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David Thurmaier

Chair of the Music Studies Division and Associate Professor of Music Theory

David Thurmaier is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Chair of the Music Studies Division at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. In addition to teaching graduate courses in music theory, he coordinates the undergraduate core musicianship sequence.

He holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.M., Composition), the Eastman School of Music (M.A., Music Theory Pedagogy), and Indiana University (Ph.D., Music Theory), where his dissertation focused on time and compositional process in the orchestral music of Charles Ives. 

He has previously served on the faculties of Lawrence University, the University of Central Missouri, and Florida Gulf Coast University, where he won the Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. At UMKC, he won the Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers, Scholars, and Artists, as well as the Muriel McBride Kauffman Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr. Thurmaier was a Fulbright Scholar at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic during the Spring 2018 semester. His research there focused on Czech music theory pedagogy, the music of Janá?ek, and the reception of the Beatles during communism.

In addition to Ives, Dr. Thurmaier’s research interests include the pedagogy of music theory, the history of music theory in the United States, and the Beatles. He has presented research on these topics at numerous conferences including the Society for Music Theory, Society for American Music, and the College Music Society. 

Recent publications have included his articles "'Perhaps I’d better go back to Mr. Jadassohn': Charles Ives’s Harmonic Training in Late Nineteenth-Century America" in Theoria and “‘When Borne by the Red, White, and Blue’: Charles Ives and Patriotic Quotation” in American Music. His critical editions of Ives’s Psalm 67 and Psalm 90 are in production for the Charles Ives Society, for which he serves as a member of the Board of Directors.

Dr. Thurmaier has a performance background on horn and guitar, and is the co-host of “I’ve Got a Beatles Podcast,” an international podcast focusing on the music and history of the Beatles.