Chase Castle


Fifth Year Graduate Student in Historical Musicology

103 Lerner Center


Chase Castle is a Benjamin Franklin Fellow and PhD Candidate in Music at the University of Pennsylvania. His work explores American revivalism across the nineteenth century, focusing especially on the politics of race in American evangelical hymnody. His dissertation uncovers African American and white musical influences on the formation of the gospel hymn, a popular sacred genre that rose to prominence at the end of the nineteenth century. Unlike previous scholarship that often separates Black from white histories and treats African American music primarily in terms of spirituals, Castle’s research casts a wider net to consider how racial politics played out in widespread, popular, sacred practices. Castle has authored an article published in Journal of the Society for American Music, is the recipient of several nationally-competitive fellowships, and has curated and been a recording artist for many exhibitions. He is also an active organist and choral conductor who spends most Sunday mornings at St. Mary’s Church, Hamilton Village on the western edge of the University of Pennsylvania’s campus.

Selected Publications

“Sonic Domination and the Politics of Race in Southern Antebellum Hymnody,” Journal of the Society for American Music 17, no. 4 (October 2023): 1-23.