Sunderman Conservatory of Music

William O'Hara

Assistant Professor

Sunderman Conservatory of Music



Campus Box 0403


B.M., Miami University
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D., Harvard University

William O’Hara is Assistant Professor of Music at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College. O'Hara's research and teaching interests include film and video game music, the history of music theory, tonal analysis and model composition, and media studies. Currently, he is at work on his first monograph, tentatively titled The Art of Recomposition, and on a study of sound design and hardware design in early arcade games. O’Hara completed a PhD in music theory at Harvard University in 2017, where he was also a consultant, filmmaker, and Learning Lab Fellow at Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. O’Hara earned an M.A. in music theory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.Mus. in music education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Prior to joining the faculty at Gettysburg, he taught courses in music theory at Tufts University, and led workshops in videography, editing, and podcasting at the Derek Bok Center.

O’Hara is a member of the Society for Music Theory’s IT & Networking Committee, the web designer for the online scholarly video journal SMT-V, and a member of the executive board for the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic (MTSMA). From 2013 to 2016, he was an editorial assistant for the Journal of the American Musicological Society. O'Hara has presented papers at meetings of the Society for Music Theory, the American Musicological Society, the North American Conference on Video Game Music, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and various regional musicology and theory conferences. His writings have appeared in Engaging Students, Musicology Now, the Newsletter of the Mozart Society of America, and Mosaic: A Journal of Musical Research. He has essays forthcoming in the journals Music Analysis, Music Theory & Analysis, and Analitica: Rivista online di studi musicali, and in the upcoming Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy.