About the School of Music
Composition, Music History, & Theory
Adriana Ponce, Head of the Department
The Composition, Music History, and Theory Department includes the areas of composition,
music history, and music theory. Whether students major in composition or take departmental
courses as part of another program--or as electives--they work with professors who
are not only distinguished in the professional world but who are also dedicated and
gifted as teachers.
Students in all music degree programs take a number of courses in the department,
including music theory and ear training, a two-semester survey of music history, and
a selection of courses focusing on concert music of particular historical periods.
Students in the BM in Composition program work individually with faculty composers every semester on creative projects,
participate regularly in student composition concerts, and give a senior recital of
their music. Courses offered by the department (many of which are required for composition
majors) include orchestration, counterpoint, electronic and computer music, special
topics in music history, analysis of contemporary music, world music, improvisation,
Illinois Wesleyan has one of the most active new-music scenes of any liberal arts
college in the United States. The New Music Series includes the Symposium of Contemporary Music, the New Music Caf concert series, and other events which bring prominent composers
and performers of contemporary music to campus for performances, discussions and master
classes. New music is regularly programmed in concerts of IWU’s instrumental and choral ensembles, and student composition recitals are presented frequently as a part of the New Music
Series every semester. Students interested in performing, composing and/or learning
about contemporary music will find many opportunities here.
Department Faculty Alumni
Ilia Radoslavov, Head of the department
Pianists majoring in music pursue keyboard study within the context of one of the
following degrees: BM in Performance, BME, and BA in Music. The BM degree offers the most intense concentration in musical studies, including
an hour of weekly private instruction throughout the four-year program. The BME degree
offers the same format for the first three years of the program. The BA program offers
30 minutes of weekly private instruction over the four-year program. Candidates for
all degrees receive additional instruction in weekly repertoire classes where students
perform for their peers. Though the actual amount of performance training varies according
to the degree objective, the piano faculty seeks to develop each student’s full potential
for artistic expression.
The School of Music offers many opportunities for performance. Venues include weekly
repertoire/performance classes, departmental recitals (featuring performers from every
piano studio), convocations highlighting soloists and ensembles from across the School
of Music, concerto performances with the Illinois Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra, extensive
chamber music opportunities, and solo recitals.
The main recital hall, Westbrook Auditorium in Presser Hall, houses two Steinway concert
grands of superb quality. The School of Music provides practice rooms to piano majors,
each of which is equipped with a Steinway grand piano.
Bradley Regier, Head of the Department
The Music Education program at Illinois Wesleyan University provides students with
the comprehensive knowledge and skills required for careers as successful music educators.
The Music Education program is committed to:
- provide a liberal education of high quality for all students
- develop a high degree of competence in basic musicianship
- promote and develop personal and professional qualities essential for music educators
- instill in future music educators the value of teaching all students to create, perform,
and respond to music
- exercise aesthetic and creative judgment in all encounters with music
- be flexible in adjusting to the evolving demands of the music education field
- relate effectively to individuals and society.
Curriculum and Licensure
At Illinois Wesleyan University, music education candidates complete a program that
imparts the skills necessary to obtain an initial K-12 teaching license in the field
of music in the state of Illinois. In pursuing this goal, candidates fulfill university
graduation requirements through participating in an interdisciplinary, goals-oriented
general education program that complements their completion of a comprehensive curriculum
designed for the music education major. As part of this curriculum, students complete
a semester-long student teaching experience.
Music education students are required to select a concentration in voice, keyboard
or instrumental music. Candidates complete a curriculum that includes 36 course units
in music and music education. During the spring semester of the sophomore year, candidates
complete the Upper Division Bachelor of Music Education interview and assessment.
Students must pass all portions of the assessment, as well as the applied upper division
jury, in order to be admitted to the Teacher Education Program and to continue into
the upper division curriculum in music education.
The Illinois Wesleyan University teacher preparation program in music addresses the
content area standards established by the Illinois State Board of Education through
coursework, instructional activities, and experiences associated with the major field
of study. Professional teaching standards are also met through completion of the
university general education requirements, and through other coursework and activities
in the Bachelor of Music Education degree. The integration of the National Core Arts
Standards (NCAS) is emphasized throughout the curriculum.
All music education students have the opportunity to participate in the National Association
for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate Chapter throughout their teacher preparation
program at IWU. This professional organization offer numerous opportunities for professional
development and growth through round-table discussions with local school administrators
and teachers, guest speakers and musicians, as well as peer group activities. The
IWU NAfME Collegiate Chapter has received many awards for outstanding achievements
within the profession. Most recently, the chapter received the Chapter Growth Certificate
of Achievement in 2014.
For more information, check out the Department Page
Lisa Nelson, Head of the department
For almost 150 years, the School of Music at IWU has served as a training ground for
ambitious string students preparing for professional careers in music and in teaching,
while also providing numerous opportunities for non-majors. All string students work
directly with internationally recognized faculty and prominent guest artists. The
School of Music at IWU is distinguished by an exceptional degree of collaboration
between students and faculty, featuring private lessons and weekly studio classes
and chamber music sessions.
There are many performance opportunities available at IWU. Departmental recitals,
convocations, and concerto performances are open to all students in the School of
Music. While all string students participate in the Illinois Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra,
other opportunities include performances with the IWU Opera Workshop, a variety of
chamber ensembles, and several regional professional symphonies.
Graduates of the IWU School of Music string department have gone on to graduate studies
at the most prestigious schools in the country. Alumni of our programs are now successful
as professional performers, and educators at the elementary, secondary and collegiate
Winds, Brass & Percussion
William West, Head of the Woodwind department
Ed Risinger, Head of the Brass & Percussion department
The School of Music at IWU offers a wide range of ensemble experiences for wind and
percussion students. Musical organizations on campus are open to all students, regardless
of major. Illinois Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, or Symphonic Winds are auditioned ensembles, with auditions taking place at the beginning of each academic
year. There are also numerous chamber music opportunities, including woodwind quintets, brass quartets and quintets, like-instrument
ensembles, and percussion ensemble. Each of these ensembles present concerts throughout
the year. Titan Band, an activity band which performs at home sporting events, is also open to all students.
The jazz program offers numerous opportunities for students with an interest in developing their skills
in jazz performance. The Jazz Ensemble is the top jazz group and is open to all students on campus through an audition process
at the beginning of each academic year. There is also a Jazz Lab Band that does not require an audition. Some students, especially music education majors,
may choose to participate in Jazz Lab Band on a secondary instrument, gaining valuable
experience for when they teach. Jazz combos are also available each semester. These
small groups provide entertainment for events on campus and in clubs and other venues
throughout the region.
Other performing opportunities include master classes and studio classes with individual
studio teachers, workshops with visiting soloists and guests, and frequent departmental
recitals. All degree candidates are eligible to present solo recitals during their
junior and/or senior year. All recitals and juries are accompanied free of charge
by a professional accompanist.
An added bonus available at IWU is the deep personal attention our students receive
as a result of the low faculty/student ratio, and of our faculty’s commitment to the
Voice & Choral
William Hudson, Head of the department
Under the guidance of dedicated and knowledgeable faculty in Illinois Wesleyan's voice
and choral department, students are encouraged to achieve their potential and to prepare
themselves for professional life.
Vocal ensembles at Illinois Wesleyan include Collegiate Choir, Chamber Singers, and University Choir under the direction of Dr. J. Scott Ferguson. IWU also features student-led men’s and women’s a cappella groups,
and A Touch of Class
respectively, which perform regularly on campus and in the surrounding community. Suspended has performed in Japan and has produced albums. It also makes an annual recruitment
tour throughout Illinois.
Opera Workshop, directed by Prof. Robert Mangialardi, offers invaluable stage experience to undergraduate students interested in pursuing
a career in this genre. Classes with emphasis on vocal training include Vocal Techniques
and Vocal Pedagogy, taught by Dr. William Hudson. Other courses available for students to enhance their experiences as voice majors
include Diction for Singers (English, Italian, German, and French), History of Opera,
taught by Dr. Linda Farquharson, and courses offered through the School of Theatre Arts, such as beginning acting and dance classes, and Special Topics. Voice students attend
Repertoire Classes each week, where they have the opportunity to sing for their peers
and to receive constructive comments. Departmental and solo recitals afford students
additional experience in a more formal setting.
We invite prospective students to visit our campus and observe classes, rehearsals,
voice lessons, or talk with faculty. Those interested in auditioning for admittance
to the School of Music should contact Laura Dolan for information regarding the audition process.