Thomas J. Kernan

Thomas J. Kernan
Thomas J. Kernan
Assistant Professor of Music History
Chicago College of Performing Arts
» Music Conservatory
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About Me

Thomas J. Kernan, Assistant Professor of Music History and Honors Bachelor of Musical Arts Program Head, has served on the CCPA faculty since fall 2014.

Prof. Kernan is on leave for the 2019–2020 academic year, during which time he is the Newberry Library Rudolph Ganz Long-term Fellow in American Music.

Recent Awards

  • 2019 Roosevelt University Provost's Award for Innovative Course Design
  • 2016 Abraham Lincoln Association and Abraham Lincoln Institute Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize for “Sounding ‘The Mystic Chords of Memory’: Musical Memorials for Abraham Lincoln, 1865–2009” (University of Cincinnati, 2014).

Recent Publications

Public Musicology Projects

  • Abraham Lincoln's Legacy in Music,” Newberry Library Digital Collection for the Classroom, July 2018.
  • “Lincoln in Music and Letters,” radio show distributed through the WFMT Radio Network, aired February 2017–February 2018.
  • “Columbus Concert in Honor of Abraham Lincoln,” radio show aired on Music in Mid-Ohio (WOSU), July 2017.

 Recent Classes and Seminars

  • Bernstein at the Boundaries (graduate seminar)
  • Concepts of Musical Ideals: The Great American Opera and Great American Symphony (graduate seminar)
  • Constructing Musical Monuments in Post-war America (graduate seminar)
  • Destination Chicago: Émigré, Immigrant, and Migrant Musicians and the Creation of Cultural Identity (graduate transformational learning seminar)
  • Hamilton and Musicals Recalling History (undergraduate honors seminar)
  • Music Style and Literature (introductory graduate course)
  • “A Song for Anything”: The Songs of Charles Ives (graduate seminar)
  • Sounds of Summer: Chicago's Festivals, Their Planners, Participants, and Soundtracks (summer intensive course)
  • Vernacular Music of the United States (undergraduate survey)
  • Western Music History, since 1800 (undergraduate survey)
Topics of Expertise
  • American MusicProf. Kernan teaches and researches vernacular (popular) and cultivated (concert/art) music in the United States, from the nineteenth century to the present.
  • Musical MemorializationA sizable portion of Prof. Kernan's work addresses the ways that music has been (and can be) used to form audible monuments and rituals to people and events.
  • Music and the U.S. PresidencyAn expert on music composed for and about Abraham Lincoln, Prof. Kernan examines the use of music in shaping presidential legacies.
  • PhDMusicology with cognate studies in American History — University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
  • MMMusic History — University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
  • BMMusic Performance — University of Missouri-Kansas City
Degree Program Affiliations