Portrait of Meaghan Guterman smiling, in blue dress

Meaghan Guterman, a Doctor of Musical Arts student in the UW School of Music

The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 Finish Line Fellow in Jewish Studies: Meaghan Guterman, a doctoral candidate in the UW School of Music researching Yiddish theater music.

The Finish Line Fellowship, established in 2021 thanks to the generosity of a local community member, supports a late-stage doctoral student whose research relates to Jewish Studies via a three-quarter stipend with benefits.

With support from the fellowship, Guterman will complete her dissertation in the 2022-2023 academic year. Guterman’s Doctor of Musical Arts dissertation will focus on the song structure, vocal style, language, themes, and influences found in Yiddish theatrical music, looking at the works of composers including Avraham Goldfaden (1840-1908), Sholom Secunda (1894-1974) and Joseph Rumshinsky (1881–1956) in comparison with other contemporary theatrical music.

While existing research on Yiddish theater music primarily focuses on performance history, Guterman’s dissertation will focus on the music itself. By offering a close analysis of Yiddish theater songs, Guterman hopes that her dissertation will expand recognition of this music within the field, increase appreciation of the role played by Jewish composers in the development of Western music, and make more of the Yiddish theater repertoire available to modern performers.

Meaghan Guterman is an accomplished vocalist who has performed locally in ensembles including the Mägi Ensemble, Chorosynthesis, and the Saint James Cathedral Choir, where she serves as a cantor and section leader. She has also offered a number of Seattle-area solo performances, including three doctoral recitals between 2019-2021 and several collaborations through UW Vocal Theatre Works. Guterman was previously a section leader for Congregation Shalom’s High Holidays choir in Fox Point, Wisconsin, and in 2022, she gave a lecture on Yiddish operetta and theater music as part of the Seattle-area Limmud conference of Jewish learning.

Guterman is currently studying Yiddish through the YIVO Institute with the support of a Stroum Center opportunity grant. Listen to some of Meaghan’s music on Soundcloud, and learn more about her work on her professional website.

Congratulations to Meaghan on receiving the 2022-23 Finish Line Fellowship, and best wishes to her for the writing and research to come!

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