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Knox College Choir performs the world premiere of a work commissioned and composed for the choir by Jakko Mantyjarvi.

Experiences & Opportunities

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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.

Here are three examples of the experiences and opportunities you have as a music major or minor

1. You can combine two seemingly disparate subjects. Like John Cusimano who studied music and neuroscience for his senior capstone project.

2. You can write your own composition and perform it. Like Edward Davis who wrote a mass for six voices for his College Honors project.

3. You can intern at a fine arts camp. Like  Linda Sanabria who worked at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Minnesota between her sophomore and junior year.

In each case, students get to apply what they learn in class (or in rehearsal) to the so-called real world. Here's how we do it:

Performance Opportunities

We offer many informal performances—from concerts arranged by the campus radio station to impromptu jam sessions—as well as programs, listed with the curriculum, that are directed by faculty and carry academic credit. Performance opportunities include:

Our faculty also provide private music lessons to students in the areas of: classical piano, strings and voice; all jazz instruments; jazz voice, improvisation, and composition/arranging; and all concert instruments. Read more about private music lessons (PDF).

Senior Capstone Projects

Every music major at Knox completes a Senior Capstone, an immersive project designed and undertaken in close, individual consultation with a music faculty mentor. Recent capstone projects include:

  • John Cusimano, Music and Neuroscience, "A Case Study of Music Intervention in Hospice Settings"
  • Stephanie Campbell, Music and Educational Studies, "A Music Educator Goes to Prison: Offering Rehabilitation Through Music at Henry Hill Correctional Facility"
  • Rob Durgin, Music, "The Knox Saxophone Quartet: A One-Step Process of Composition"
  • Michelle Orr, Music and Dance, "'In Transit': Composition for Dance, Percussion, Strings, and Voice"
  • Laurel Tippe, Ethnomusicology, "Raise Your Voice: A Comparative Study of the American Women's Music Movements and Guinean Wasulu Music"


There's no better way to explore the possibilities of life after Knox than internships:

  • Hali Engleman '13 was involved in production, developing media content, fundraising, and working with volunteers at All Classical Radio in Portland, Oregon.
  • Stephanie Hawes '15 helped organize logistics for semester education programs at the Austin Chamber Music Centre  in Austin, Texas.
  • Sam Waldner '16 gained the technical skills needed to create and edit multimedia projects at Dailey & Associates, an ad agency, in Los Angeles, California.

Research & Creative Work

Many of our majors -- and minors -- pursue College Honors or other research and creative projects. Some even present or perform their work at national and international conferences. Recent projects include:

  • Edward Davis '12, College Honors in Music Composition, "Mass for Six Unaccompanied Voices
  • Megan Beney' 13, College Honors in Anthropology and Music, "Sound Intentions: The Musicality of Infant-Directed Speech"
  • Cherry Street Jazz Combo, professional CD, Patchwork (Fall 2019)

Off-Campus Study

Our students take advantage of the more than two dozen study abroad and off-campus programs. In the past five years, students have studied in:

  • Chicago
  • China
  • England
  • France
  • Italy
  • Mali
  • Republic of Guinea
  • Russia
  • Scotland

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A student rehearses with the Knox College Choir.
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Printed on Sunday, October 24, 2021