From jamming with veteran British rockers Jethro Tull to gigs with the Oregon Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra along with teaching at music schools in Tonga and Serbia, one of the newest faces in Memorial’s School of Music plans to draw on her immense musical experience to help breathe life into a new course she’s teaching next semester on the St. John’s campus.
But instead of attracting music majors, Dr. Christine Gangelhoff is hoping to target students from other academic disciplines particularly those who’ve never signed up for a music class before.
Music 2014: Introduction to World Music will focus on introducing students to various genres of music from around the world and demonstrate how music interacts with society, culture and politics. The course will include lectures and discussions, assigned concert attendance and some hands-on musical experience.
“Students will not only broaden their musical horizons but also gain an understanding of how music fits into their own life and culture,” Dr. Gangelhoff said earlier this month. “I have found that music is a wonderful way to relate to people and their culture. It creates a connection that allows you access to other aspects of a culture in new and unexpected ways. I think that students will find it to be a fun and rewarding area of study.”
And, so it has been for Dr. Gangelhoff, a flutist originally from Minnesota who arrived in St. John’s in August. Armed with degrees from the University of Minnesota, the University of North Texas and Yale University, her career has taken her around the world and onto hundreds of recital stages. She’ll use this experience to bring depth and richness to her classes.
“I have always been drawn to music and love to be a part of the musical community whether in the role of performer, teacher or student,” she said with a smile. “I feel very fortunate to have had a very rich and extensive musical experience. I love devoting myself to those studies and having the chance to share that with others.”
Dr. Gangelhoff will not only be sharing her experience with students in the classroom. She has helped form the first-ever klezmer group at the university which has performed at the Ship Pub in St. John’s.
“The repertoire is drawn from klezmer music which is the traditional instrumental wedding and celebratory music of the Yiddish-speaking Jews of Eastern Europe,” Dr. Gangelhoff explained. “The instrumentation of our university group, which includes flute, oboe, French horn, banjo and tuba, is not exactly traditional but the students are learning the style and enjoying themselves along the way. That’s my aim for this group and my new course next semester.”
Music 2014: Introduction to World Music is offered next semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:45 a.m. in room MU-1032. Students may register with CRN 70560. There are no prerequisites.