Erika Clippinger expects to graduate this spring and will pursue a doctoral degree in bassoon performance as a fully funded teaching assistant at Michigan State University. Photo credit: Brandon Loos, 3 Button Media.

Love of Korean Pop Music Leads to Research Project at Student Research Week

By: Mila Chial on

Erika Clippinger loves music and she’s sharing that love during this year’s Student Research Week – March 28-April 1.

The week, which includes workshops, the Student Scholar Symposium, and more, recognizes and celebrates students’ work and its impact on the world. At the same time, it helps other students who may not be familiar with research see the possibilities and learn how to get involved in research and scholarly work at UCF.

Clippinger, who is pursuing a second master’s degree in Music (Bassoon Performance), decided to pursue a research project after her professor noticed her love of Korean pop.

Professor Yoon Joo Hwang, who is from South Korea, noticed how much she appreciates Korean culture and helped Clippinger focus her research on East Asian studies in music history.

“As musicians, we are taught about Western music history and theory, neglecting Asian music in general,” Clippinger says. “I specifically looked at how South Korea’s music education practice began, the United States’ hand in its origin, and how Orlando ties into the Jeju Island International Wind Band Festival.”

Clippinger says recognizing diversity is critical and an important topic in the classical music world. Many conferences, such as the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) and College Music Society (CMS), have requested studies like hers pertaining to diversifying the classical music world and methods to be more inclusive of all ethnicities.

“Often, music topics are overlooked compared to the sciences or topics on newly found information or processes,” Clippinger says. “But they are just as important.”

This past year, the accomplished musician was recognized for her achievements and inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, a prominent music honors society. She was also invited to present at the 28th Biannual Conference of the Korean Association for the Study of Popular Music in Daegu, South Korea, and will be performing with the Amadeus Orchestra Academy in Somerset, England over the summer.

At UCF, she will be performing for the rest of the spring semester as the principal bassoon for the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Bassoon Ensemble concerts both on campus and for UCF Celebrates the Arts at the Dr. Phillips Center. She will be performing in the faculty septet as well, all while continuing her research. UCF Celebrates the Arts begins April 5.

Clippinger expects to graduate this spring and will pursue a doctoral degree in bassoon performance as a fully-funded teaching assistant at Michigan State University. Her goal is to teach bassoon and music theory at a university one day, perform with an orchestra or two, and continue researching different areas of music that are forgotten or not well recorded in English.

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