Dorothy Payne Award

The Dorothy Payne Award is given each year for the best student paper presented at a MTSMA conference. The award was established in 2003 in honor of Dr. Dorothy Payne, Professor Emerita of Music Theory and former Dean of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Payne was co-author of Tonal Harmony, a seminal theory text, and was well regarded for her teaching.

Recipients of the award receive a small cash prize. 

For the purposes of this award, student status ends with the receipt of a terminal degree or employment in a full-time position. Previous winners of the Dorothy Payne Award are not eligible.

Award Winners

2023Ryan GalikDon’t Pop the Bubble: Intersections of ambient music, attention, expectation, and flow in Tim Hecker’s Virgins
2022Sylvie TranConstructing an Idealized American West Through Folk Sources
2021Alexandrea JonkerKeeping the Ear in Ear Training: Incorporating Blind Hearing for Improved Aural Skills Pedagogy
2020Matthew KipleCollection Space: Systematizing Parsimonious Transformations in French Scalar Tonality
2019Nathan PellTempo as Form: Orchestral Recordings from 1910–1940 in Light of Earlier Sources
2019Jeremy TatarMetric Transformations in Hip-Hop and R&B Sampling Practice
2018Nathan LamRelative Diatonic Modality in English Pastoral Music: A Dorian Case Study
2017John LawrenceHearing Voices in Their Hands: Performing and Perceiving Polyphony
2016Nathaniel MitchellThe Volta: A Galant Gesture of Culmination
2016Joshua MillsTimbre, Harmony, Orchestration, and Analysis, and Rautavaara’s Symphony No. 8, “The Journey”
2015Aaron Grant“Promissory Note” Narrative Strategies in Schubert’s Three-Key Expositions
2015Olga Sanchez-KisielewskaMenuets Vicieux, Z Figures, and Sonic Analogues: Embodied Meanings of Hypermeter in Haydn and Mozart’s Symphonic Minuets
2014Aaron GrantExploring Polyscalarity in the Music of Igor Stravinsky: Discerning Surface- and Deeper-Level Scalar Collections
2014Janet BournePlaying With Schemata
2013Michael McClimonJazz Harmony, Transformations, and ii-V Space
2012Drew NobileReconsidering the Notion of “Cadence” Based on Evidence from Pop-Rock Music
2010Michael CallahanImprovisational Memory, Formula, and the Pedagogy of Extemporized Binary-Form Dance Movements
2009Jeff YunekIlluminating Micropolyphony: Biblical Allusions Communicated through Manipulations of Pitch Space and Text in Sandström’s Agnus Dei
2008Phil DukerResulting Patterns, Palimpsests, and “Pointing Out” the Role of the Listener in Reich’s Drumming
2007Melissa HoagMultiply-Directed Moments in Brahms’s Schönwar, das ich dir weihte… (Op. 95, no. 7)
2006Matthew BoyerTopical Pairing as Compositional Strategy in Mozart
2005Michael BakerTransformational vs. Prolongation in Brahms’s In der Fremde
2004Danny BeardFrom Landfill Management and Wastewater Treatment to Mozart: Using Multiple Linear Regression to Model Musical Contour
2003Michael BerryA Modular Space Approach to Voice Leading in Atonal Music