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Skidmore College
Music Department
Sarah Day-O'Connell

Sarah Day-O’Connell

Associate Professor

Office: Zankel Music Center 121
Phone: (518) 580-5343


  • Ph.D., Musicology, with Minor in Gender Studies, Cornell University, 2004
  • B.Mus., Music History and Piano Performance, Oberlin College, 1995


In my research I combine musical analysis with interpretation of literary, visual, and material culture in order to explore how musical activity, especially singing, reflects and shapes broader social concerns – in particular, about gender and politics.  I also examine transcriptions, “covers,” recordings, theories of performance, criticism, and listener reception because I’m interested in how music, through performance, changes meaning across times and cultures.


Music history and historiography; music and culture; late eighteenth-century music and aesthetics, gender and music; translation studies; music and medicine, faith, and healing; musical authorship/borrowing/plagiarism/copyright; opera; flamenco; Caribbean steelband; Japanese taiko drumming; American shape-note singing; music about trains.



  • Pauline Alderman Award for Outstanding Scholarship on Women and Music, International Alliance for Women in Music, 2011
  • Alternate, Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Association of University Women (AAUW), 2010-2011
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Fall 2009 and Fall 2010
  • Winner, Innovative Course Design Competition, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2009
  • Edison Fellowship, Sound Archive, British Library, London, 2007-2008
  • Dissertation Prize, Gender Studies Program, Cornell University, 2002
  • Buttrick-Crippen Fellowship, John S. Knight Writing Program, Cornell University, 2000-2001


  • “Creative Fidelity: Insights on Musical Performance via Translation Theory.” Performance Studies Network Third International Conference, University of Cambridge, July 2014.
  • “Singing as Translation: A ‘New Fidelity’ Approach to Performance and Meaning in Joseph Haydn’s Canzonettas.”  American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Williamsburg (Virginia), March 2014.
  • “Origins and Journeys of Haydn’s English Canzonetta ‘The Wanderer.’”  American Musicological Society, San Francisco, November 2011.
  • “‘Daughter of Sorrow’: Feminine Exile and Joseph Haydn’s ‘The Wanderer.’” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vancouver, March 2011.
  • “‘Lost in the Past, Disregarding Tomorrow’: Journeys and Destinations of Haydn’s ‘The Wanderer.’” Works-in-Progress Series, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, October 2010.
  • “Four Fidelities: Musicology Meets Translation Studies.”  Seminar series in “Translations, Adaptations, and Modalities,” Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, November 2009.
  • “Time and Pastime in Songs of Haydn’s London.” Institute of Musical Research, University of London School of Advanced Study, January 2009.
  • “Haydn’s Canzonettas on Record.” Studies in Recorded Music Seminar Series, British Library, London, January 2009.
  • “‘The Clock Points its Moral to the Heart’: Time and Memory in Haydn’s English Canzonettas,” Zyklus und Prozess: Haydn und die Zeit, held at Institut für Analyse, Theorie und Geschichte der Musik, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, January 2009.