World Music at MNU
The world music emphasis at MidAmerica Nazarene University had its beginnings in the late 1980s when outside accrediting agencies (KSDE and NASM) stressed the need for MNU students to be exposed to non-Western music. Dr. Terry L. Baldridge, Professor of Music at MNU, developed a program that has continued to expand under his leadership and now includes the following:
Music in World Cultures
This course is an introduction to the music of other cultures, specifically non-Western European cultures. The influence of culture upon music will be examined as music is studied as an expression of culture. Audio and audio-visual recordings will be used extensively. Students will also perform on instruments from many of the cultures studied. This course is an elective in the general education experience at MNU. It is offered in the fall semester.
Music and Mission
A portion of one of our church music courses covers music and cross-cultural communication on the mission field. Readings on the subject address the need for the development of Christian music in a style that is culturally relevant to the host culture.
World Music Ensembles
The university offers the following world music ensembles. Beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year these ensembles were offered for course credit. The Steel Drum and Taiko ensembles were incorporated into this new class structure and ceased to schedule regular public performances. Each semester's class focuses on the music of two or three different world areas. Música Latina, however, continues to perform for Hispanics in the Midwest.
This was the first world music ensemble at MNU and it performs in schools, churches, and on campus. More information, pictures, and audio files are located on the ensemble's website.
The taiko ensemble began in the spring 2002 semester. This group performs on campus and at a variety of Japanese festivals in the Midwest. Pictures and other information are included on the ensemble's website.
During the spring 2005 semester an emphasis on Latino music was begun as an outreach to the growing Hispanic population of the Midwest. Included are a Mexican marimba ensemble as well as performances of Conjunto and Andean music. Pictures and other information are included on the ensemble's website.
World Music Celebration
In 2002 MNU presented its first World Music Celebration. This concert takes place each spring and features the above ensembles. Guest performers on koto and shamisen have also been included.