Angela Mariani Smith
Phone: (806) 834-3912
Office: School of Music, Room 22
A native of the state of Massachusetts, Dr. Angela Mariani is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Texas Tech University School of Music and the director of Texas Tech Early Music Ensemble, which specializes in the performance of medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque music.
In addition to directing the Early Music Ensemble at Tech, Dr. Mariani teaches seminars on medieval music and early performance practice and graduate and undergraduate music history courses. She also designed and inaugurated Tech's very popular, large-enrollment History of Rock and Roll course and the School of Music’s Graduate Certificate Program in Early Music Performance Practice. Another secondary research area is Contemplative Pedagogy in Higher Education, an approach to pedagogy that seeks to integrate techniques of contemplation, meditation and mindfulness into the process of teaching and learning at the university level. Since 2007, she has been an elected member of the TTU Teaching Academy.
Dr. Mariani began her professional music career in the world of rock and folk music. While completing the BA in Music Theory from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she also became interested in early music, performing in the UMass Collegium Musicum. She then taught and performed for a decade in the Boston area, creating a popular acoustic fingerstyle guitar course for Boston's Guitar Workshop. Her interest in Anglo-Celtic folk music and its intersection with the world of rock and roll also led to the co-founding of the folk-rock band Reynardine with Chris Smith in the 1980s.
Inspired by a growing interest in medieval music, Dr. Mariani left Boston to pursue a Master’s degree in Early Music Vocal Performance and ultimately a Doctoral degree in Early Music Ensemble Direction from the Early Music Institute (now the Historical Performance Institute) at Indiana University's prestigious Jacobs School of Music. Her doctoral document examined issues of improvisation and “invention” in the performance practice of medieval music. During her years at Indiana, Dr. Mariani studied medieval performance practice with the groundbreaking early music scholar and performer Thomas Binkley, and undertook additional voice and performance practice studies with Paul Elliott, Wendy Gillespie, and Elisabeth Wright. She has also studied medieval music with Benjamin Bagby and Barbara Thornton of Sequentia. Dr. Mariani also has a Certificate in Medieval Studies from Indiana University.
Since the early 1990's, Dr. Mariani has hosted the nationally-syndicated public radio program Harmonia, which is heard on over a hundred stations around the US and streams globally on the internet. She has published on the topics of early music performance practice, public radio, and rock and roll, and has appeared on National Public Radio, Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands, and the CBC. She has recorded and toured internationally with Altramar medieval music ensemble (7 CDs on the Dorian Group label), has taught early music at workshops internationally, has served as recording session producer for groups such as Ensemble Alcatraz, The Newberry Consort, and SAVAE, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Early Music America. She also performs and records traditional Irish music with the group Johnny Faa, founded by colleague and partner Dr. Chris Smith (also on the TTU faculty and a fellow member of Altramar), and co-founded the local non-profit organization Caprock Early Music.