May 16, 2023

CIM fills out Music Theory staff with three new appointments

A head-shot of Caitlin Martinkus.
Caitlin Martinkus has joined the Music Theory facult at CIM.

In reality, CIM is stronger than ever in theory.  

That is to say, CIM’s Music Theory Department is at full strength going forward, following the recent appointments of three new instructors to the faculty.  

On Tuesday, CIM announced the hiring of Caitlin Martinkus, Scott Hanenberg and Alan Elkins in its Music Theory department. The latter takes up a one-year position while the former two will be permanent. All three are set to begin in fall 2023.  

“With their strong backgrounds in music theory and extensive experience as performers, these fantastic new faculty members will serve our students extraordinarily well,” said Scott Harrison, Executive Vice President & Provost of CIM.  

“They are well suited to provide the exact right mix of theoretical and practical understanding necessary for professional success in music today.”  

Elkins, Hanenberg and Martinkus join an already large and robust Music Theory Department at CIM, one of the most distinguished departments of its kind in the U.S. The department teaches both CIM students and students from Case Western Reserve University, who participate in CIM’s unique Joint Music Program. Graduates from CIM’s Music Theory program routinely go on to become leaders in academia and the musical world at large.  

The department is headed by Diane Urista. Her colleagues are Sam Bivens, Associate Dean of the Conservatory; Alex Cooke (MM ’14, DMA ’18, Fitch), Jack Hughes (BM ’14, Fitch); Joseph Sferra; Allen Yueh (DMA ’20, D. Shapiro); and Lisa Rainsong (DMA ’99, Brouwer) who is retiring this year after 22 years at CIM and will soon be awarded Emeritus status. 

“We look forward to the energy, expertise and ideas these new faculty will bring to CIM,” Harrison said. “All three are eager not only to excel in the classroom but also to contribute to our ongoing dialogue about the future of conservatory training and how best to prepare students for 21st-century careers.” 


About the New Faculty 

Since 2017, Alan Elkins has been a graduate teaching assistant in music theory and aural skills at Florida State University, where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and a PhD. He also has been a braille assistant there. Prior to FSU, Elkins was a teaching assistant at Bowling Green State University, where he earned a Master’s degree in composition. He is also an active composer and serves as a violist in the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.  

Scott Hanenberg is a music theorist and guitarist. He grew up in southern Ontario playing rock and jazz, and in musical theater productions. He studied classical guitar and composition at Queen's University, and holds a master’s degree in musicology and a PhD in music theory from the University of Toronto. Hanenberg’s research uses corpus analysis and positional listening to study meter and groove in popular music. His recent work has investigated the role of the drum kit in shaping listener interpretations of irregular meters. Scott has published in Music Theory Spectrum and Music Theory Online and a book chapter in The Cambridge Companion to the Drum Kit

Caitlin Martinkus is a music theorist and French horn enthusiast. She received her PhD in music theory from the University of Toronto. Her research interests include musical form in the nineteenth century, the music of Franz Schubert, and historical and contemporaneous theories of musical form. Martinkus has presented at the Society for Music Theory's annual meeting as well as EuroMAC and NewMAC, and published in Music Theory and Analysis and Music Theory Online. She is an affiliate of the Centre for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Music at the University of Toronto. 

Below, from left, Scott Hanenberg, Caitlin Martinkus and Alan Elkins.

Collage of Scott Hanenberg, Caitlin Martinkus, and Alan Elkins.