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Music Student Wins Prestigious Fellowship

Graduate Student Wins Prestigious Music Award

UC Riverside’s Jacqueline Avila receives the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship from the American Musicological Society.

(September 21, 2010)

Jacqueline AvilaEnlarge

Jacqueline Avila

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Jacqueline Avila, a doctoral student at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship by the American Musicological Society for 2010-11.

The fellowship, which this year totals $19,000, is intended to increase the presence of minority scholars and teachers in musicology and supports one year of graduate work for a student at a North American university who is a member of a group historically underrepresented in the discipline.

Avila, 28, whose hometown is Norwalk, Calif., is the first UCR student to win this prestigious award, which “usually goes to students in the Ivy League, Berkeley and UCLA,” said her dissertation advisor, Leonora Saavedra, associate professor of music. “This is a highly competitive award.”

Avila received her B.A. in music from UCLA in 2005, specializing in music education and French horn performance. In June 2007, she received her M.A. in historical musicology from UCR with a thesis titled “The Influence of the Cinematic in the Music of Silvestre Revueltas.”

She received fellowships from the UCR Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts for three consecutive years. In fall 2005, she received the Cultural Diversity Travel Fund award from the American Musicological Society, enabling her to attend the national conference in Washington, D.C., and in 2007 the UCR Graduate Division awarded her a travel grant to support her archival research in San Antonio. She was recognized as the Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the Year in the Department of Music for 2006-2007. She received the UCR Dissertation Mentorship Fellowship in 2008 and a UC MEXUS Dissertation Fellowship in 2009.

Avila is pursuing her Ph.D. in historical musicology at UCR, researching Mexican music and film. Her dissertation project, titled “Los Sonidos del Cine: Cinematic Music in Mexican Film, 1930-1950,” is an interdisciplinary investigation of music in Mexican cinema, concentrating on how music contributed to create or enhance cinematic representations of national identity.

“Jacky is an extraordinarily talented student and her dissertation research is groundbreaking,” said Deborah Wong, chair of the Department of Music. “We couldn’t be more pleased about this extremely prestigious fellowship.”

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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