Research & Publications
The New Music of Alec Wilder
Dr. Koerner is currently in the process of finalizing an arrangement-transcription of a set of pieces by the 20th Century composer, Alec Wilder. A friend of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, Wilder was mainly known for his songwriting, but also developed eclectic compositions combining classical and jazz elements. In early 2018, Dr. Koerner uncovered a set of twelve Wilder scores in the Special Collections at Eastman, scores written for the 1956 recording "The New Music of Alec Wilder with Mundell Lowe." Upon further discovery, it turned out that these chamber pieces had not been performed since the original recording, in part, because the parts had been misplaced over time. For her 2018 DMA Lecture Recital, Dr. Koerner utilized the scores and original LP recording to recreate the parts, gathering together an ensemble of 10 musicians to perform these works once again. Ultimately the Lecture Recital received Eastman School of Music’s 2018 Lecture Recital Prize and cash award. The lecture, video and all handout materials will be archived by the Sibley Music Library to serve as a model for future DMA students as they plan their own lecture recitals. Dr. Koerner has received permission from the Wilder Estate to have these pieces published and is currently working on that process. Lastly, the Friends of Alec Wilder, in their Friends of Alec Wilder Newsletter Vol. 31, May 2018, reference Dr. Koerner's transcription and performance efforts.
Suggestion for Bored Dancers
DMA Recital 2018
Eastman Case Studies
Faced with shifting demographics and financial stressors in the music field, The Eastman Case Studies are designed to help current and future music leaders develop skills and perspectives to solve real-world problems through situation analysis, recommendations, and discussion. Case studies, a primary teaching tool in business schools, provide narratives about a specific challenge and give students the chance to get practical experience in developing problem-solving strategies.
An initiative of Eastman School of Music’s Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research launched in 2016, The Eastman Case Studies examine issues and challenges that face today's musical leaders and place students in the role of consultant. Students are charged with assessing business problems and making key decisions in resolving the issues, focusing on innovative practices that address problems faced by both traditional and emerging music organizations in the quickly changing marketplace. Topics range from general subjects such as community engagement and organizational residencies to specific issues like programming and contract negotiations.
Dr. Koerner was invited to co-author the series, becoming part of a team to research, develop and write the studies. Since then, she has published a study in both Volumes I & II - Pegasus Early Music: Engaging Younger, Audiences, Break of Reality and Getting on Board with National Sawdust, respectively.
Bassoon Etude Assessment
For Blaire’s minor in Advanced Collegiate Teaching, she developed a combination internship/independent study that examined the variety and leveling system of bassoon etude books. The focus of the internship was interviewing 14 established bassoon professors, pedagogues, and performers who teach students at various levels. They were asked what they thought was the role of etude books, which books they utilized in their lessons, and their pedagogical method. Together, these bassoonists listed over 30 etude books they frequently utilized, created, or with which they were familiar. The independent study portion of this project focused on assessing this list, starting with the most popular. The final product of the study was a detailed chart specifying each etudes’ technical information (background, formatting, notations, terminology) and an annotated bibliography identifying general focuses and tendencies of each book.
Currently, Dr. Koerner is in the process of expounding upon her research to include more interviews and etude books. In addition, she is developing a blog that briefly highlights certain features of each book, the historical context, and a short recording to help other bassoonists learn about these available resources - for both personal use and teaching purposes.
Elementary Teaching Analysis
For her Masters in Elementary Education, she completed a quantitative-qualitative analysis titled "Becoming Aware: A Student Teaching Self-Study and Analysis." Her study included recording and transcribing personal lesson segments during her student teaching - focusing on the use of questioning according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. Blaire self-evaluated the findings and passed a committee-reviewed presentation of the results.
Critical Edition of Daniel Speer’s Sonatas for Two Bassoons
In 2011, Blaire was selected to create an independent honors thesis that examined the historical and pedagogical overview of the bassoon. With the assistance of Dr. William Hettrick, and frequent visits of the New York Public Music Library, she created a critical edition of an original pedagogical work for two bassoons by Daniel Speer by realizing the continuo part into a written piano rendition. She presented her findings in conjunction with her senior recital Then and Now: Fagott Through Time. Her thesis, "A Critical Edition of Daniel Speer’s Two Sonatas for Two Bassoons and continuo (1687) and the 2011 History of the Bassoon from 1600 to 1750," was awarded Departmental Honors with Distinction.