Danielle Maggio

  • Graduate Student, Ethnomusicology

I am a PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology.  My research examines soul music as a lived cultural practice, an artistic genre, a marketable commodity, and an important historical site for the articulation of gender, race and class in American popular culture. Using a combination of ethnographic and historical methods, my dissertation will narrativize the hidden history of women in soul and critically examine how the music and lives of these women are transmitted and redefined through the collecting and curation process of reissued recordings. My Master’s Thesis, “Gospel Mime: Anointed Ministry, Afrocentrism, and Gender in Black Gospel Performance,” examined the unique praise and worship practice within the African American Church community that combines popular gospel music with the theatrical medium of miming. I am currently a Program Consultant for Focus On Renewal, a non-profit that serves McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. In 2017, I curated a multi-media evening of performance and lecture surrounding the screening of Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band (2015), a documentary about Pittsburgh jazz legend Mary Lou Williams. I also designed and directed an all-girl youth music/media camp, entitled StoGIRLSRocks, where young girls learned the basics of instrumentation, song writing, and women in music history lessons. I am also the Associate Producer of Betty: They Say I’m Different (Native Voice Films, 2017), a documentary about Pittsburgh pioneering funk musician Betty Davis. The film premiered in Amsterdam at IDFA in November of 2017 and had its US premier in Pittsburgh in 2018. Prior to coming to Pitt, I received my BA from an interdisciplinary Cultural Studies program at Columbia College Chicago.  Before returning to academic study, I immersed myself in non-profit work as a teaching artist for the MGR Foundation, where I taught an Artistic Activism class that engaged at risk youth with performance, history and community.  I have also been an instructor for Pittsburgh Montessori schools, Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, The South Side Community Arts Center in Chicago, IL, and Recreational Arts, Inc. in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. I have presented papers at the Society for Ethnomusicology conference, the Cultural Studies Association conference, the “Popular Music and Communities” graduate conference at Case Western Reserve University, and the Ann Arbor Symposium IV “Teaching Popular Music” at The University of Michigan.