Outstanding Alumna Nancy Rao Received Award from The American Musicological Society for her Publication
Outstanding Alumna of NTNTU, Prof. Nancy Rao, Head of the Music Theory Department, was presented with the Music in American Culture Award for her book Chinatown Opera Theatre in North America: The transformation of Chinese Music into American Music in the Early Twentieth Century (University of Illinois Press, 2017). This award is to recognize her achievement personally but also the major contribution the Chinese American has to the society and culture in the states. NTNU students and teachers shared this good news and President Wu praised Rao for her accomplishment academically in the field of music.
The American Musicological Society was founded in 1934 as a non-profit organization to advance "research in the various fields of music as a branch of learning and scholarship." In 1951 the Society became a constituent member of the American Council of Learned Societies. At present, 3,000 individual members and 800 institutional subscribers from forty nations are on the rolls of the Society. The Society publishes three journals every year and hosts an academic meeting in fall.
The Music in American Culture Award honors each year a book of exceptional merit that both illuminates some important aspect of the music of the United States and places that music in a rich cultural context. The goal of this award is to recognize the best writing on music in American culture, regardless of the source or intended audience of that writing.
At the Awards Ceremony, committee chair Nancy Newman, Associate Professor
at the University of Albany/SUNY, read the following citation: “From a field of nearly 30 submissions— many notable, wonderful books—we arrived at the unanimous conclusion that Chinatown Opera Theatre in North America should receive this year’s prize. To paraphrase committee member Glenda Goodman, author Nancy Rao displays staggering archival expertise to tell a far-reaching history of musical theatre in the trans-Pacific world. In sophisticated and eloquent prose, Rao insists on a transnational perspective that encompasses Canadian and U.S. cities from Chinese opera’s origins in the mid-19th century through its peak in the 1920s and beyond. The book’s focus on immigrants and itinerant performers is a timely topic, confronting the history of discrimination against, and stereotypes of, Chinese people. At the same time, Rao empathetically delineates the role of this artistic practice in community identity formation. She also shows how forays into Asian music by figures such as Henry Cowell and Charles Seeger were shaped by their lived experience. This thought-provoking work is certain to have major impact.