UNT College of Music students win research awards to study in Germany, China

Kimary Fick
College of Music doctoral student Kimary Fick, left, shown doing research with Assistant Professor of Music History, Theory and Ethnomusicology Hendrik Schulze, received a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst grant to study in Germany in summer 2014. Photo by Stephen Lucas.
Jason Pockrus
College of Music doctoral student Jason Pockrus received a Fulbright grant to study saxophone music in China for 2014-15. Photo courtesy of Jason Pockrus.
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 09:50

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Two UNT College of Music doctoral students will be traveling abroad after earning prestigious research awards this year.

Jason Pockrus, who is studying saxophone performance, received a Fulbright grant to study in China. He travels to China in July to take a language course offered by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program this summer and will begin his research in October. Kimary Fick, who is studying musicology, received a fellowship from The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)/ German Academic Exchange Service to do research in Germany this summer.

It was while researching future job opportunities in classical saxophone performance that Pockrus developed the idea to study in China. Classical music in China was developed using instruments traditional to that country. The saxophone is relatively new to the culture there, said Pockrus, and the instrument was banned for a period in the mid-20th century because of its Western affiliation. The instrument is now often used in popular music in China, he said, but his research will focus on classical Chinese music.

Pockrus will travel to the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu to transcribe classical Chinese music using the saxophone to replicate the sound of traditional instruments. In preparation for his research, he has already taken some Chinese language classes at UNT and has collaborated with a fellow student who is originally from China and with whom he has performed in the Houston Chinese Orchestra.

"I'm looking forward to the experience," Pockrus said about studying abroad, which will be his first time outside of the U.S. "The research I'm doing may lead to a dissertation."

Pockrus' grant of roughly $26,000 will cover travel, room and board, plus a monthly stipend and research allowance. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individual research projects and is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Fick's trip to Germany will allow her to research German archives relating to her dissertation titled "Sensitivity Inspiration and Rational Aesthetics: Music in the early German Enlightenment."

Fick's research explores the relationship between music of the Early German Enlightenment and philosophies and social expectations of the time. While current research on the subject tends to view the music solely in its own right, her research will hone in on how listening to and performing music were considered necessary for developing morality, she said. Fick is writing her doctoral dissertation under the guidance of Hendrik Schulze, professor in the Department of Music History.

Fick's fellowship of just over $10,000 includes a monthly stipend and a travel subsidy. The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)/ German Academic Exchange Service is a private, publicly funded, self-governing organization of higher education institutions in Germany. DAAD promotes international academic relations and cooperation by offering mobility programs primarily for students and faculty, but also for administrators and others in the higher education realm.

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