Jon Churchill

Jon's research focuses on British Modernism, especially the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, with special attention to the formal and rhetorical effects of musical discontinuity. Further research examines intertextuality in the music of Prince and the evolution of the British Grime genre in the age of Brexit. He holds a Master's in Musicology from The Pennsylvania State University (2016) with a thesis entitled "Psychological Reprieve in the Symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams" and a Bachelor's in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University (2010). 

Before coming to Duke, Jon enjoyed a vibrant career as a teacher in the Bethel (CT) and Arlington (NY) Central School Districts as well as the King School of Stamford, CT. As a member of the El Sistema-affiliated Bravo! Waterbury program (CT), Jon introduced underprivileged children to the fundamentals of music theory, history, and performance. 

He has also appeared in orchestral, theatrical, and session engagements across the United States, especially in and around New York City. As a theatre specialist he has played drums or percussion for over 500 productions while serving as principal percussionist for the Norwalk Symphony and a section member of the Ridgefield, Danbury, Nutmeg, and New Haven symphonies, not to mention several wind ensembles and choirs across New England. As half of the Invicta Marimba Duo, Jon has presented masterclasses across Connecticut and appeared at Connecticut Music Educators and Percussive Arts Society conferences. He is a past winner of the James Furman concerto composition in both solo and chamber divisions and a member of Phi Lambda Theta and Pi Kappa Lambda.  

Jon is a James B. Duke fellow at Duke University and has presented his research on Ralph Vaughan Williams across the United States and England at meetings of the American Musicological Society, Royal Musical Association, and Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, among others.

Current Research Interests

British Modernism, Formal and Rhetorical Effects of Musical Rupture, Prince, Grime/Hip-Hop

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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