academia.

The North American British Music Studies Association aims to promote the study of British music on the North American continent. More information is available at www.nabmsa.org.

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