Conductor, violinist, composer, pedagogue, philosopher, and musicologist; Dr. Christopher T. F. Hanson enjoys working across a number of disciplines to promote the transformative power of the arts. Dr. Hanson holds three master's degrees from Texas State University in Music History, Music Theory, and Music Composition. He also holds a PhD in School Improvement from Texas State University, as well as a certificate of professional ethics from the Texas State Philosophy program.
As a violinist and composer, Dr. Hanson has premiered several works across multiple genres and serves as the chief arranger and first violinist of the Sacred Ensemble with Dr. Shana Mashego. Dr. Hanson regularly performs with his wife, mezzo-soprano Erin Hanson, in a chamber music series entitled “Sonatas & Songs” which explores a unique repertoire of music written for solo voice and violin.
Dr. Hanson is an assistant professor of music at Seattle Pacific University where he serves as the director of music education and orchestral activities. He has developed and instructs a number of courses in music and education, including but not limited to: Applied Pedagogy of Strings, Making Music with Diverse Learners, Foundations of Music Education, Teaching instrumental music in public schools, Teaching Music in the Non-Music Classroom, Advocacy in the Arts, and a number of courses that explore creativity, imagination, and interdisciplinary pedagogy. His research focuses on the transformative power of the arts, student and teacher agency, and the significance of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) in education. As a queer scholar, Dr. Hanson uses research platforms to challenge and “queer” professional spaces of teaching and learning, particularly within and through the arts.
Before his current position at SPU, Dr. Hanson worked as a public-school teacher in central Texas for eight years. He designed, implemented, and taught unique curricula for music appreciation, AP music theory, and string orchestra in both middle schools and high school. Hanson played a crucial role in reviving the public-school strings program in San Marcos CISD through public advocacy for the arts within the community. Dr. Hanson is the founder and former artistic director of the San Marcos Artist Retention and Training (SMART) Orchestra in San Marcos, Texas. The SMART Orchestra is a community music ensemble that promotes the transformative power of the arts by engaging its members and audiences in the orchestral experience. Hanson served as the artistic director for 10 years, from 2009 to 2019.
Currently, Dr. Hanson serves as the director of the Rainbow City Orchestra (RCO), a community music ensemble that serves and supports the LGBTQIA+ community in greater Seattle through the study and performance of contemporary and historically marginalized composers. The Rainbow City Orchestra is one of several ensembles under the umbrella of Rainbow City Performing Arts (RCPA). More information about the RCO and RCPA can be found at www.rainbowcity.org.
Dr. Hanson moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2019, and lives with his partner Erin and children, Emily and Graham, in Tukwila, WA.
Founded in 1942, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra is the largest youth orchestra training program in the United States.