Author Archives: Dr Christopher Wiley

About Dr Christopher Wiley

Dr Christopher Wiley was Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of the BMus Programme at City University London (to August 2013). He is a National Teaching Fellow (2013). @Chris_Wiley

Centre for Music Studies hosts City Music Careers Evening

The Centre for Music Studies hosted a major event, ‘Careers with a Music Degree’, in the Performance Space at City University London on Tuesday 12 February 2013 from 6-9pm.

The event welcomed external speakers from a range of different music-related professions including venue management, teaching, freelance performance, the music business, music therapy, sound recording, and graduate positions. In addition to explaining their own roles and professions, the panel of experts had many useful employability tips to pass on to the students.

Speakers represented organizations including the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Barbican, The Latymer School, ForeSound School of Music and the Performing Arts, Mazars LLP, and the Incorporated Society of Musicians. Several were recent graduates of the City BMus programme who were now in key positions within their profession.

Some 50 current students were in attendance. Many have now made important new contacts and some have even secured placement opportunities as a direct result of the event.

Dionysios Kyropoulos: Recent news

City Music graduate Dionysios Kyropoulos has been awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Prize for his outstanding undergraduate final-year Major Project entitled ‘Rhetoric, Affekt and Gesture in Handelian Opera: Towards a holistic approach to historically informed performance’.

After his recent graduation, Dionysios performed the role of Uberto in Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona in Stuttgart, Germany, followed by the roles of Masetto and Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Thames Philharmonia conducted by Byung-Yun Yu. He created the role of the Whale in Danyal Dhondy’s new opera Just So, premiered at the 2012 Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival, and he also participated in the British Youth Opera production of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride in which he sang in the chorus and understudied the role of Mícha.

Dionysios, who graduated with a first-class BMus(Hons) degree, frequently gives talks about historical stagecraft at the Handel House Museum. This academic year he is back at City University London as the tutor of the City Opera Ensemble, where he offers undergraduate music students theoretical and practical training in operatic performance in his capacity as music and stage director. He is using this opportunity to experiment with period stagecraft and further develop his academic research. Next year he will be studying for the MPhil in Music Studies at the University of Cambridge.

He has continued his association with the Historical Performance Department at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and recently sung the role of Father Time in The Masque of Time, devised by Andrew Lawrence-King and directed by Victoria Newlyn. A revival of this production is scheduled for 26 March in St Stephen Walbrook. Dionysios is currently preparing to sing in Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri, Handel’s Atalanta with Cambridge Handel Opera and Holst’s Wandering Scholar with Opéra les Fauves.

For Dionysios’s biography, news and upcoming concerts, please visit his website

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes book chapter on Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson Grasping the SpectacleAn interdisciplinary volume of essays on Michael Jackson, published earlier this year, includes a chapter on musicology written by Dr Christopher Wiley.

Dr Wiley’s ‘Putting the Music Back into Michael Jackson Studies’ appears in Christopher R. Smit (ed.), Michael Jackson: Grasping the Spectacle (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 101-16.

Informed by his participation in the international press coverage of Jackson’s death in 2009, and crystallizing around the iconic tracks ‘Thriller’ and ‘Black or White’, the chapter seeks to refocus attention on Jackson’s music in relation to discussion of his music videos and their sociocultural contexts.

It concludes by exposing the danger of over-interpreting the art through the lens of the biography of the originating artist, asking whether Jackson’s celebrity will ultimately rest on his contribution to the late twentieth-century entertainment industry or on the serious controversies with which he became associated.

Dr Wiley’s essay is also available for download from City Research Online, the University’s research repository, at the following link:

City University London’s BMus Music degree in double-page feature in Education magazine

Education Magazine, Vol. 25/4 The current issue (Vol.25, No.4) of Ireland’s Education magazine includes a major feature, ‘A unique music degree in London’, on City University London’s BMus Music course.

Describing the degree as ‘a very attractive package for those wishing to pursue a career in music or the self expression that music involves’, the double-page spread includes an interview with Dr Christopher Wiley, Undergraduate Programme Director; information about the course structure, admissions, performance possibilities, and employment prospects; and a profile of second-year BMus student Jane McConnell, who came to City from County Tyrone.

Education Magazine, Vol. 25/4


Speaking about applications for the degree, Dr Wiley is quoted as saying that ‘We are very averse to sending away interesting and well-qualified candidates. We like to engage with people as individuals not as statistics or a series of grades.’

The article, which appears on pages 16-17 of the magazine, may be viewed at the following link:

Centre staff and recent graduate featured in Independent article on music degrees and associated career opportunities

An article published today (22 November) in the Creative Arts supplement of The Independent newspaper features quotations from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr Christopher Wiley as well as a profile of recent City BMus graduate, Dionysios Kyropoulos.

In the article ‘Notes on working in music’, by journalist David Crookes, Dionysios explains how his passion for classical singing and opera led him to the UK (from Greece) and to City University London, in order to benefit from solid academic foundations for his studies in tandem with high-quality singing training.

While at City, Dionysios recounts, he discovered his passion for research: ‘The discovery of the impact that academic work can have on performance, and, vice versa, how practical research through performance can assist its academic counterpart absolutely fascinates me. The course helped me make this discovery.’ 

Dr Chris Wiley tops a list of UK academics quoted in the article, who between them explain that a music degree can open up a wealth of career opportunities for the aspiring student. Chris notes that ‘There certainly is more to being a successful musician than simply playing an instrument’, before outlining some of the many career-enhancing benefits of studying music at university.

Click here to read the full article

Dr Christopher Wiley addresses SEDA Annual Conference at Aston University, Birmingham

Dr Christopher Wiley addressed the 17th Annual Conference of the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA), ‘Excellence in Teaching: recognising, enhancing, evaluating and achieving impact’, held at Aston Business School Conference Centre, Aston University, Birmingham on 15-16 November 2012.

His presentation, entitled ‘Standardized Module Evaluation for Teaching Excellence and Enhancement: Views of Students and Staff at a Single UK Higher Education Institution’, discussed the principles underpinning the standardization of module evaluation and its advantages and disadvantages.

Drawing on the standardized module evaluation implemented across City University London last year and some of the more localized processes it replaced, as well as the views of students and staff interviewed as part of his research, Dr Wiley also considered other measures by which teaching excellence might instead be recognized such as student-led teaching award schemes.

In the course of the workshop session, Dr Wiley facilitated a lively discussion on the relative merits and drawbacks of standardized module evaluation, exploring the processes currently implemented at different institutions, sharing best practices, and working towards action planning for the future.

Dr Christopher Wiley to join Turning Technologies’ Distinguished Educator Programme

Dr Christopher Wiley, Senior Lecturer in Music at City University London, has been appointed as a Distinguished Educator by Turning Technologies, global leader in voting, polling, and assessment systems used by schools, universities, and corporations.

In this role, Dr Wiley will be responsible for sharing with the company’s growing community of users in the UK and Europe best practice, pedagogical applications, and his own experience as a music lecturer using Turning Technologies’ response technology.

Dr Wiley, who joins the Programme as the first Distinguished Educator to be appointed from the Arts and Humanities, will sit alongside world-renowned educators such as Dr Eric Mazur, Harvard Professor and creator of the highly successful peer instruction method of teaching, as well as other HE professionals from across the world.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Chris Wiley said, “I have been using Turning Technologies’ electronic voting systems since 2008 and was awarded a University Prize for Teaching Innovation the following year for my pioneering work in this area. I was invited to join the Distinguished Educator programme following my presentation at Turning Technologies’ User Conference at Aarhus University, Denmark in June 2012.

“As a role centred on the provision of academic expertise for a commercial enterprise, the Distinguished Educator position also embodies City University London’s unique focus on ‘academic excellence for business and the professions’.”

Read the full news release here:–senior-lecturer-in-music-at-city-university-london–to-join-turning-technologi,c9322676

Doctoral students Sini Timonen and Alex Jeffery present at major international conference

Two of the Centre’s doctoral students presented papers at a major international conference, Imagining Communities Musically: Putting Popular Music in its Place’, held by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) last week at the University of Salford.

Sini Timonen, who is in the closing stages of her PhD on women musicians’ contribution to popular music in England between 1962 and 1971, gave a paper entitled ‘The Girl Singer in 1960s London: the Position of Female Vocalists within the Pop Music Industry’. Drawing on original interviews conducted with lesser-known ‘Brit Girls’ active on the London pop scene in the sixties, Sini explored the major challenges they faced, the strategies by which they navigated them, and the implications of the essentially male-oriented contexts in which they worked.

Alexander Jeffery presented the paper ‘Reconfiguring Prince: how online fan communities are taking back control of the album’, in which he examined traditions amongst Prince fans active in online forums of proposing their own alternative track listings for landmark albums such as Purple Rain as well as abandoned album projects. Alex, who has recently entered his second year on the doctoral programme, is conducting research on manifestations of the long-form musical work in contemporary popular culture.

Alex is supervised by Dr Christopher Wiley and Sini is co-supervised by Dr Wiley and Professor Steve Stanton.

Dr Christopher Wiley addresses International Conference on Learning, Institute of Education, London

The Institute of Education, University of London, LondonDr Christopher Wiley presented his paper ‘Divided by a Common Language? Evaluating Students’ Understanding of the Vocabulary of Assessment and Feedback at a Single UK Higher Education Institution’ at the Nineteenth International Conference on Learning, Institute of Education, University of London on 16 August 2012.

Dr Wiley’s paper, which discussed the changing context of Higher Education in the UK and its implications for assessment and feedback, fell on the same day that students across the country received their A-level results and found out whether they had been accepted to their chosen university degree course.

Presenting some of the findings of interviews conducted with students across City University London in the past academic year, Dr Wiley questioned many aspects of current assessment and feedback processes, enriching his talk with reference to innovations implemented this year in his own academic practice.

The Nineteenth International Conference on Learning welcomed some 600 delegates from 40 different countries across three days. The complete programme may be viewed here.

BMus graduand Alexandra George awarded major scholarship from Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation

Alexandra GeorgeClass of 2012 BMus graduand Alexandra George has been awarded a major scholarship from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to fund her graduate studies at the London School of Musical Theatre.

Staving off fierce competition, Alex underwent a rigorous audition procedure that included a callback with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s celebrated casting director David Grindrod.

The London School of Musical Theatre is an elite institution that nurtures exceptional talent through intensive training with industry practitioners, offering them a unique path into the musical theatre profession.

While at City, Alex benefitted from solo performance tuition with a professor from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and wrote her final-year dissertation on the current status of West End musical theatre under the supervision of Dr Christopher Wiley.