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DkIT Music Student Awarded Second Place In Higher Education Musicology Competition

01 February 2021

Lee Harding, a current MA Research student in the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), was awarded second place in the 2020 Council of Heads of Music in Higher Education Musicology Competition. Lee, who is from Balrath, Co. Meath, won the award for his undergraduate thesis completed as part of his studies on BA (Hons) Applied Music.


His thesis is entitled The Transgender Voice: How Ireland Can Turn Up The Volume and investigates transgender people’s experiences of primary, secondary, third level and music education, whilst focusing on a larger problem that may make transgender people hesitate before joining in on musical activities – their voice. This dissertation, supervised by the late Dr David Connolly, demonstrates how a music teacher of any discipline can better accommodate and aid their transgender students. Lee was the 2019 Michael Van Dessel choral conducting scholar at DkIT. He commenced his postgraduate studies in the Department in September 2020.

Funded by a postgraduate scholarship through the Research Office at DkIT, Lee’s thesis, Spaces on the Stave: Documenting the Musical Lives of Transgender People in Ireland, is an interdisciplinary project that will document a social history and mapping of the musical lives of transgender people in Ireland. Specifically, this thesis will investigate how music shapes the lives of transgender people in Ireland, identify the key transgender music-makers in Ireland, situate this music within socio-cultural history context in Ireland, map transgender music fandom in Ireland and write a cultural history on the impact of gender identity on amateur and professional music-making and consumption for transgender people in Ireland.

As part of his prize, Lee presented a paper on the research he conducted as part of his undergraduate thesis at the SMI / ICTM postgraduate annual conference held recently. This conference was hosted by Maynooth University in association with the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at DkIT, and was held in memory of Lee’s former lecturer, Dr David Connolly.

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