The School of Music prides itself in the individualized attention it provides to students majoring in liberal arts, music business, music education, music composition, music therapy, music performance, collaborative piano, and graduate conducting.
The sequence is intended for those who wish to pursue a career in business professions related to music.
Students who enjoy improvising or learning about how music is put together may be composers.
Majoring in music composition with a theory emphasis will prepare a student to write music as a way of understanding its structure from the inside out.
The Jazz Studies program is designed to develop abilities as jazz performers, composers, and arrangers.
The Bachelor of Arts in Music and the Bachelor of Science in Music are for those students searching for a broad-based academic degree.
The New Media Composition sequence is designed for students interested in creating original music composition content for new media.
Performance majors are excited to spend the majority of their academic career rehearsing and practicing for the numerous performance opportunities here and at local performance venues.
Illinois State University is the largest teacher training institution in Illinois, and music faculty cooperate closely with professors in the College of Education.
The curriculum for the bachelor's degree is designed to impart entry level competencies in three main areas: musical foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy foundations and principles.
The minor in Jazz Performance at Illinois State University focuses on the instruction of jazz for musicians who play the saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, keyboard, bass, and percussion.
The Music-Liberal Arts minor is for those students searching for a broad-based academic minor.
The Master of Music in Collaborative Piano focuses on accompanying and chamber music, collaborating with a wide range of instruments and voice, plus the opportunity to play in large ensembles and in operatic settings.
The Master of Music in Jazz Performance program helps students develop their professional abilities as jazz performers and improvisers with private jazz instruction, small and large ensemble participation, improvisation courses, and other traditional academic music courses.
The Master of Music in String Pedagogy trains students to become qualified and knowledgeable string teachers.
The Master's degree in Composition is a good program for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in composition and would like to build their portfolio, or for students who are interested in pursuing teaching as a career.
Graduates of the conducting program often go on for doctoral studies in conducting, continue as conductors in school and community college settings, and/or conduct church or community choirs.
All Music Performance Majors at Illinois State University are afforded the opportunity of intensive study in their medium with a highly qualified and professionally accomplished artist-teacher.
While studying current issues in the profession, the student is given the opportunity to develop a specialized area of concentration.
The Master of Music in Music Therapy is designed to produce highly qualified and knowledgeable music therapists who have advanced training in music and its therapeutic applications.
Flute studio members develop into a musical family-like experience pursuing similar passions.
Oboe studio members share their musical growth through performance and around the reed making table.
Clarinet studio membership is fun, fulfilling, and foundational for the future you pursue in music.
Saxophone studio membership is comprised of a vibrant and talented group of students.
Studio membership for bassoonists enhances your passion for performing and appreciating the instrument.
Alumni of the horn studio are Fulbright Scholars and orchestrators/arrangers for the Academy Awards and American Idol, as well as the third Hobbit film.
Excellence in performance is a hallmark of the trumpet studio.
Trombone studio students experience the pursuit of excellence in purposeful preparation for a lifetime of music making.
The tuba and euphonium studio is a tight knit, supportive, positive musical environment that strives to help students achieve their highest level of performance possible.
Percussion studio members strive to develop musicianship and technical proficiency in performance and pedagogy in a myriad of styles and idioms.
Voice students are surrounded by positive and creative faculty members encouraging proper vocal development and performance.
Diverse pianists and organists comprise the piano studios where students celebrate their craft.
Guitarist studio members relish in honing their classical guitar performance skills both as a solo musician and in ensemble work.
Celebrating a long history of excellence in performance, the violin studio offers enrichment for future music professionals.
The viola studio is comprised of ambitious learners with diverse perspectives.
The cello studio includes students with a wide range of backgrounds and interests in the arts.
The double bass studio offers student musicians a broad range of training and experiences to encourage well-rounded musical development.
All School of Music ensembles are open to all university students by audition. All ensembles are registered courses for which grades are given and tuition is paid. Auditions occur just prior to the beginning of the semester. Music is provided for instrumental musicians. Vocalists must prepare one piece from memory.
To schedule a non-major ensemble audition or for more information, please contact:
Piano, guitar and voice lessons are open to all majors, as are choirs, orchestra and bands! Classes in black music, history of jazz and world arts in music can be taken to fulfill general education requirements!
A performance audition is required for admission to a music major or minor. Auditions for Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 admission will primarily occur virtually or by prerecorded audition.
You may choose one of the following scheduled virtual audition dates (conducted via Zoom):
Or, you may choose to submit a recorded video audition (audio-only not accepted). Percussion students needing to arrange an in-person audition can contact Music@IllinoisState.edu. Recorded auditions and in-person auditions must be received or completed by February 6 for scholarship consideration.
For tips on recording or streaming your audition, please review recommendations from our faculty.
Once your audition date has been confirmed by the School of Music, you will be asked to upload additional material which includes:
Students auditioning in woodwind, brass, percussion unified ensemble auditions will be considered for all major ensembles: Wind Symphony, Symphonic Winds, and Symphonic Band. All students regardless of major are welcome to audition for all major ensembles. All students participating in unified ensemble auditions are required to prepare all provided excerpts. Music majors are required to participate in the unified ensemble auditions.Major ensembles covered in unified auditions
Symphonic Band only auditions are open to students who are not music majors and wish to be considered only for Symphonic Band. Students participating in Symphonic Band only auditions will prepare select excerpts as indicated in the audition packet. These auditions will take place at the same time as unified auditions. Music majors and percussionists are not permitted to use this audition option.
University Band: W; 7-9:50 p.m. (1 concert); MUS 181A03/281A03/481A03
Register for the ensemble that you believe is your most likely ensemble placement. Should you be placed in a different ensemble, you can change this later. If you are unsure of what class in which to enroll, you can contact your academic advisor, Professor Marinello, and/or your applied faculty member for guidance.
Complete the online survey by Monday, August 10 in order to notify us of your plans to audition for any of the ensembles listed above. Students indicate their preference of Unified or Symphonic Band Only Audition. University Band, BRMM, and Pep Band members should NOT complete the survey.
Students should arrive 30 minutes before their audition block to check-in and sign up for an audition letter with the proctor at Cook Hall room 212. Students can then use Cook Hall room 305 as a warm up/practice room. Students are asked to stay in Cook Hall room 305 until they have completed their audition.
All auditions are held in Cook room 212 unless otherwise specified. Cook Hall rooms 305 and 308 will be available as warm up rooms. Students should arrive 30 minutes before their audition block to check-in and sign up for an audition letter.
Please contact Tony Marinello with any issues or questions.
For fall 2020, jazz ensembles will consist of a number of jazz small groups (combos) instead of the traditional Big Band instrumentation. Complete details can be found on our Auditions Materials Page.Combos will rehearse during the times traditionally used for the big bands. You will need to be available during at least one of the following times to participate:
Please contact Tom Marko with any questions.
Sunday, August 16
Kemp Recital Hall
Basses: 11 a.m.–noon
Cellos: noon-1 p.m.
Violas: 1 p.m.-2 p.m.
Violins: 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Returning and transferring students with voice as their primary instrument are expected to submit an ensemble placement audition, comprised of two brief audio-only recordings. Students new to college begin auditions spring semester, and do not need to submit audition recordings at this time. The audition recording components:
Two audio-only files are best submitted as .mp3
Please label files like this:
(your) LastName Song.mp3
(your) LastName Excerpt.mp3
Drop your audio files in the appropriate section beginning August 13:
The Illinois State University choral faculty remain committed to your health, well-being, and continued learning. We will continue to explore choral repertoire of all styles. We know that all members of the choral family will continue to be empathetic, flexible, and understanding to our evolving circumstances.
Direct all inquiries to Karyl Carlson, director of Choral Activities.