Penrose Marcos Allphin

composer & graduate student 


About Penrose

Penrose Marcos Allphin (they/them) is a gay genderqueer composer. They have been composing, playing the piano, and singing in choirs since they were very small. Penrose has taught piano to students ranging in age from 7 to 88, and has designed and tailored much of their elementary piano and theory curriculum. They have several years of experience playing in pit orchestras and music directing, as well as administrative experience at music nonprofits. They are currently writing a master's thesis on trans composers and hope to continue to pursue graduate level gender studies. In their spare time, they enjoy cross-stitching, baking and playing with Percy, their cat.


University of  Massachusetts Amherst, M.M. in Music Theory

expected May 2021

Smith College, Bachelor of Arts in Music

May 2019

Undergraduate studies focused on composition and music theory. Other academic pursuits in college included linguistics coursework and cognition research.


2018 Smith College Settie Lehman Fatman Prize for the best composition in music in small form, awarded for Sonata for Piano Trio

The 2019 Margaret Collins Stoop Adesso Prize for the best new choral work composed by a Smith student, awarded for Senex Puerum Portabat

Senior Recital

May 2019

Prepared and performed a senior recital that centers the works of composers with gender identities not typically reflected in the classical canon.

Research Assistant

Library and Education Intern

Research Assistant –– Brown University School of Public Health’s Center for Gerontology & Healthcare Research

Summer 2019

Springfield Symphony
Summer 2018

Catalogued audition library, researched grants, and assisted librarian and director of education with other tasks.

Music Education Program Intern

Northampton Community Music Center
Summer 2017

Did administrative work in preparation for the school year and for summer programs. Supervised children at camp and assisted with youth orchestra, designed and ran jeopardy-style game for entire camp.

Research Assistant

Smith College Music Department
Jan. 2017 - May 2017

Digitally inputting, editing, and formatting a twentieth-century manuscript of a choral and orchestral work, as well as background research for historical context.

Research Assistant

Smith College de Villiers Psychology Lab

Sept. 2015 - Dec. 2016 

Experimental design and fieldwork, observing and collecting data on the caching behavior of squirrels.

Research Assistant

Harvard Pepperberg Lab for Avian Cognition

Jan. 2015 - Aug. 2016

Assisting research trials, inputting research data, vocal modeling, and vocal testing with African Grey Parrots, as well as performing general lab duties such as cleaning, feeding, and animal care.


MIT Educational Studies Program
July 2014 - Aug. 2016

Designed and taught several one day and seven-week courses to 7th-10th graders on topics ranging from Asimov, Robots, and Society to Magical Madrigals to History through Musicals.

Piano Teacher

several years of experience

taught students ranging in age from 7 to 88 and designed educational materials for beginning piano and music theory

Pit Musician/Music Directing

since 2011

Legally Blonde / Keyboard II
Stages: A Musical Revue / Assistant MD, Arranger, and Pianist
In The Heights / Keyboard I
The Wedding Singer / Assistant MD, Pianist, and Pit Leader
Jekyll & Hyde / Assistant MD, Pianist, and Pit Leader


Current Projects and Recent Events


Violets and Carnations

a one-act queer musical fairytale

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