Exploring the Intersection of History and Music: Tori Santiago Troutman ’18

May 16, 2018


Tori Santiago TroutmanThis fall, Randolph-Macon College alumna Tori Santiago Troutman '18 will begin graduate studies in the Ph.D. program in musicology at Washington University in St. Louis. The history and music major was accepted into the Chancellor's Graduate Fellowship program, which is intended for students interested in pursuing careers in academia and post-graduate education.

"The program also provides professional development for careers in higher education, which is helpful because I want to be a professor," says Santiago Troutman, who received funding from the University's music department for the next six years while she completes the program.

Notable Experiences
Tori Santiago TroutmanNearly every experience she had at R-MC has helped Santiago Troutman explore the intersection of history and music.

A study-abroad course, English Reformation and the Rise of Methodism in England and Scotland, gave her a new perspective on the historical events that she'd always been intrigued by. When she toured the Salisbury Cathedral, which houses one of only four surviving exemplifications of the original Magna Carta, she was awestruck.

"I stared at it for a solid 15 minutes," says Santiago Troutman, who also conducted the R-MC choir in the Ely Cathedral, "one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the UK."  She also met with Sarah MacDonald, director of music of Selwyn College at Cambridge University and Ely Cathedral.

"Meeting her was the highlight of the trip. It was inspiring to hear about her experiences as a choral conductor and organist, and the prejudices she faces in England as a woman musician in the Anglican church. Our conversation inspired me to delve deeper into researching the topic of women in Anglican church music in the future."

SURFing Through Music and History
When she participated in the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, Santiago Troutman discovered that research was a great way to combine her passions for music and history. Under the guidance of Music Professor James Doering, she researched George Clinton and the Social Commentary of P-Funk in the 1970s.

"Clinton was an architect of funk music in the 1970s and expressed his political and social views of the United States that are still sound commentaries today, especially in the context of Black Pride and the #BlackLivesMatter movements," she says. "I submitted my SURF paper to Washington University when I was applying, and in a Skype interview with musicology faculty, the first thing they mentioned was how impressed they were with my research."

Outstanding Achievements
Santiago Troutman is the recipient of the Barbara Sylvia Doggett Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in the Musical Arts; the Outstanding Choral Student Award; the Henry and Genevieve Chenault Arts Award; the Presidential Scholarship; and the Trustees Award.

"Tori did amazing work in her four years at R-MC," says Doering. "She seized each opportunity that crossed her path and truly learned from those experiences. I’m proud of what she achieved and thrilled by new opportunities that are opening up for her."

Campus Life
Santiago Troutman, a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, was also a member of InTONEnation, a vocal performance group sponsored by Mu Phi Epsilon. The group performs at campus events such as the Interfaith Service and Baccalaureate. "Our repertoire included sacred music, secular works and popular music," she explains. "We invited those who are committed to making music to join the group, while those in Mu Phi participated as part of their service requirement."

A former member of the Concert Choir, Santiago Troutman also served as conductor for the Chamber Singers. In addition, she was vice president of the History Club and is a member of Phi Alpha Theta and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Instrumental Mentorship
Santiago Troutman is thankful to Doering and Music Professor Chris Ryder for helping her find her niche.

"The Concert Choir visited my high school, and, after talking to Professor Ryder, director of Choral Activities, I decided to visit the college. And Professor Doering, my advisor, helped me discover that musicology is my passion. There are not enough words to express my gratitude to them," she says.