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Elizabeth Oehrle is a Senior Research Associate. A graduate of Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, Syracuse University, Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester) and UKZN, her focus is music and education.
Dr. Oehrle championed the promotion of intercultural education through music in Southern Africa by organizing the first multiracial conference for all music educators at tertiary institutions, in 1985. From this arose the Southern African Music Educators Society (SAMES) open to all practicing musicians/teachers. In 1991 she started the Network for the Promotion of Intercultural Education through Music (NETIEM) and initiated The Talking Drum. Issue #30 published in December 2008.
In 1988 she founded UKUSA, a community performing-arts organization that has been described as ”one of the first and most enduring performing arts outreach programmes in the country” (UKZN Development Brief, 2006). She remains its facilitator. She also raised the funds that made possible the establishment, in the School of Music, of a post in African Music and Dance – the only one of its kind in the country. She is a choral conductor, an advocate of creativity in education, a member of the International Advisory Board of Music Education Research, and a member of the World Conference of Religions for Peace.
Publications appear in World Music and Music Education (ed. Bennett Reimer), Multicultural Perspective in Education (ed. Anderson/Campbell), British Journal of Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, Symposium on Ethnomusicology and the Proceedings of ISME Conferences and of the Commission on Community Music Activity. She edits The Talking Drum.