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Yona Stamatis

Classical Host/ Producer

Yona Stamatis hosts and produces special arts coverage of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra on NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS including interviews and music engagement events.  

Dr. Stamatis joined the University of Illinois Springfield faculty in 2012. An ethnomusicologist specializing in rebetika music of Greece, she researches music as a vehicle for bringing about social change. Her dissertation, Rebetiko Nation: Hearing Pavlos Vassiliou’s Alternative Greekness Through Rebetiko Song (2011) examines music as counter-hegemonic practice within the context of national identity politics in Greece and in the European Union. Her secondary research area is music education as a means for transformative learning and the development of new methodologies for student-centered music and social justice education. Recent publications include, “Music and Social Justice as Transformative Education” in Engaging Students Vol. 2(forthcoming, Fall 2014); “Music, Politics, and Violence.” Book Review of Music, Politics, and Violence, Susan Fast and Kip Pegley (eds) in Echo! A Music Centered Journal, (Forthcoming, Fall 2014) and “Playing for Change” Website Review, The World of Music Journal, Vol. 3 (2014) 1.

Dr. Stamatis has received a number of grants to further her research including a Competitive Scholarly Research Grant from UIS, a Fulbright Award for research in Athens, Greece and a Constantine Tsangadas Fellowship for Hellenic Studies Research. Before joining the UIS faculty, Dr. Stamatis was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethnomusicology at Kalamazoo College where she taught courses in world music.

Professor Stamatis has spoken as a guest lecturer at numerous universities and academic institutions including Indiana University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Michigan and the Athens Centre. She has presented papers at national academic conferences of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Modern Greek Studies Association, the College Music Society and the London Institute for Music Research.

Dr. Stamatis serves on the board of the Anatolian Ecumene Special Interest Group of the Society for Ethnomusicology and on the Ethnomusicology Advisory Board of the College Music Society.  At UIS, she serves on numerous committees including the Standing Scholarship Committee and the Peer Review of Teaching Committee. She is a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Modern Greek Studies Association and the College Music Society.

At UIS, Professor Stamatis teaches a variety of music courses, including Music and Social Justice, American Music, Musics of the World and Music Appreciation. She also directs the UIS Chamber Ensemble. As a performer, Dr. Stamatis plays violin with various local orchestras including with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra. Also, she plays violin and bouzouki with world-renowned Greek rebetika group, Rebetiki Istoria in Athens and on its bi-annual North American concert tour.