01 about

Jon Churchill is a music scholar, performer, and educator. Currently a James B. Duke fellow at Duke University, Jon's research focuses on British Modernism, especially the works of Ralph Vaughan Williams and their intersection with musical nonlinearity. Other interests include rhythm in the 20th century, Motown, and the works of Per Nørgård. 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 taught grades Pre-K through High School across 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. 

Jon 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 300 local and regional productions while maintaining a busy schedule as a symphonic player. He has served as principal percussionist for the Norwalk Symphony and as 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 showcase concerts for Connecticut Music Educators Association and Percussive Arts Society conferences. He is a past winner of the James Furman concerto competition in both solo and chamber divisions.

Jon has presented his research on Ralph Vaughan Williams at meetings of the American Musicological Society, Royal Musical Association, and Nineteenth-Century Studies Association across the United States and England.


02 research interests & musicological activity


Review of Raymond Knapp, Making Light: Haydn, Musical Camp, and the Long Shadow of German Idealism

       (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018), Current Musicology 106 (Summer 2020): 9-16.

“The Songs of Ralph Vaughan Williams.” The Literary Encyclopedia. Published 25 March 2020.

Preface to Frank Bridge, Dance Rhapsody (Munich: Musikproduktion Höflich, 2019).

“Gerald Finzi.” The Literary Encyclopedia. Published 19 October 2019.

Review of Nathan Waddell, Moonlighting: Beethoven and Literary Modernism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019),          The Modernist Review, November 2019.


Intern, National Humanities Alliance (Washington, D.C.)

        Study the Humanities Initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Instructor of Record, Duke University

         Fall 2019, “Introduction to Music Theory”

         Spring 2020, “Music Theory II” (Laboratory)

         Fall 2020, “Music Theory III” (Laboratory)

         Spring 2020, "Introduction to Music Theory"


Graduate Assistant, Duke University

         Fall 2017: “Music and Criticism” (Professor Bryan Gilliam)

         Spring 2018: “Motown and American Soul Music” (Professors Anthony Kelley and Mark Anthony Neal)

         Fall 2018: “The Life and Music of Stevie Wonder” (Professors Philip Rupprecht and Anthony Kelley)

         Spring 2019: “Meet the Beatles and the 1960s” (Professor Tom Brothers)


Graduate Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University

         Fall 2014: “Music Appreciation” (Professor Mark Ferraguto)

         Spring 2015: “Music History III” (Professor Charles Youmans)

         Fall 2015: “Music Theory II” (Professor Vincent Benitez)

         Spring 2016: “Music Appreciation” (Professor Charles Youmans)


Bravo! Waterbury

         Music Theory Faculty, 2013


The King School (Stamford, CT)

         Music Teacher, 2012-2014

             - Sight-singing/aural skills

             - Instrumental lessons, class keyboard/guitar, choral, string, and instrumental ensembles


Bethel Public Schools (CT)

         District Music Substitute, 2011-2013


Arlington Central School District (NY)

         Marching Band Front Field Coordinator, Winter Percussion Instructor, 2008-2014

Selected Conference Activity:

“Capital Disjunction: Rupture as Expression in Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony,” EuroMAC 10, Moscow, September 2020

“Capital Disjunction: Rupture as Expression in Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony,” 9th Biennial Conference of the North American British Music Studies Association, July 2020

"Notating Confluence: Per Nørgård’s Dynamic Meter in the Concerto in Due Tempi,” 18th Annual Society for Musicology in Ireland Plenary Conference, October 2020

“Capital Disjunction: Rupture as Soundscape in Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony,”  21st Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, June 2020 (cancelled, COVID-19)


“The Blended Metropolis: Rupture as Environmental Confluence in Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony,” Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Annual Meeting, March 2020

“A Second Battlefield: Semantic Exchange in Vaughan Williams’s London and Pastoral Symphonies,” Royal Musical Association/British Forum for Ethnomusicology Research Students Conference, Huddersfield, England, January 2018

“A Second Battlefield: Semantic Exchange in Vaughan Williams’s London and Pastoral Symphonies,” AMS Greater New York Chapter Meeting, January 2018

“Vaughan Williams and Musical Reprieve: The Locus Amoenus in Symphony No. 3,” AMS Allegheny Chapter Meeting, Fall 2015

Selected Awards and Honors:

Byron Adams Grant, Nort American British Musical Studies Association

James B. Duke Fellow, Duke University

International Dissertation Travel Research Award, Duke University

Summer Research Fellowship, Duke University

Society of Duke Fellows

Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society

Phi Lambda Theta Honor Society

James Furman Chamber Music Competition Winner

James Furman Concerto Competition Winner

Service to the Profession

Development Committee, North American Association for British Music Studies, 2020-present

Organizing Committee, Duke GradX Lectures, 2019, 2020

Keynote Selection Committee, Duke GradX Lectures, 2020

Advertising Committee, Duke GradX Lectures, 2019

Invited Speaker, Duke Graduate Student Orientation, 2019

Research Interests:

"Formal-Rhetorical Discontinuity in the Symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams" (dissertation in progress)

20th-Century British Modernism

Musical Disjunction


Per Nørgård

Popular Music (Grime, Motown, Prince, Stevie Wonder)

Professional Affiliations: 

American Musicological Society

Society for Music Analysis

Society of Music Theory

Royal Musical Association

North American British Music Studies Association

The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society

Penn State Society of Music Theory and Musicology (Founder)


03 performance

Selected Ensemble/Professional Affiliations: 

Danbury Symphony

Norwalk Symphony

New Haven Symphony

Ridgefield Symphony

Nutmeg Symphony

Nutmeg Winter Winds

Hudson Valley Symphonic Winds

EBE Ensemble 

Invicta Percussion Duo (Founder)

Camerata d'Amici

300+ local, regional, touring theatre productions

Extensive recording session experience (NYC)

American Federation of Musicians, Locals 514-87; 400