About Elizabeth Wells

Portrait of Dr. Elizabeth Wells

Elizabeth Wells

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Biography (under 362 words; shorter versions below)

Elizabeth Wells is currently Dean of Arts and Pickard-Bell Chair in Music at Mount Allison University.  She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto with a concentration in History and Literature of Music. She then pursued a career in public broadcasting, working as a music programmer and producer of a classical music programs for CJRT-FM in Toronto. In 1993, she entered the graduate program in musicology at the Eastman School of Music. Her dissertation, entitled West Side Story(s): Perspectives on a Great American Musical, was supported by the three dissertation fellowships, including the AMS-50 Dissertation Fellowship awarded annually to the most promising doctoral research in musicology in North America. In 2011 a book version was published by Scarecrow Press, and won the Music in American Culture award of the American Musicological Society.

Wells has read papers on musicology and music history pedagogy at national and international conferences, including meetings of Feminist Theory and Music, the American Musicological Society and the International Musicological Society. In addition, she has given guest lectures and has been an invited speaker on musical theatre, most notably at Harvard University. She has twice won the “Best Student Paper” from the New York State/St. Lawrence Chapter of the AMS. Her work has been published in Cambridge Opera Journal, the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and Studies in Musical Theatre.

Before coming to Mount Allison, she taught music history at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, the State University of New York at Geneseo, and the Eastman School of Music. In 2008 she won the Tucker Teaching Award, Mount Allison’s highest recognition of teaching excellence, and the Association of Atlantic Universities’ Distinguished Teacher Award. She was named a 3M National Teaching Fellow in 2010.

Her research interests include music history pedagogy, British musical theatre of the 1950s, and American musical theatre at mid-century. She has developed innovative courses including one on the Beatles and a course supported by the Vice-President’s Curricular Innovation fund entitled “Music and Difference,” which addresses music’s role in mediating and expressing difference. She has also taught a course on pedagogy and fundamentals of teaching for undergraduates.

Biography (under 200 words)

Elizabeth A. Wells earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto with a concentration in History and Literature of Music and completed her doctorate in musicology at the Eastman School of Music. Her dissertation, entitled West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical, was supported by the Presser Foundation and the AMS-50 Dissertation Fellowship.  This work was published as a monograph and won the Music in American Culture award of the American Musicological Society. Her work has appeared in Cambridge Opera Journal, The Journal of the American Musicological Society, and Studies in Musical Theatre. She is now Dean of Arts and Pickard-Bell Chair in Music at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. She has won four teaching awards, including the 3M National Teaching Fellowship and the Teaching Award of the American Musicological Society. Her research interests include 20th-Century opera, musical theatre at mid-century, feminism and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Biography (under 150 words)

Elizabeth A. Wells completed her doctorate in musicology at the Eastman School of Music and is now Dean of Arts and Pickard-Bell Chair in Music at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Her work has appeared in Cambridge Opera Journal and the Journal of the American Musicological Society. She has won regional and national teaching awards and her research has been supported by the Presser Foundation and the AMS-50 dissertation fellowship. Her book West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical won the AMS Music in American Culture Award. Her research interests include American and British musical theatre at mid-century, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Biography (under 100 words)

Elizabeth A. Wells completed her doctorate in musicology at the Eastman School of Music and is now Dean of Arts and Pickard-Bell Chair in Music at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Her book on West Side Story was published won the AMS Music in American Culture Award. She has won national teaching awards and has presented over 20 papers on pedagogy. Her research interests include 20th-Century opera, musical theatre at mid-century, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.