Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis
Music Theory, Harp and Byzantine Music
Hello!  This page is to let you know a bit more about me, both personally and as a professor at The Crane School of Music, SUNY-Potsdam.  

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both of my parents were professors--my father is a physicist and my mother is a composer, so I guess teaching is in my genes--I love being in a university environment!  After I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I went to Eastman to study harp with Eileen Malone.  While there, I became fascinated with music theory and at the same time had the opportunity to study Byzantine chant.  I combined these two interests into a second master's degree from Eastman and later I received a grant to study in Greece where I received two diplomas in Byzantine music. After Eastman, I went to USC to study harp with Susann McDonald.  When she accepted a position at Indiana University, she took me along as her graduate assistant and I finished my doctorate at IU.  

I joined the faculty of the Crane School of Music in 1996 and have been very much at home here, both as a theorist and a harpist.  I teach courses such as Music Theory and Aural Skills (a four-semester sequence) as well as the upper-division/graduate electives, Pedagogy of Music Theory, Counterpoint (Modal and Tonal), Analytical Techniques, and Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis. I've also taught two courses relating to my research area,  Byzantine Music: History Theory and Practice, and Byzantium: Religion and the Arts in the Christian East. 

Theory IV class composition project for the annual student Holiday Convocation:
The Seven Modes of Christmas

As a harpist, I find that teaching in the harp studio is a perfect counterpart to the theory classroom. I enjoy giving recitals, appearing as a soloist and performing chamber music.  I am on the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour Artist Roster, where presenters in the Northeastern United States can obtain matching grants to facilitate my performances and workshops. 

My favorite sport is tennis. I played for my high school and college teams, and I am an assistant coach for the SUNY Potsdam Women's Tennis Team.  I am deeply committed to academic service. Presently, I am serving as Chair of the SUNY Potsdam Faculty Senate.

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At left: Alan Solomon, Dean of the Crane School of Music,
and Jessica Suchy-Pilalis
at the 3rd Annual Faculty Gala Concert.