Congratulations to two Jacobs School of Music students, Hudson Maness and Miles Damaso, recipients of our 2023 Austin B. Caswell Awards. Maness received the award for his paper “The Tragedy of the Ospedali”. The committee also recently opened the award up to podcasts and Damaso’s “Recording Techniques in Early Jazz and How They Helped Shape the Music” is our first recipient in this category.
“The Tragedy of the Ospedali”
by Hudson Maness
At a glance, Vivaldi’s direction of the women’s conservatory of Venice takes on a mythical status. One of the most celebrated composers of the Venetian Renaissance leading a group of socially discarded musicians sounds like the premise of a Hollywood movie, but is it true? Was Vivaldi a champion of women’s musical freedom, or was he merely employed? Were the orphans pioneers, proving that women were just as capable as men in creative fields, or were they exhibits shrouded by an illusion of agency? A deep examination of Vivaldi’s relationship with the Ospedali gives insight into the driving forces of human nature and reveals how thoughts surrounding culture and gender evolve over time.
The award committee remarked that, “Musicology tends to view the world of the Venetian charitable institutions called Ospedali through their polished musical programs, directed by well-regarded figures such as composer Antonio Vivaldi. This well-written paper offers a distinctly different view, exploring the treatment of the underprivileged women and girls who trained in those programs. Through a strong engagement with existing sources, the author offers a compelling critique of these historical institutions, wielding sources and building arguments with admirable skill and command. The resulting paper displays a nuanced understanding of how culture and politics come together in large institutions, while still addressing questions of the ‘personal’.”
“Recording Techniques in Early Jazz and How They Helped Shape the Music”
by Miles Damaso
This podcast looks at a few eras of recording technology and the music that was recorded during them. It explores how advancements in this technology allowed an increasing number of artists and styles to be recorded and shared with the public. From the Original Dixieland Jass Band’s instrumentation being constrained, to certain styles of singing becoming possible, to more complex arrangements in big band jazz being able to now be heard, recording technology played a huge role what kinds of music was produced!
According to the award committee, “This podcast expertly leads the listener through early jazz styles with thoughtful, clear analysis of key recordings. Over more than twenty minutes, we learn through both spoken words and the sounds themselves how the qualities and limitations of recording technologies impacted both the composition and recording of early jazz, gaining broader implications about how these recordings continue to shape our view of the past. The committee was impressed with the author’s intimate understanding of how and why the podcast genre can be so compelling: the podcast struck that crucial balance between giving a listener necessary context and weaving an audible tale in which the listener can be enchanted and informed at the same time.”
Hudson Maness is a violist from Colorado whose playing has taken him around the world. In addition to subbing with the Evansville, Richmond, Terre Haute, and Owensboro orchestras, Hudson has performed in festivals both domestic and abroad. He has attended the Trentino Music Festival in Italy, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute in Massachusetts, and Montecito Music Festival in California. This summer he will visit Houston for the Texas Music Festival Orchestra Institute.
He teaches viola, violin, and beginning piano to students aged 5-40 in his own private studio, and has held TA positions at Luzerne Music Center, Western Academy of Music, and Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp.
Upon the completion of his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University under Stephen Wyrczynski, Hudson will pursue his master’s degree at McGill with André Roy.
Outside of music, Hudson loves coffee, chess, reading, and writing. He is currently writing a fantasy trilogy, and his favorite works to read include The Wheel of Time and Anna Karenina.
Miles Damaso is a percussionist, music educator, and composer-arranger based out of Bloomington, Indiana. He is the drummer for the Hickey-Shanafelt Collective and the J.C.Clements Band and also frequently performs with many other musicians in Indiana and surrounding areas playing a large variety of music. Miles started teaching music lessons in 2017 and currently teaches lessons to students across the United States. He has also assisted the music programs at Kennedy High School and Bloomington North High School. Miles is passionate about teaching the next generation of musicians and helping them achieve their individual musical goals.
Miles will graduate in the spring of 2023 from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. After, he will move to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his master’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University as a graduate assistant, as well as further a music career performing and privately teaching in the Nashville area.
Austin B. Caswell was a devoted teacher and member of the musicology faculty at Indiana University
The Austin B. Caswell Award was established in 1998 in honor of Caswell, a devoted teacher and member of the musicology faculty at Indiana University from 1966 until his retirement in 1996. Each spring, the award recognizes the best undergraduate music history projects submitted at the Jacobs School.
Caswell was born in Minneapolis, MN, the son of Austin B. Caswell Sr. and Corice Woodruff Caswell. A graduate of West High School (Minneapolis, 1949), Caswell received his B.A. in History from Amherst College (1953), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Minnesota (1957, 1964).
His early years of teaching included the Vermont Academy and the University of Minnesota General College. But the bulk of his teaching career was as Professor of Musicology at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (1966-1996) where he served as Chairman of the Musicology Department for several years. He also taught for the IU Honors College (1973-2006) and the IU Intensive Freshman Seminar program.
A lifetime choral musician, Caswell also served as Music Director for several churches including Wayzata Community Church (Minneapolis, MN, 1961-1966) and First United Church (Bloomington, IN, 1966-1971).