School of Music


Dr. Richard Cangro Cangro

Office Location: 203 Browne Hall
Office Phone: (309) 298-3114
Title: Associate Professor, Music Education

Community Music School

Richard M. Cangro, Ph. D., is an Associate Professor of Music Education and Director of the Community Music School at Western Illinois University. He was formerly a public school band and orchestra director for 15 years in Connecticut, as well as a youth ensemble conductor and chamber music coach for the Hartt School Community Pre-college Division, University of Hartford (West Hartford, CT). He has also worked as an assessor for the Connecticut State Board of Education beginning teacher licensure program for 10 years. Dr. Cangro received a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, a Master of Music Education from the Hartt School, and a Ph.D. in Music Education also from Hartt. With his dissertation focusing on applying cooperative learning strategies to instrumental music learning, Dr. Cangro continues to investigate the nature and effects of student interaction at all levels of music learning. Presently, he serves on the executive board for the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (IASCE).

Dr. Cangro is active as a presenter, curriculum consultant, adjudicator, and conductor. He has presented for several school district in-services and at numerous music educator conferences throughout the country, as well as professional development engagements in Canada, Myanmar, Taiwan, and the UK. He frequently presents professional development sessions and contributes regularly to music educator publications with topics including; addressing authentic music learning under current educational policies, student-centered learning, fostering independent musicianship, instrumental music pedagogy, assessing music learning, and 21st century music teacher preparation. His articles on music learning and teaching have been published in UPDATE: Applications of Research in Music Education, American Music Teacher, Music Educators Journal, The Recorder (Ontario MEA), Illinois Music Educator, Kansas Music Review, Connecticut Music Education Association News, and the IASCE Newsletter.

Musically, Dr. Cangro has a wide range of performance experiences as a trumpet player and conductor. He is a member of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony and performs as an area orchestral player and chamber musician. He has conducted several school and festival bands and orchestras, and is currently the music director/conductor of the Monmouth Civic Orchestra and the Quincy Area Youth Orchestra.

At WIU, Dr. Cangro teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music education as well as directs the Community Music School, conducts the youth string orchestra, coordinates the graduate program in music education, supervises student teachers, and advises the collegiate NAfME chapter.