Heather Holmquest


Dr. Heather Holmquest is a singer and music theorist. Her current teaching responsibilities at Nazareth College include the aural skills component of the core music theory curriculum.

Dr. Holmquest’s research areas include the intersection of analysis and performance, the impact of voice-leading analysis on musical interpretation, and early music analysis. Recently, she presented on the topics of musica ficta and the madrigals of Cipriano de Rore at the Society of Music Theory annual meeting in 2017 and 2016 respectively; formal structures in the monophonic music of the Squarcialupi Codex at the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference in Birmingham, U.K. in 2014; and improvisational techniques of Andrew Bird at the nief-norf Research Summit in 2013. Her dissertation, “Structure, Musical Forces, and Musica Ficta in Fourteenth-Century Monophonic Songs,” examined composition, poetic and music structures, and modern performance practice procedures of Italian songs from the Squarcialupi and Rossi Codices.

Before teaching at Nazareth, Dr. Holmquest held teaching positions at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA and Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR. At these institutions she taught a variety of courses, including music theory, aural skills, class piano, music history, music appreciation, voice studio, early music ensemble, and opera workshop.

As a performer, Dr. Holmquest is the soprano section leader at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, and she sings with Voices, a premier vocal ensemble under the baton of Dr. William Weinert. She has sung professionally across the country in the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, OR, and the South Dakota Chorale in Sioux Falls, SD. Her solo engagements have included opera and oratorio performances in Eugene, OR, Roseburg, OR, Storm Lake, IA, Madison, WI, and Rochester, NY. She also teaches voice and piano lessons privately in the Rochester area.

Born in Chicago, she received her Ph.D. and M.A. in music theory in 2014 from the University of Oregon with a secondary area in vocal performance. She earned her B.A. in music from Knox College in 2005.

In addition to musical pursuits, Dr. Holmquest is an avid knitter, spinner, dyer, and all-around fiber artist.

School of Music Responsibilities

  • Aural Skills
  • Music Theory


  • University of Oregon, Ph.D.
  • University of Oregon, M.A.
  • Knox College, B.A.