Ellen Lueck

writer, musician
Ellen Lueck


Ellen Lueck is a writer, musician, and researcher with over a decade of experience in the field. She is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her writing has spent most of its time at the intersection of music and culture, and she has been particularly interested in how musicians maintain community both locally and globally. As a performer and a writer, she has developed her expertise in various World Music genres, including Balinese and Javanese gamelan, American shape-note singing, Bluegrass, and American New Music.


Part of her foundational work on the spread of American shape-note singing in Europe has been published by Routledge Press, and by The Sacred Harp Publishing Company. She has presented her acclaimed research and theoretical experiments to professional musicologists and social scientists across the United States and Europe. She has been an instructor of music and writing at the University of Connecticut and Wesleyan University.


Recently, Lueck’s writing has taken more of a personal approach, lending her voice to local music and cultural happenings in Northern California. She is working on a series of artist profiles, concert reviews, and research summaries for her blog, "Sounding Interzone".  She looks forward to sharing more in her new blog and in local publications.


Lueck holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. She can usually be found in the East Bay with her family, or at a local Sacred Harp singing.






2015    “‘Through Every Land, By Every Tongue’: Sacred Harp Singing Through a Transnational Network.”A chapter in the edited volume, Congregational Music Making and Community in a Mediated Age,pp 123-139. Edited by Anna E. Nekola and Tom Wagner. Ashgate Publishing, December


2014    “The Old World Seeks the Old Paths: Observing our Transnationally Expanding Singing Community.”The Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter,October



2016    Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Lewisburg, PA, February 6

            Performed traditional and new works with Gamelan Dharma Swara

2015    The Stone,New York, NY, December 13

            Performed traditional and new works with Gamelan Dharma Swara

2015    Le Poisson Rouge,New York, NY, February 8

            Performed traditional and new works with Gamelan Dharma Swara

2014    Crowell Concert Hall, Middletown, CT, May 4

            Performed South Indian Vocals for Bharatanatyam dance

2014    World Music Hall, Middletown, CT, April 27

            Performed on dizi (Chinese bamboo flute) in Wesleyan’s Chinese Orchestra

2014    Wesleyan University Chapel, Middletown, CT, April 14

            Alto in Wesleyan’s Collegium Musicum ensemble

2013    Smithsonian Freer Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C., November 1

            Javanese Gamelan instrumentalist and solo vocalist at Performing Indonesia festival

2011    Newseum, Washington D.C., December 11

            Alto in performance of Neely Bruce’s “Bill of Rights”

2010    Arda Chandra Stage, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, July 8

            Nationally televised gamelan competition (Pesta Kesenian Bali) with Gamelan Dharma Swara, the first group outside of Indonesia ever invited to compete



2017-2019.       Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA

                        Graduate Admissions Representative

2016-2017       College Essay Organizer, New York, NY

                        Data Researcher

2012-2016       World Music Archives,Wesleyan University,Middletown, CT

                        Archive the Andy Toth Collection of Javanese and Balinese field recordings—reels and cassettes

2012                Oddfellows Playhouse, Middletown, CT

            Musical Director for A Civil War Christmas

2009-2010       The Dorothy & Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the       New York Public Library,New York, NY

            Administrative Assistant/ Research Assistant for Cullman Fellows

2009-2010       Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, New York, NY

            Stage Manager and Office Assistant

2009-2010       City Lore, New York, NY

            Photo Archive Intern

2008                Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington D.C.

            Production and Marketing Intern



PhD / Ethnomusicology / 2017

Wesleyan University

BA / Liberal Arts / 2009

Sarah Lawrence College


Contact Me

Tel: 925-212-4281

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