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About Allison Adrian, PhD

Dr. Allison Adrian specializes in ethnomusicology and musicology. She studied economics, music, and Spanish during her undergraduate years. Before pursuing a graduate degree, she worked as a technology consultant, an AmeriCorps volunteer, and a group leader for high school students studying abroad.

She obtained her master’s degree at UCLA in ethnomusicology, focusing on Basque American vocal music. She moved to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities to pursue her doctoral research with Mirjana Lausevic (1966–2007). Her dissertation examined music in 20 different Lutheran congregations in the Twin Cities made up of recent immigrants and refugees from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Her findings were distributed in a number of ways: through articles in academic journals, art installations with Wing Young Huie, and in newspapers and media outlets like NPR. While completing her doctorate, she served as a consultant to the Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM), the world's largest music museum housing over 1500 musical instruments from all over the world.

Dr. Adrian joined the Department of Music at St. Kate’s in 2008. She also teaches coursework in Women's Studies and Critical Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Her scholarship since joining St. Kate's includes working with indigenous Ecuadorian musicians as a Fulbright Scholar, and co-editing an anthology titled Voicing Girlhood in Popular Music.


Present Associate Professor, Music, St. Catherine University Music Department


2015 - 2016 Fulbright Scholar Program
Role: U.S. Scholar in Ecuador
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Honors and Awards

  • Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award. (2016). Host: Museo Pumapungo, Cuenca, Ecuador.
  • Collaborative Undergraduate Research Program Award. (2015). St. Catherine University.
  • Finalist for Myser Family Excellence in Mentorship Award. (2015).
  • Research and Scholarly Work Award. (2015). APDC St. Catherine University.
  • Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award. (2012–2013). St. Catherine University.
  • Summer Scholars Collaborative Undergraduate Research Program. (2011). St. Catherine University.
  • Research and Scholarly Activities Award. (2010). St. Catherine University.
  • Curriculum Development Award. (2009). St. Catherine University.
  • Summer Scholars Collaborative Undergraduate Research Program. (2019). St. Catherine University.
  • Nominee for Myser Award for Faculty Excellence. (2020). St. Catherine University.


  • Women in the Wilderness: The Outdoors as Artistic Inspiration
  • Indigenous Music & Stories: Creativity, Authenticity, and Resistance
  • Music in the Twin Cities
  • World Music
  • Women and Music
  • Music and Healing
  • Sound and Vision: Music, the Visual Arts, and Politics
  • History of Rock
  • The Reflective Woman
  • History of Western Music
  • Protest Music and Social Change
  • The Image and Music Monster: Lady Gaga in Context
  • Music, Stories, Identity: Crossing Borders, Blending Traditions


2008 Ph.D., Musicology/Ethnomusicology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
2003 Master of Arts, Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles
1999 Bachelor of Arts, Economics, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Gustavus Adolphus College

Contact Information

Phone: 651-690-6689


Creative Works (4)

Field Recordings (1)

Publications (7)

Research Works (3)