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Knox Jazz Ensemble performs at the annual Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival.


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Nikki Malley

Associate Professor & Chair of Music

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


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Envelopes filled with lyrics for the choir.

Ethnomusicology Minor (Coming Fall 2021)
Jazz/Popular Studies Minor (Coming Fall 2021)
Musicology Minor (Coming Fall 2021)
Performance Minor (Coming Fall 2021)
Theory/Composition Minor (Coming Fall 2021)

How we work:

1. We come together to make great things happen. The Knox Jazz Ensemble tours internationally, records regularly, and hosts the annual Knox Rootabaga Jazz Festival. The Knox College Choir has performed in Carnegie Hall, toured France, Italy, and Spain, and recently released a new CD.

2. We invite the world in. The department hosts world-class artists year-round. Our Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency brings renowned performers to campus, where they teach master classes and individual tutorials, participate in intensive workshops, and produce a concert with Knox student jazz musicians. The Knox-Galesburg Symphony performs masterworks, new music, and presents performances by internationally acclaimed soloists.

3. We work at the frontier. The 2019 Cherry Street Combo just released Patchwork, an album of original compositions and arrangements, recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, during spring break 2019. Every year our students and faculty premiere new works, produce new scholarship, and collaborate on inspiring, unexpected new projects. Students engage in unique collaborative programs abroad like Knox in Cuba or Ghana.

4. You don't have to major in music at Knox. At Knox, you don’t have to major in music to be recognized for music scholarships or to continue performing at an extraordinarily high level.

5. We combine music with other fields of study. Dakota Stipp ’17 wrote software to connect a Myo armband to a digital audio workstation so he could use gesture to compose and perform electronic music. Lily Gaetgaeow ’15 combined clarinet performance, sociology, and ethnomusicology to examine the history and performance practice of Klezmer clarinet. John Cusimano ’13 studied music and neuroscience for his senior capstone project. Stephanie Campbell ’14 used her knowledge in both educational studies and music to explore music as a rehabilitation tool.

6. We keep growing. And that translates into a wider and wider range of student opportunities. Knox’s music composition program provides coursework and project experience in digital and acoustic composition for film, TV, video games, podcasting, and beyond. In fall 2019, the department debuted a new state-of-the-art digital composition and keyboard classroom and lab.

7. Our grads find success. Trey Stone ’93 is a pianist with Second City in Chicago. Jake Hawrylak ’13, Samuel Brownson ’12, and Oliver Horton ’12 released their first studio album in 2017. Josh Calef ’14 is pursuing a master’s degree in jazz performance at the University of North Texas. Dy’Anna Augustus ’17 is completing a graduate degree program in audio production in York, England. 

Knox College

Printed on Saturday, June 19, 2021