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A student in a music course performs his own composition for classmates.


Department Chair

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.

Major, Minor

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. Our Cherry Street Combo performs in town every Thursday night. Both groups recently won top awards at the national Elmhurst College Jazz Festival.

2. We work at the frontier. Every year our students and faculty premiere new works, produce new scholarship, and collaborate on inspiring, unexpected new projects. For example, senior Michelle Orr collaborated with fellow student and choreographer Evelyn Langley to create a composition for dance, percussion, strings, and voice, inspired by a Knox-sponsored trip to Ghana.  And John Cusimano combined his interests in music and neuroscience to conduct a case study on music intervention in hospice settings.

3. We play out. The Knox College Choir has performed in Carnegie Hall and tours nationally and internationally. The Knox-Galesburg Symphony is a three-time winner of the Illinois Orchestra of the Year award; it performs six concerts every year in Galesburg's historic (and lovingly renovated) Orpheum Theater, three blocks from campus. 

4. We play in. Our music department is found in the Eleanor Abbott Ford Center for the Fine Arts, which features the acoustically superb, 325-seat Kresge Recital Hall, a MIDI/digital music lab, Jay Rehearsal Hall, and 16 practice rooms (each with a Kawai piano) available to students seven days a week. 

5. We play different. The Knox New Music Ensemble re-constitutes itself every term. It's open to anyone, so the roster of instruments is radically variable. The director (an award-winning composer) writes or commissions work specifically for the make-up of the ensemble, which they perform at the end of the term. 

6. We invite the world in. The department hosts world-class artists, year-round--from Tuvan throat singers to Taiko drumming groups, from members of the renowned vocal quartet Anonymous 4, to Concertmaster of the Bolshoi Theater Ballet, Symphony and Chamber Orchestras Mikhail Tsinman, to Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi. Our Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency brings renowned performers to campus, where they teach master classes and individual tutorials, participate in intensive workshops, present to the Knox community and produce a concert with the Knox student jazz musicians.  

7. We create the future. This is a music program for tomorrow's musicians -- the performers and composers, the scholars, the teachers, the innovators.

Knox College Music Department Events (spring term 2019)

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted!


Saturday, April 13, 7:30pm Knox-Galesburg Symphony: Tragedy and Triumph, Vlad Vizireanu, guest conductor. Orpheum Theatre (call 341-7268 for tickets)

Saturday, April 27, Knox Winter Jazz Series has been reschedule for this date. Luciano Antonio Brazilian Quartet. Workshop in Jay Hall at 4pm and concert in Kresge Recital Hall at 7:30pm. Free and open to the public.


Saturday, May 4, 7:30pm, Mozart's Requiem performed by the Galesburg Community Chorus, Knox College Choir and Monmouth College Choir. First Congregational Church, Galesburg. Adults $15, seniors $12.

Tuesday, May 7, 8pm Knox and Monmouth String Ensemble join the Knox College Chamber Singers and the student vocal ensembles Enharmonic Fire and TriTones to present “A Springtime of Music.” Kresge Recital Hall. Free and open to the public.

Monday, May 13, 7pm Nationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble Latitude 49 will perform a concert of new works, including a recent commission by Knox professor Pierce Gradone. Kresge Recital Hall.

Wednesday, May 15, 4pm General Student Recital, Kresge Recital Hall

Tuesday, May 21, 4pm General Student Recital, Kresge Recital Hall

Thursday, May 23, 6pm Piano Chamber Ensemble. Students will play piano duos and quartets by Dvorak, Feldman, Poulenc, Schoenberg, and Schubert. Kresge Recital Hall.

Sunday, May 19, 2pm Knox Chamber Winds and Brass Spring Concert, First Lutheran Church in Galesburg.

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Professor Laura Lane directs a Knox College Choir concert.
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Printed on Monday, September 16, 2019