Dr. Rebecca Simpson-Litke joined the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music as an Assistant Professor of Music Theory in the fall of 2012. She was named a Center for Teaching and Learning Lilly Teaching Fellow for 2014-16, and has served as a Dean of the Franklin Residential College since her arrival at UGA.
Dr. Simpson-Litke completed her Ph.D. in music theory at the University of British Columbia in 2010, studying with Dr. William Benjamin, Dr. John Roeder, and Dr. Richard Kurth. Prior to her doctoral studies, she completed an M.A. in music theory at UBC in 2003, examining pitch organization in the flute music of Philippe Gaubert in her thesis, and a B.Mus. in flute performance at the University of Manitoba in 2001, receiving the University Gold Medal for outstanding performance in music.
Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, her doctoral research uses transformational and tonal approaches to examine pitch organization in the music of Olivier Messiaen, with a focus on the structure, compositional use, and musical effects of the composer’s Modes of Limited Transpositions. Her more recent research activities explore rhythmic interactions between music and dance, focusing on salsa and other Latin social dances in particular. She has presented her research at international conferences in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, including meetings of the Society for Music Theory, the Canadian University Music Society, and the Royal Musical Association. In 2015, she co-founded the SMT Dance and Movement Interest Group and currently serves as co-chair for this group.
Prior to joining UGA, Dr. Simpson-Litke held faculty positions at Dalhousie University (2011-12), Memorial University of Newfoundland (2010-11), the University of Minnesota (2009-10), and UBC (2007-09). In her spare time, she performs as a flutist and vocalist, collaborating with her composer husband, Dr. David Litke, and enjoys teaching salsa and other Latin dance.