Office: MC 110
Wells is the Pickard-Bell Chair in Music and Head of
the Music Department at Mount Allison University. Dr.
Wells earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University
of Toronto with a concentration in the History and Literature
of Music. She then pursued a career in public broadcasting,
working as a music programmer and producer of a classical
music programs for CJRT-FM in Toronto. In 1993, she
entered the graduate program in musicology at the Eastman
School of Music. Her dissertation, on West Side
Story was supported by three dissertation fellowships,
including the AMS-50 Dissertation Fellowship awarded
annually to the most promising doctoral research in
musicology in North America. In 2011 her book West
Side Story: Perspectives on an American Musical
was published by Scarecrow Press and won the Music in
American Culture Award from the American Musicological
Society. She is writing a second book on British musical
theatre in the late 1950s.
Wells has read papers on musicology and music history
pedagogy at national and international conferences,
including meetings of Feminist Theory and Music, the
American Musicological Society and the International
Musicological Society. In addition, she has given guest
lectures and has been an invited speaker on musical
theatre, most notably at Harvard University, Catholic
University, and the Eastman School of Music. She twice
won the “Best Student Paper” from the New
York State/St. Lawrence Chapter of the AMS. Her work
has been published in Cambridge Opera Journal,
the Journal of the American Musicological Society
and Studies in Musical Theatre.
Before coming to Mount Allison, she taught music history
at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, the State University
of New York at Geneseo, and the Eastman School of Music.
In 2008 she won the Tucker Teaching Award, Mount Allison’s
highest recognition of teaching excellence, and the
Association of Atlantic Universities’ Distinguished
Teacher Award. She was named a 3M National Teaching
Fellow in 2010. She currently serves as the Chair of
the Council of 3M National Teaching Fellows. In 2013
she gave a TED talk entitled "To the Lighthouse"
at Bishop's University.
Her research interests include music history pedagogy,
British and American musical theatre at mid-century.
She has developed innovative courses including one on
the Beatles and a course supported by the Vice-President’s
Curricular Innovation fund entitled “Music and
Difference,” which addresses music’s role
in mediating and expressing difference. She has been
Head of the Music Department since 2008, and serves
as the Secretary of Senate at Mount Allison University.