Congratulations to Fred Fox School of Music PhD musicology candidate Kathy Acosta Zavala! This past weekend, in celebration of International Women’s Day, she presented her research on Vahdah Olcott Bickford at the 2019 International Women in Music Leadership Conference held at Senate House, London. Her paper was titled “Vahdah Olcott-Bickford and the Development of the Modern American Guitar Landscape,” which was based on her ongoing dissertation.
Kathy Acosta Zavala is a musicology Ph.D. candidate and guitarist at the University of Arizona. Her dissertation reveals Vahdah Olcott-Bickford’s crucial role in the construction of the modern American guitar landscape. Her other research interests include the soundscapes of protests in the United States as well as American symphonic commissions during WWII. Her paper, “War, Institutions and Commissions: A Study of the 1943 League of Composers’ War-Themed Commissions,” was recognized as best student paper at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Music Scholars Conference. In addition to her scholarly work, Kathy also serves as operations director of the Tucson Guitar Society.