Student's Civil War film research chosen for Washington, D.C. presentation

A Gettysburg College student who researched the role of music in Civil War films was chosen to take part in a scholarly presentation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Deen, Class of 2010, presented his findings at the Council on Undergraduate Research's (CUR) annual Posters on the Hill event on April 13.

Deen, who is majoring in music performance and minoring in Civil War Era studies, used scores, scripts, diaries, interviews, and other data to study the role of music in Civil War films from the silent era -- when live musicians accompanied movies -- to today. His work was supported by a Mellon Foundation grant for summer research in 2009.

As well as studying the oboe at Gettysburg College's Sunderman Conservatory of Music, Deen has been involved with the Civil War reenacting community and has played in a fife and drum corps since high school and was an extra in a full-length professional docudrama about the Battle of Gettysburg. "I am particularly interested in the rise of period performance and the way recent composers have integrated period music with the film score," said Deen, who conducted his research in collaboration with English Prof. Jack Ryan.

Andrew Deen at Riggs Inauguration Civil War music filmDeen's abstract, "The Evolution of Soundtrack in Civil War Film," was among posters competitively selected for display during a reception in Washington. The CUR event also included visits by students and their faculty mentors to their representatives' and senators' offices.

Students and mentors also visited the Folger Library, National Museum of Natural History, Library of Congress and National Archives.  In addition, Dr. Wayne Clough, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, spoke at a morning session.

The non-profit CUR, founded in 1978, supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Nearly 600 institutions and over 5000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members. CUR is based in Washington, D.C.

"The 2010 Posters on the Hill program showcases not only the very impressive accomplishments of individual students, but also the tremendous potential of undergraduate research for producing breakthrough discoveries as well as encouraging careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics."

Gettysburg College's scholar development program supports undergraduate research and creative activities throughout students' four years. The program facilitates fellowships, scholarships, and grants and celebrates student research at an annual colloquium.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Lower photo: Deen was among students who presented their research at an event held in conjunction with  President Janet Morgan Riggs' Inauguration in September, 2009. Photo by Jim Hale

Contact: Jim Hale, online content editor

Posted April --, 2010

Posted: Thu, 8 Apr 2010

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