Merilee I Klemp

Professor, oboe & Music History

CB 311

The greatest thing about attending Augsburg is that the campus extends out into the Twin Cities. Our students hear and see the best in a variety and quality that I think is unmatched in the world. We are lucky to have two major orchestras, a great opera company, premiere jazz clubs, recitals and wonderful choral groups — all within minutes of campus. And best of all, our faculty members are frequently on stage with these performers, fully engaged in the musical scene.

I like to give my students challenges to test their wings. What they learn on campus is taken into the larger community right away. I suppose this is the definition of experiential learning. Their scholarship informs their performances and their performances inform future paths of study. Music history and theory are not abstractions removed from the experience of music-making; they are practical tools, informing one’s performances in unexpected ways.

My own performances range from commercial recordings with Mariah Carey, Elton John, and Janet Jackson to Broadway shows to “classical” music concerts, and CDs. The skill acquired in a foundational classical music training prepares one to play in a wide variety of settings. Last year for example, I recorded a commercial for the Tour de France and also finished my latest CD project, called Falls Flyer. My collaborator, guitarist Christopher Kachian, and I commissioned and premiered the works in New York City and then produced the CD. It is now available at .

For me, music is a living, breathing thing that happens between people. This is what I want my students to learn and to practice in their own musical lives.


  • B.A. Augsburg University
  • M.A. University of Minnesota
  • DMA Eastman School of Music


  • Falls Flyer [Ten Thousand Lakes]
  • Carols and Lullabies [Angel]
  • Music of William Grant Still [Collins Classics]
  • Janet Jackson [tba]
  • Aida
  • Elton John [tba]
  • A Chamber Fantasy Music of Stephen Paulus [Innova]
  • The Three Hermits of Stephen Paulus [d’Note]
  • Singing Wilderness: Music of Cary John Franklin [tba]
  • The Music Samuel Rousseau [tba]


  • Prairie Home Companion
  • VocalEssence
  • Minnesota Opera
  • St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • Broadway shows: “Miss Saigon,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Sound of Music,” Elton John’s “Aida,” “Titanic,” “My Fair Lady,” “Crazy for You,” and “South Pacific.”