Caroline Cole is a junior History, Museum Studies, and English major at Georgia College & State University, where she serves as vice president of Eta Sigma Alpha, a student assistant for the Honors College, a docent at the Old Governor’s Mansion, and an intern for the Georgia Writers Museum. She joined the Trax on the Trail and Songs of Political Persuasion projects because she has long been fascinated with presidential campaigns and how candidates either become popular or fall off the map. She has noticed that music is a big part of why that is, and these projects allow her to explore those trends further.

Victoriyah Friend is a sophomore psychology student at Georgia College & State University. She is currently a student researcher for Trax on the Trail, a website and research project that catalogs and analyzes the soundscapes of US presidential campaigns, andSongs of Political Persuasion, a project on 19th-century campaign songsters. Through this work she has developed an interest in abolitionist literature and how its rhetoric translates into music.

Dr. Jennifer Flory is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Georgia College & State University (GCSU) where she conducts University Chorus and Max Noah Singers and teaches choral/vocal music education and conducting courses. Flory made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2018, directs honor choirs, and serves as an adjudicator for LGPE and Literary. Flory is also Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Milledgeville and performs in the community as a mezzo-soprano soloist.

Flory’s research has been published as six issues in the  Research Memorandum Series. One of these issues was transformed into an online database, In 2014, Flory was initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa and selected as a Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow. In 2018, Flory was awarded the Council of Public Liberal Arts College’s Charles Dunn Award for her commitment to student success which goes “above and beyond.” In 2021, Flory was recognized with a Noteworthy Performance Post-Tenure Review for excellence in service to the community, mentorship, leadership, and research. In 2022, Flory was invited to join Phi Kappa Phi and was chosen as a GCSU Women’s Leadership Faculty Fellow. In 2023, Flory received the Hampsong Education Fellowship in American Song from the Society for American Music with Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, and was selected as a fellow for the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Leadership Institute.

Flory holds Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music Education Degrees from Otterbein College (now University); and a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from theCollege-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Dana Gorzelany-Mostak is an Associate Professor of Music at Georgia College & State University where she teaches the Women’s Ensemble and courses on music and conflict, American music, Western classical music, and musical theatre. A musicologist by training, her research on popular song and electoral politics appears in Music & Politics, the Journal of the Society for American Music, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and American Music.

Gorzelany-Mostak is the founder of Trax on the Trail, a website and research project that tracks and catalogs the soundscapes of American presidential campaigns. She has provided her expert opinion for news outlets such as the BBC, Politico, NewsweekThe GuardianVariety, Pacific Standard, Inverse, and The Boston Herald. Her forthcoming book, Tracks on the Trail: Popular Music, Race, and the US Presidency, analyzes the official and unofficial musical activity surrounding 21st-century presidential campaigns, shedding light on how the racialization of sound intersects with other markers of difference and ultimately shapes the public discourse surrounding candidates, popular music, and the meanings attached to race in the 21st century.

Riley Greer is a junior music major with an education focus at Georgia College & State University. A student in the John E. Sallstrom Honors College, she is the GCSU 2023 Concerto Competition Winner and a student researcher for Trax on the Trail and the Songs of Political Persuasion project. Working on this project has sparked her interest in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the music surrounding it.

Claire Kosobud is a junior rhetoric major with a double minor in English Literature and History at Georgia College & State University. She wants to pursue a career in speech writing. As a student, she is a member of the John E. Sallstrom Honors College and currently sits on the student advisory board for the English Department. Her involvement with Trax on the Trail has sparked a further interest in the marriage between music and persuasive policy.

Maureen Rafter is a Maryland-born singer and scholar. A double major in music and American studies at George Washington University, Maureen is primarily interested in studying 20th- and 21st-popular music and American politics. Her current project, “Rock the Vote: Barack Obama’s Sonic Identity in Rock Campaign Music,” analyzes Bruce Springsteen’s music in President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns and is sponsored by the Luther Rice Fellowship at GWU. Maureen’s research analyzes the inherently political messages of popular music as well as the cultural influences that have contributed to our contemporary sound. In addition to her scholarly work, she has a background in vocal and piano performance which she has continued through my time at GW. There, she has studied theatre, jazz, and classical music as both a soloist and a member of numerous ensembles in the music program.

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