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July 8, 2013
By Elisa Lanter, media relations assistant
Seventeen Northwest Missouri State University students began their summer by experiencing music history and gaining new perspectives outside of the classroom.
In May, Dr. Ernest Kramer, Northwest professor of music, took the students on a 17-day tour that spanned six European countries. One Maryville middle school and one Maryville high school student also joined the group, totaling 20 travelers. This year’s tour was the largest group Kramer has hosted.
Kramer, who teaches music history at Northwest, has organized and led eight tours over the past 16 years. The tour included trips to Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland and England. The group visited cities where major composers lived and worked, giving students the opportunity to see and experience these historic places.
“I see the tour as a culminating way to experience music history outside of the textbook,” Kramer said. “My goal is to make music history come alive for the students.”
Students visited Salzburg, Austria, where Mozart was born and raised; St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy, where many composers visited during their careers; and the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy, where sacred works were performed by composers and musicians. Students also visited Paris, France, and London, England, which both hold rich music history.
“A lot of times in history classes it seems like the people and places you learn about are very distant, but to be able to go to some of these great composers’ houses and see where they worked and lived really brings them to life.” Natalie Burgon, a senior music major, said.
Kramer is planning the next tour during the summer of 2015, and the tours are not only for music students. Alumni, Northwest employees and Maryville middle school and high school students have joined Kramer on past tours. Kramer works to keep the program costs under $3,000 while including airfare, travel by private bus, hotel accommodations and meals as part of the package.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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