Sunni Witmer

Sunni Witmer

Adjunct Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology

Areas of Study

  • Music History

Sunni Witmer serves as the Adjunct Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology at Rollins College. Her area of specialty is the music of the Caribbean and Brazil, primarily early twentieth-century urban popular genres and ensembles. She holds the PhD in Music with a concentration in Ethnomusicology from the University of Florida (UF), a MM in flute performance from Louisiana State University, a MA in Latin American Studies from UF, and a BM in flute performance from UF. She has conducted fieldwork in Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Russia.

At Rollins, Dr. Witmer teaches Music in the Global Environment, Music History and Literature, and various courses on the music of Latin America. She also serves as the faculty advisor for students pursuing independent study projects such as Choral Pedagogical Methodologies: Venezuela, Japan, and South Africa.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Witmer presents at international conferences for the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Brazilian Studies Association, among others.  Papers presented include Popular Virtuosity: The Role of the Flute in Brazilian Choro, Cuban Charanga: Identity, Diaspora, & the Politics of Cuban Dance Music, and João do Pife e Banda Dois Irmãos: La Historia de la Tradición de las Bandas do Pifanos en Pernambuco, Brasil. Dr. Witmer’s publications include a review of Instrumentos de la Música Folclórico-Popular de Cuba by Victoria Eli Rodriguez in Ethnomusicology –The Journal for the Society for Ethnomusicology. Her dissertation, Cuban Charanga: Class, Popular Music and the Creation of National Identity, is published on-line.

As Coordinator for Academic Programs for the Center for World Arts at the University of Florida, Dr. Witmer was responsible for administering the Center’s programs including the Diversity Artist program, the Artist in Residence program, and the Brazilian Music Institute. For her work with the Center for World Arts, Dr. Witmer received the Davis Productivity Award for Innovative Performance in the Workplace from the State of Florida. Other awards include the Graduate Student Teaching Award from the University of Florida’s Graduate School, and the Latin American Studies Doctoral Student Teaching Award from the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies.

While at the University of Florida, Dr. Witmer performed flute and Brazilian percussion with the Jacaré Brazil ensemble. She now performs locally with various ensembles including the annual Disney Candlelight Processional. Dr. Witmer currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for Southeast and Caribbean Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology.