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Meet School of Music's New Faculty for Fall 2020


Manuela Meier

Assistant Professor, Composition/Theory

Manuela Meier is a composer and classical accordionist born in Austria. She holds degrees from Harvard University, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Graz. In 2011-12 she was the ensemble manager of the New Zealand-based Stroma New Music Ensemble.

Manuela Meier’s compositional practice and theoretical research is based on the study of musical timbre, spectrum and the ephemeral nature of music, in the context of auditory perception, systems theories and their interlinkage with temporal structures.

Her instrumental and electroacoustic works have been performed throughout Europe, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico, at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music in Belfast, the Steirischer Herbst Festival, the Moving Sounds Festival New York, Internationale Ferienkurse Darmstadt and the Aspekte Festival Salzburg, by ensembles such as the Arditti String Quartet, JACK Quartet, ELISION Ensemble and Ensemble Recherche.

Interdisciplinary work on the audification of earthquake data has been presented at the Linux Audio Conference, the International Conference on Auditory Display and the International Computer Music Conference. As an instrumentalist Manuela also performed in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Bosnia/Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, the United States, New Zealand and Australia, and in telematic concerts with the United States, Canada and South Korea, with musicians such as Pauline Oliveros.

Manuela Meier is the recipient of awards and scholarships by Harvard University, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Schafer Fellowship, the SKE Fonds Austria, the Arts Council Northern Ireland, Queen’s University Belfast, and PRS Foundation, amongst others. Her writings on music have been published by Wolke Verlag, and her music has been released by the record label Col Legno.



Karen Thomas

Assistant Professor, General Music Education

Dr. Karen S. Thomas will begin her appointment as Assistant Professor of General Music Education at the University of Utah in Fall 2020. She earned a Ph.D. in Music Education, as well as a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ethnomusicology, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She received a M.M. in Music Education and a B.A. in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Thomas taught general music in the North Carolina public schools for 13 years and served as chairperson of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (NC) elementary music section for the last three of those years. Dr. Thomas taught for many years as a clarinet instructor, and served as director of music camps, at the Music Academy of North Carolina. She has performed as a clarinetist with the Piedmont Wind Symphony (NC), and also enjoys playing piano, ukulele, guitar, and mountain dulcimer. She has earned National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music, Level 1 certification in Music Learning Theory Elementary General Music, and Orff-Schulwerk certification (Levels I, II, and III). Prior to her appointment at the University of Utah, Dr. Thomas was an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Music at Winston-Salem State University (NC) from 2019 – 2020; she served as an Adjunct Instructor of Music Education in the Hayes School of Music and a University Field Supervisor in the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University (NC) from 2016 – 2019.

Dr. Thomas is a member of various organizations including the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA), and Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE).

Dr. Thomas's interests include general music education, music psychology, musicians’ hearing health, music learning and teaching practices, and ethnomusicology. Dr. Thomas has presented at state, national, and international conferences, including the North Carolina Music Educators Association, Society for Music Teacher Education, Mountain Lake Colloquium for Teachers of General Music Methods, International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, and the International Conference for Research in Music Education. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, and Psychology of Music.


Last Updated: 5/16/24