School of Music


Richard Cangro, Ph.D.
Professor, Music Education
Browne 203
Phone: (309) 298-3114

Originally from Staten Island, NY, Richard M. Cangro, Ph. D., is a Professor and Director of Music Education 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 Division, University of Hartford (West Hartford, CT). While teaching in Connecticut, he also worked for 10 years as an assessor for the Connecticut State Board of Education beginning teacher licensure program and was the professional development chair for the Connecticut Music Educators Association. 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. He served for several years on the executive board for the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (IASCE).

A two-time Fulbright grant recipient, Dr. Cangro is active as a presenter, curriculum consultant, adjudicator, and conductor. He has presented workshops and sessions for several school district in-services and at numerous music educator conferences throughout the US. He has guest taught at universities in Turkey, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Pakistan, Ecuador, Canada, and China, and has presented professional development at events in Canada, China, England, Montenegro, Myanmar, Serbia, and Taiwan (ROC). His articles on music learning and teaching have been published in journals including Applications of Research in Music Education, Selected Papers from the 6th International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education, American Music Teacher, and Music Educators Journal.

Musically, Dr. Cangro has a wide range of performance experience as a trumpet player and conductor. He is a member of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony and the Jacksonville (IL) Symphony, performs with the Southeast Iowa Symphony, and has been an active orchestral player and chamber musician for over 30 years. He has conducted several school, festival, community, and adult ensembles, and is currently the music director/conductor of the Monmouth Civic Orchestra at Monmouth College and the Quincy Area Youth Orchestra.

At WIU, Dr. Cangro teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music education, advises the collegiate music educators chapter, and supervises student teachers. He serves on several university committees and is the Midwest regional vice president of the national Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society, promoting and supporting internationalization efforts in the community. Dr. Cangro is the WIU 2024 Distinguished University Professor.