The American Music Research Center (AMRC) has named Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Austin Okigbo as its interim director for the 2023-’24 academic year. Okigbo, also an affiliate faculty member in the Center for African & African American Studies, global health and ethnic studies, is no stranger to the AMRC.
“I’ve been involved in the AMRC for as long as I’ve been at the College of Music,” Okigbo says. In the past—as an AMRC Faculty Affiliate and Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) on the AMRC’s Soundscapes of the People grant—he has participated in outreach activities and research opportunities, and he continues to serve on the AMRC Advisory Board as well as the editorial committee for the AMRC journal, Americas: A Hemispheric Music Journal.
This year, Okigbo has stepped in to lead the AMRC’s events and research projects while a search for a new permanent director is underway. Susan Thomas, the AMRC’s former director, is now with the Butler School of Music in Austin, Texas; she continues her involvement in the Soundscapes of the People project as a faculty affiliate.
“My goal at this point in time is to make sure that the center maintains the things we are doing,” Okigbo says. “I want to make sure the programming that we have in place is well executed.”
Coming up in October, the AMRC will host a pair of concerts titled “Song of Pueblo.” These concerts highlight the AMRC’s Soundscapes of the People study that’s documenting the history of Pueblo, Colorado, by researching its musical past and collecting oral testimonies.