Texas Tech University

Trailblazer, Dr. Angela Mariani in Early Music America!

Anna K.

April 3, 2023

Portrait of Dr. Angela Mariani-Smith

Congratulations to Dr. Angela Mariani-Smith in her featured article and interview in Early Music America as a Trailblazer in Historical Performance!

“Early Music America is an advocacy organization for learning, teaching, and performing music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods” (Smith). The EMA is a “community of people who find joy, meaning, and purpose in studying and experiencing historically informed performance. Since 1985, EMA has enriched the field of early music in North America by developing and supporting interest in the music of the past, so that it informs and shapes our lives today” (EMA).

Dr. Angela Mariani is a Professor of Musicology and the founder and Director of the Texas Tech Collegium Musicum here at the Texas Tech University School of Music. Along with being an educator, she is also the creator and host of Harmonia (nationally syndicated radio program) and the co-founder of Altramar Medieval Music Ensemble. You can read more about Dr. Mariani in her bio

In the January issue of the Magazine of Early Music America (EMAg), two Texas-related articles were released, one of which is Dr. Mariani's article. The EMAg only publishes three times per year; January, May, and September. The EMAg journal is only available through membership or subscription.
However, Dr. Christopher Smith, Professor and Chair of Musicology and Director of the Vernacular Music Center and Elegant Savages Orchestra, give us a sneak peek on Dr. Mariani's article, “Battle of the Bands”:

“In it, Dr. Mariani speaks with early music and music educations specialists from across Texas - including our own Associate Director for Teaching and Learning and Chair of Music Education, Dr. Jacqueline Henninger, about ways in which the state's long history of arts festivals and competitions might be harnessed to an expansion of early music activity in schools and colleges. She sings the praises of the Goin' Band from Raiderland and its conductors, led by Dr Joel Pagán; she identifies the long history and wide reach of music programming at all levels of UIL and state education; and she suggests that “educators everywhere should pay attention to the Texas model, which might soon be leading the way for how schools nationwide adopt and support music programs.” While acknowledging the challenges of funding, diversity and inclusion, and resources, Dr. Mariani also argues passionately and precisely that there is a tremendous window of opportunity, here and now, in our state, to enhance arts access for all. She details the fantastically successful program in viola da gamba led by Pedro Funes at Woodcreek Middle School and Summer Creek High School in Humble, and celebrates their 2022 TMEA appearance, as the first period-instrument ensemble ever to appear there.”

“In addition, the article has wonderful photos (including some taken by the Vernacular Music Center's own Heather Beltz) of guest clinician Robert Wiemken (of the Piffaro Renaissance winds band) working with TTU students, and a great centerfold shot of the Goin' Band—surely the first time a Texas marching band has ever appeared in EMAg!”

Not only was Dr. Mariani featured in the Early Music America Magazine, she was also featured in the EMA's video interview: “Trailblazers in Historical Performance: Conversations with Educators.” This interview was led by Thomas Forrest Kelly, who is a Harvard College Professor, that was held a year ago. The EMA has been saving this episode until TMEA week!

In this interview, she shares her musical journey and experiences as a musician and educator. You can watch the interview here:

Angela Mariani - Trailblazers in Historical Performance: Conversations with Educators

Dr. Mariani shares her thoughts on this recognition: “This is certainly the first time in my life that I've ever seen TMEA mentioned in Early Music America magazine's E-Notes newsletter, never mind lifting the paywall on articles during TMEA. This is pretty exciting!”

Congratulations to Dr. Angela Mariani-Smith!