Born and raised in Southern California, Michele Yamamoto is both an active musicology scholar and a human-focused administrator within mission-driven organizations.

Michele eats Spicy Moon

She has spent the last seven years working in higher education and non-profits with a focus on the performing arts and is an apt and hands-on project manager with a diverse background in student services, program administration, fundraising, marketing, communications, and music. Currently, she works with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music as a special fundraising projects contractor. She served as the Assistant Director of Alumni Programs and Engagement at Caltech from 2022 to 2023, where she managed major events and long term engagement strategies for the school’s 25,000+ living alumni. During her time at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles, she spearheaded community-building and communications efforts, including developing resources, programming, and engagement opportunities for families and former students. In 2018, she supported fundraising and events at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music as their development associate, and prior to that, she worked as a graduate student advisor and assistant to the chairs for the Musicology program at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Before making the decision to focus on cause work, she spent time in talent management, serving an international roster of clients and accounts that included Charles Barkley and Unilever UK.

Michele also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music History from UCLA (2009) and a Master of Arts in Musicology from CSU Long Beach (2022) with a research interest in the roles that popular music plays in the development of cognition, self-identity, cultural identity, and other conceptual social frameworks. She is especially interested in arts justice and the way music and sounds enter and evolve within marginalized communities. Other research interests include music and far-right politics, human geography, music and space/place, and sound studies. Her master’s thesis, “’Streets is Talkin’: Music as Real and Imagined Musical Space Through Three Generations of Compton Musicians,” examined the performative reproduction of Compton in key musicians from the city. This work was supported by a 2021-22 CSULB Graduate Research Fellowship, and she received the 2022 Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award from the CSULB College of the Arts. She is a PhD student in Musicology at UCLA.