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Offices & Services > Office of the Registrar > Knox College Catalog, 2016-2017 > Departments and Courses of Study


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Major and Minor

Faculty and professional interests

Laura Lane, chair
   Director of choral activities; voice, conducting, music history and culture
Lee Chambers
  Music history and culture, musicology
Joan Huguet
Nicole Malley (On leave 2016-17)
  Director of jazz studies; music history and culture
Bruce Polay
   Artistic Director/Conductor, Knox-Galesburg Symphony; theory, music history, composition, songwriting

Alison Meuth
Dean Petrie
Lucas Wood

Director of Piano Studies
Ashlee Mack

Casey Dierlam

Music study at Knox is set within the liberal arts tradition, training accomplished musicians as well as those new to music study. More than a third of the Knox student body participates in our music program through classes, lessons, and ensembles.

Courses in music history and culture expose students to the diverse ways music reflects and shapes societies past and present, in the West and around the world. Courses in music theory train students in the construction of music and analytical techniques. Students may pursue interdisciplinary connections between music and a host of other fields including psychology, history, anthropology, sociology, history, art history, philosophy, black studies, and gender studies.

Knox offers a dynamic, comprehensive jazz experience with weekly performances and annual tours. The Knox Jazz Ensemble (KJE) has won numerous outstanding soloist awards at collegiate festivals. Membership in the KJE and top combo is by audition; other combos are open to all. The Knox Jazz Studies program sponsors the Rootabaga Jazz Festival, bringing highly acclaimed performers and clinicians to Galesburg and features a jazz artist in residence during Fall term. Wind and percussion players may audition for the Knox Chamber Ensemble, comprised of Knox students and other area musicians. Wind, brass, and string players may also perform with the New Music Ensemble and flute players may perform with the Knox Flute Choir.

The Knox College Choir (KCC) is the premier choral ensemble of the College. It performs three different programs each year, and tours every year during spring break, with a European tour every four years. In March 2013 the KCC performed for the third time in Carnegie Hall, under the baton of Dr. Laura Lane. The KCC has also performed in the famed Paraninfo of the University of Barcelona in March 2006, 2010 and 2012. In 2017 the Choir will perform in southern France.

The Knox Chamber Singers is a select 18-voice ensemble auditioned from the Choir, performing everything from Renaissance madrigals or vocal jazz to Debussy or Lauridsen. Our outstanding choral program also offers opportunities for students who love to sing but do not wish to audition: Enharmonic Fire (SA singers), the TriTones (TB singers),the Galesburg Community Chorus, and Soulfege.

Selected instrumentalists have the opportunity to perform in the Knox-Galesburg Symphony (KGS), a professional orchestra directed by Dr. Bruce Polay, Illinois Conductor of the Year in 1997, 2004 and 2010. The Orchestra has three times been named Illinois Orchestra of the Year and has won 17 prestigious awards in 10 categories from the Illinois Council of Orchestras. Each year the KGS presents a subscription concert series, a Pops Concert and the "Concert on the Lawn." Guest soloists bring international reputations to Galesburg. The Symphony performs in the Orpheum Theater, a stunningly restored 1,000-seat concert hall in downtown Galesburg.

The Knox String Ensemble performs at student recitals and off campus. It is open, without audition, to any student who plays one of the standard orchestral string instruments.

In addition to participating in twenty four ensembles, Knox students may take private lessons in voice, piano, organ, guitar, all standard string, wind and percussion instruments, as well as lessons in composition, orchestration, improvisation, and jazz on all standard jazz instruments.

Departmental Learning Goals

Students completing a Music major will:

  1. Be able to precisely describe detail and form in music (whether presented in sound or score) through words and analytical symbols, and to apply such analytical insights to unfamiliar pieces and repertoires
  2. Have basic practical proficiency on some instrument
  3. (Performance students) Have an advanced and artistic command of their chosen instrument, their voice, or conducting
  4. (Musicology and theory students) Be able to construct and evaluate a musicological or analytical argument critically and sensitively
  5. (Composition students) Be able to compose original pieces that draw upon existing musical vocabulary as well as articulate their own artistic voice

The departmental curriculum contributes to the College's Key Competency Requirements as follows:

  • Writing Key Competency - MUS 322 and 324 serve as a writing intensive courses for majors
  • Speaking Key Competency - MUS 254, 260, or the combination of two of: MUS 345, 361, and 363 serve as speaking intensive courses for majors
  • Information Literacy and Informed Use of Technology - Music majors use technology to conduct research, (using e.g. RILM and Oxford Music) to effectively present, (using e.g. Powerpoint, GarageBand) and to compose (using e.g. Sibelius and Finale). Key courses for acquiring these skills include MUS 101, 102, 254, 260, 322, 324, and applied music lessons.

Requirements for the Major and Minor

Music Course Descriptions

Knox College

Printed on Monday, September 26, 2016

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