Gretchen Carlson joins Towson’s Department of Music in 2018. She holds a Ph.D. in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music from the University of Virginia, a Master of Arts in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University, and Bachelors of Arts degrees in music and psychology from Gettysburg College. Gretchen specializes in jazz and American popular music, focusing on the music’s intersections with film, advertising, and popular culture, and examining topics of agency, creativity, perception, reception, and musical meaning. Her interests also include world music, music cognition, and culture studies. She has presented her research nationally and internationally, including at conferences of the American Musicological Society, the Jazz Education Network, Rhythm Changes, and the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University. Her work is presently published in the Journal of the Society for American Music, and she has a forthcoming article focusing on improvised jazz soundtracks. She is also currently preparing a book that examines jazz musicians’ work in the film industry, contributing new insights into the relationships and tensions between creative agency and labor in culture industry work.
Gretchen is also very invested in education. She has taught previously in the music departments at Gettysburg College, The University of Virginia, and Rutgers University. Additionally, she served as a teacher supervisor and educational manager in the Institute of Reading Development. She also works with students of all ages as a teacher with Sylvan Learning, as well as a private music teacher in piano and saxophones. She looks forward to working with the faculty and students at Towson.