College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Kris Shaffer

Instructor, Music Theory

Kris Shaffer (Ph.D., Yale University, 2011), is Instructor of Music Theory at the University of Colorado–Boulder and Contributing Editor for the journal Hybrid Pedagogy. He previously held the position of Assistant Professor of Music at Charleston Southern University.

Kris’s research centers around the music of twentieth- and twenty-first-century composers, computational analysis, and the pedagogy of music theory and aural skills. His research appears in Hybrid Pedagogy, Digital Humanities Now, and Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy (for which he served as coordinating editor). He has presented at the the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory, THATCamp Southeast, the Music Theory Societies of the Mid-Atlantic and New York State, and the Indiana University Symposium of Research in Music Theory. Kris has also written on technology for Linux Journal and the Open Source Technology Group.

Kris has received fellowships and funding from Charleston Southern University, Yale University, and the Paul Sacher Foundation for archival study in the Foundation’s Ligeti Collection.

From 2005 to 2008, Kris served as the editor of Am Steg, an online community and resource for young music theorists and composers, which included co-authoring a blog on music cognition and co-hosting a podcast interviewing composers, theorists, and discussing significant topics for graduate students in music.

Kris is also an active performer and church musician. He most recently has freelanced in the Charleston area, performing with the Charleston Symphony, Opera Charleston, the Savannah Philharmonic, North Charleston Pops, and popular artists such as Jay Clifford. From 2008 to 2011, he directed the Sunday morning music ministry at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven, Conn. He has also performed with the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra (Williamstown, Mass.), the Illinois Symphony (Springfield, Ill.), and the Green Bay Symphony (Wis.).

In addition to the Ph.D., Kris holds a Master of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in music theory from Yale University, a Master of Music in orchestral performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and a Bachelor of Music in performance (with an honors thesis in music theory) from Lawrence University in Wisconsin.