The Knox Jazz Ensemble, directed by music faculty Nikki Malley, in the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg during the annual Knox-Rootabaga Jazz Festival. #

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 (winter term)

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


  • January 9, 4pm...Winter Series Jazz Workshop with Chinchano...Jay Rehearsal Hall
  • January 9, 7:30pm...Winter Series concert featuring Chinchano...Kresge Recital Hall
  • January 27, 7pm...Knox alum Will Faber discusses "Bashment Sounds: Improvisatory Listening"...Jay Rehearsal Hall
  • January 28, 12pm...Gabriel Lubell discusses "New Music about Old Sites of Water Infrastructure"...Jay Rehearsal Hall
  • January 28, 4pm...Master Class with the John Raymond Trio featuring Gilad Heckselman and Colin Stranahan...Jay Rehearsal Hall
  • January 28, 9:30pm...John Raymond Trio...Fat Fish Pub


  • February 6, 7:30pm...Knox-Galesburg Symphony First Chairs Forward Recital...Orpheum Theatre (for tickets call 309-342-2299)
  • February 13, 7:30pm...Nova Singers, The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass...Kresge Recital Hall (tickets can be purchased at
  • February 22, 7pm...Knox Jazz Ensemble and Bradley Jazz Ensemble with special guest Ray Anderson...Kresge Recital Hall
  • February 28, 3pm...Knox College Choir Send-Off Concert...First Lutheran Church


  • March 1, 4pm...General Student Recital...Kresge Recital Hall
  • March 2, 6pm...Knox Chamber Ensembles concert...Jay Rehearsal Hall
  • March 3, 6pm...Louise Polay Violin Studio Recital...Kresge Rehearsal Hall
  • March 4, 4pm...General Student Recital...Kresge Recital Hall
  • March 6, 3pm...Enharmonic Fire Broadway Concert...Kresge Recital Hall
  • March 7, 7:30pm...New Music Ensemble Winter Concert...Kresge Recital Hall
  • March 9, 6pm...Alison Meuth Voice Studio Recital...Kresge Recital Hall
Knox College

Printed on Sunday, February 14, 2016

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