Music professor Bruce Polay performs Mozart on the piano for his music history class. #

Majors & Minors



Laura Lane

Professor and Chair of Music, Director of Choirs

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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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.

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Envelopes filled with lyrics for the choir.

Knox College Music Department Events (fall term)


  • October 3: Derel Monteith Trio (Kresge Recital Hall, 7 pm)
  • October 7: Ian Moschenross guest piano recital (Kresge Recital Hall, 7:30 pm)
  • October 10: Nova Singers: Encore! Audience Favorites (Kresge Recital Hall, 7:30 pm) (Purchase tickets here)
  • October 18: Khasma Piano Duo with Ashlee Mack and Katherine Palumbo (Kresge Recital Hall, 3 pm)
  • October 23: Sabina Laurain (flutist) and Bruce Polay recital (Jay Rehearsal Hall, 7 pm)
  • October 24: Knox-Galesburg Symphony featuring Sabina Laurain, flute, and Bruce Polay, piano (Orpheum Theatre, 7:30 pm) (For tickets call 309-342-2299


  • November 3: Alison Meuth voice studio recital (Kresge Recital Hall, 6:30 pm)
  • November 5: Jerome Mirza Jazz Residency Concert featuring the Matt Wilson Quartet, Knox Jazz Ensemble, and selected combos (Harbach Theatre, 7 pm)
  • November 8: Knox College Choir Fall Concert (Kresge Recital Hall, 3 pm)
  • November 8: Mary Harlan piano studio recital (Kresge Recital Hall, 7 pm)
  • November 9: General Student Recital (Kresge Recital Hall, 4 pm)
  • November 10: General Student Recital (Kresge Recital Hall, 4 pm)
  • November 14: Knox-Galesburg Symphony featuring Maurice Cohn, violoncello (Orpheum Theatre, 7:30 pm) (For tickets call 309-342-2299)

Knox College

Printed on Tuesday, December 01, 2015

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