Sean Colonna is a PhD student in historical musicology. Prior to starting his graduate studies in 2016 he joined Teach for America, founding the music program at a charter school in Arkansas. In 2014 he received a Fulbright Scholarship to work in Germany as an English Teaching Assistant. His research interests include: opera and nationalism, musical modernism, black studies, and the aesthetics of political enfranchisement in the United States. His current work centers on black composers in and around the time of the Harlem Renaissance, exploring how their operatic compositions both participated in and expanded the boundaries of traditional Euro-American compositional practice. He recently gave a paper presentation entitled “H. Lawrence Freeman’s Voodoo: Toward an Aesthetics of 'Negro Grand Opera'" at the 2017 Rutgers University Musicological Society Graduate Conference.