Christine Gallagher, MA, MT-BC, LMT, LPC “Christine Elise” is classically trained harpist, pianist, and vocalist who has been consecutively touring across North America for the past four years. Studying music therapy at a masters level led her to find a passion for community music therapy. Christine has facilitated group sessions and workshops for professionals and clients in the USA, South Africa, Peru and Jamaica. She has presented at national, regional, and world music therapy conferences and written scholarly articles published by Music Therapy Perspectives. She has provided clinical supervision for undergraduate and graduate students at MusicWorks, Jamaica Field Service Project, Women’s & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, NY, Warren Wilson College, and Immaculata University.
She taught as an adjunct professor for the music therapy department of Immaculata University College of Graduate Studies and Boyer College of Music and Dance of Temple University for several undergraduate and graduate level classes.
Christine has composed for various organizations and institutions. Recent commissions include The Free Project Series, for Pennsylvania Humanities Council, What Does Freedom Mean to Me? as part of the The Dedication of the Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland for St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Club House Theme Song for AHA Studio for Integrated Therapies and over twenty original compositions for Autism Across the Globe, directed by Rima J. Irani or Lebanon.
In 2018, Christine and Kuf founded a community music therapy outreach performance project called Higher Grounds Music, using the power of music, clinical training, and performance experience to foster personal growth. Working in a strength based model, the workshops/performances are designed to support participants in building skills to build confidence, increase motivation and drive and strengthen self-care skills.
Born and raised near Ann Arbor, Ben Balmer is an Asheville-based singer songwriter whose talent and way with words has taken him touring all over the world. Binding roots-y Americana with contemporary twists, Ben has been influenced by a wide range of musicians, including Tom Waits, Fiona Apple, Taj Mahal, and Paul Butterfield. He has released three full-length albums, as well as multiple EP’s and singles, and will release his newest project, a collection of covers written by Ben’s friends, throughout 2022 and 2023. Ben’s songs speak of the road, love, loss, and revisits archaic themes that work towards a poetic narrative of folklore all on its own. In addition to booking his calendar back up for after the pandemic, Ben is currently working on writing as well as performing with other esteemed artists as a harmonica player.