Music Graduate Student
The University of Chicago
Music and Anthropology-Sociology Double Major
Will Faber '07 is currently working on his disseration in music at the
University of Chicago and continuing the educational experience he
had at Knox. In addition to his studies, he plays in jazz ensembles and
helps organize a well-known jazz festival in Chicago.
What are you doing now?
Writing a dissertation in the music department at the University of Chicago. My research addresses musical and social improvisation in London and in Chicago. I consider the convergences and disjunctures of jazz, electronic dance musics, and Jamaican popular music. I conducted ethnographic research for my dissertation in London during 2011 and 2012.
I teach in the college (Introduction to World Music and college writing) and am the president of Live the Spirit Residency, a non-profit organization working in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. We produce the annual Englewood Jazz Festival, provide after-school jazz education for youth, organize a professional big band performing new works composed by ensemble members, and host a jazz ensemble for senior citizens. I play guitar in El is a Sound of Joy, an improvising ensemble in Chicago.
How has your Knox experience made an impact on your career?
My studies at Knox, both inside and outside the classroom, helped me to engage critically with new ideas, value thinking, imagination, and listening.
How did your Knox experience affect the course of your life?
At Knox I met my wife, Jordan Mumma '08. I made wonderful friends who taught me to see and hear the world in new ways. I had professors who encouraged me to ask questions and to use the tools of research to come toward some meaningful insights on problems related to history, culture, performance, and mediation.
What surprised you about Knox?
It would have been impossible for me to know how strongly I would feel about the campus and community. When I returned to campus a few months back to pick up my sister-in-law, I felt happy, a bit nostalgic, and was flooded with great memories.
Describe a memorable experience or professor and the impact it had on you.
Conducting research my senior year gave me a great introduction to the type of work I would go on to do as a gradate student. Nikki Malley, Sarah Day-O'Connell, and Jon Wagner gave wonderful guidance, mentorship, and encouragement as I found my way through my first attempt at research. They asked challenging questions when I needed to hear them most.