Dr. Chris Hansen serves as Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education and Assistant Director of Choral Activities at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where he conducts Commonwealth Singers and Choral Arts Society. He also teaches music education courses about vocal/choral methods and techniques. Before coming to VCU, Dr. Hansen served as Assistant Professor of Music at Anderson University and was an Instructor and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to his collegiate career, Dr Hansen taught for a decade at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
Dr. Hansen had his Carnegie Hall conducting debut in June of 2022, where he collaborated with the New England Symphony Ensemble and a large national chorus. Following this Carnegie Hall performance, he received invitations to return to Carnegie Hall as a Guest Conductor in 2023 and 2024.
In addition to his university conducting and teaching, Dr. Hansen is an active member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Prior to coming to Virginia, he held offices in professional organizations in South Carolina and North Carolina. He served as the Collegiate Choral Activities Chair for the South Carolina chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (SC ACDA) and the Collegiate Membership Chair for the South Carolina Music Educators Association (SCMEA). He also served as the High School Choral Section Activities Chair for the North Carolina Music Educators’ Association (NCMEA).
Dr. Hansen believes that all music serves an important role in the development and nutriment of the human condition: our need to belong, be loved, grow and learn, and have purpose. He believes all music has value and utility by virtue of their existence—each genre and style contribute to the nourishment of all peoples across all time and places. He believes himself to be a culturally responsive teacher and conductor who practices culturally relevant pedagogy by broadening and deepening his understanding of himself, singers in choirs he collaborates with, and the music they explore together.
Dr. Hansen earned his Doctorate and Master degrees from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he studied music education research and choral conducting. He earned his Bachelor of Music from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Dr. Hansen has eighteen years of successful conducting and teaching experience at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
Choirs under Dr. Hansen’s direction performed at state, regional, and national music festivals and competitions receiving Superior ratings at all levels. He is a highly active and sought after choral conductor and clinician and is regularly invited to collaborate with choral ensembles at every level throughout the nation. His primary scholarly work on perceptions of choral performance quality has been presented at state, regional, and national levels. His collaborative scholarly work on using 360-degree cameras and virtual reality technology for pre-service teacher preparation have been accepted for presentation at national and international levels.