Music


Music at St. Ambrose is enriching and expressive, providing the in-depth training and experience that aspiring musicians and educators seek. Here, musicians work closely with faculty to craft a personalized curriculum and hands-on experiences to help each student reach their goals. 

Our graduates work as professional musicians, studio teachers, college professors, and music directors at theatre companies and houses of worship.


Click here to audition for a music scholarship

Click here to receive more information about the Music program


Ambrose Advantages

  • Diverse and Numerous Ensembles
  • Generous, Annual Scholarships
  • Expert Faculty & Guidance

marian lee teaching

boy singing

Student playing the clarinet

Our music students are encouraged to explore their potential in all areas of music, thanks to extraordinary dedication by our faculty. They help you grow personally and professionally, so you become an influential and confident musician.

See our fact sheet on Music and Music Education (pdf)


Discover Your Potential
Major in Music at SAU

St. Ambrose University music major Colin Evers is a talented musician from Peoria, Illinois. Along with dedicated and talented faculty, Colin has all the opportunities and support he needs with the SAU Music Department.

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More Information on the Music Program

What are some of my unique learning opportunities?

At St. Ambrose University, you can start performing regularly from the beginning of your undergraduate career. Join one or more of our performing groups: Marching Band, Symphonic Band, String Ensemble, University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Jazz Combo, Bella Voce, Bee Sharp, and STAMVOJA (vocal jazz ensemble). With the number and variety of our music ensembles, you'll be sure to find your place. You'll recieve personal attention from our award-winning faculty, and develop friendships that will last a lifetime.

You can also audition for a music scholarship – awarded annually (provided you meet certain conditions). The department awards nearly $170,000 each year and offers a number of music scholarships to talented students majoring in other academic disciplines, like Education major Peyton Reese and Marketing major Ashley Dean.

The opportunities extend even further: perform as a soloist, in a small ensemble, in the QC community, or even internationally. Our students regularly perform with the Quad City  Symphony Orchestra for live movie showings with orchestra and chorus; in 2017, the Chamber Singers toured Italy and Austria, and in 2019, the Symponic Band travelled to Ireland. In 2023, Chamber Singers and Symphonic Band will be travelling to Greece! Our SAU Marching Band performs at home football games, playoffs, and community events.

Our faculty are dedicated to their craft and your education. Read this story about how Oscar-nominated SAU Music Professor William Campbell lives the challenge he imparts to St. Ambrose music students: Explore your abilities. Test your talents. Stretch your boundaries. "I never stopped exploring, and I wanted to talk about this amazing thing we call music."

The Quad Cities is home to a strong performing arts community, boasting many performance venues and festivals including River Music Experience, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Bix Jazz Music Festival, Mississippi Blues Festival, Nova Singers, the Adler Theatre, and many more. We're also only three hours from downtown Chicago and Des Moines.

Five Ambrosians rocked the beat at a recent Woodstock tribute festival, including junior Alex Axup. Read this story.

Music Scholarships

Each year, the Music Department awards more than $170,000 to talented musicians (audition required). We encourage all potential music majors and minors to audition, and we offer a significant number of music scholarships to talented students majoring in other academic disciplines, too. 

Click here to fill out a scholarship interest form and we'll be in touch to schedule your music scholarship audition. 

Click here to see audition dates and learn more.

What are some career choices?

A Music major can lead to many careers, including accompanist, arranger, arts administrator, band director, composer, conductor, educator, merchandising, music critic, musical theatre, performer, songwriter, or jingle writer.

Other professional careers include arts fundraiser, event management, film music director, sound effects (foley) artist, instrument designer, music therapist, opera coach, orchestrator, recording engineer, sound design, talent scout, theatre, or concert hall manager.

What have alumni of this program done?

Tyson Danner '07 is the Executive Director of River Music Experience, Davenport. He was previously Community Arts Director at Quad City Arts. Tyson also was actively involved in Davenport Junior Theatre as its Artistic Director.

Madeline (Schumacher) Madsen '18 teaches Band and instrumental lessons at SE Junior High in Iowa City.

Parker Haley '17 is teaching at Orion High School in Orion, Illinois, as well as coaching volleyball.

Mary Vargo '21 is the Band Director at Camanche (IA) High School)

Kathy Heedles '82 is the Choir Director at the American International School in Vienna, Austria

Dr. Bob Lawrence '83 is the President of the Dallas School of Music and Founder/Developer of JazzPianoSkills.com

Dr. Khirstin Ihde '02 is the Associate Professor of Piano at UW-Oshkosh

Colin Evers '20 completed his master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Northern Iowa, and now serves as the Director of Music MInistry at the Christ the King Chapel, while also teaching Class Piano and applied lessons.

Faculty and Staff

Nathan Windt, DMA, Chair and Professor

William Campbell, PhD, Professor
Megan Hobbs, Director of Athletic Bands
Nicholas Enz, DMA, Assoc. Professor and Director of Bands
Marian Lee, DMA, Assoc. Professor of Piano

Teaching Artists

Music Department Events

Fall 2022

Allaert Auditorium and Madsen Hall both are located inside the Galvin Fine Arts Center. Campus Map

All Music Department events are free and open to the public.

Pianist with the Hair
Julian Lawrence Gargiulo, piano, with guest appearance by Marian Lee, piano
Saturday, September 10, 7:30 pm, Allaert Auditorium

Alumni Homecoming Concert
Featuring current and alumni members of Symphonic Band and University Chorale
Saturday, September 17, 7:00 pm, Allaert Auditorium

Casual Classics I: Rob Miller, clarinet, and Marian Lee, piano
Friday, September 30, 5:00 pm, Madsen Hall

Casual Classics II: Artist TBA
Friday, October 21, 5:00 pm, Madsen Hall

Fall Choir Concert: Journeys
Featuring Chamber Singers and University Chorale
Saturday, October 22, 7:30 pm, Allaert Auditorium

Fall Instrumental Concert
Featuring the Symphonic Band
Friday, October 28, 7:30 pm, Allaert Auditorium

Senior Recital: Quinn E. Rodman, voice
Sunday, October 30, 3:00 pm, Madsen Hall

Fall Jazz Concert
Featuring STAMVOJA and Jazz Band
Sunday, November 6, 3:00 pm, Rogalski Center Ballroom

Casual Classics III: A Musical Feast (SAU Faculty sampler)
Friday, November 11, 5:00 pm, Madsen Hall

Senior Recital: Erin Robertson, voice
Saturday, December 3, 3:00 pm, Madsen Hall

Fall Invitational Recital, SAU Applied Music students
Sunday, December 4, 3:00 pm, Madsen Hall

A Service of Lessons and Carols
Featuring Chamber Singers and University Chorale
Friday, December 9, 7:00 pm, Christ the King Chapel

An Ambrosian Christmas
Featuring the SAU Music Ensembles and student soloists
Saturday, December 10, 3:00 pm, Allaert Auditorium

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Music

All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

View music courses and descriptions in the online course catalog

Required:
MUS 099 Concert Attendance (every semester enrolled)
+MUS 110 Music Orientation
MUS 201 Theory I, 2 credits
MUS 202 Theory II, 2 credits
MUS 207 Aural Skills I, 2 credits
MUS 208 Aural Skills II, 2 credits
MUS 221 Techniques for Piano, 1 credit
MUS 222 Piano Techniques II, 1 credit
MUS 301 Music Theory III, 2 credits
MUS 302 Music Theory IV, 2 credits
MUS 307 Aural Skills III, 2 credits
MUS 308, with a grade of C or better
MUS 319 Conducting
MUS 325 Music History and Literature: Antiquity to 1700
MUS 326 Music History and Literature: 1750 to 1890
MUS 407 Form and Analysis

Plus 7 credits of applied major in the same instrument or voice;

Presentation of a junior (half) recital;

MUS 403 senior recital (2 credits);

Participation in a major ensemble (band, choir or orchestra) each semester of enrollment;

Choose two:
MUS 234 Percussion Techniques, 1 credit
MUS 235 Brass Techniques, 1 credit
MUS 237 Technique for Voice, 1 credit
MUS 238 Woodwind Techniques, 1 credit
MUS 239 String Techniques, 1 credit
MUS 242 Techniques for Studio Teaching, 1 credit

Plan to Graduate - BA in Music

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Music. This plan assumes the student has not taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Year One

FallCreditsSpringCredits
MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0 MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0
*MUS 101 Basic Musicianship   3 MUS 203 Applied Music 1
Social Science 3 MUS 207 Aural Skills I 2
MUS 203 Applied Music 1 MUS 201 Music Theory I 2
MUS 111 Chorale; MUS 117 Band; or MUS 122 Large Ensemble 1 MUS 221 Piano Techniques I 1
ENGL 101 3 MUS 111 Chorale; MUS 117 Band; or MUS 122 Large Ensemble 1
Info Lit 1 MATH 3
Oral COMM 3 PHIL/THEO 100-200 3
non-Music elective 3
Total 15 Total 16

 

Year Two

FallCreditsSpringCredits
MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0 MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0
MUS 203 Applied Music 1-2 MUS 301 Theory III 2
MUS 208 Aural Skills II 2 MUS 307 Aural Skills III 2
MUS 202 Music Theory II 2 MUS 203 Applied Music 1-2
MUS 222 Piano Techniques II 1 Natural Science 3
MUS 111 Chorale; MUS 117 Band; or MUS 122 Large Ensemble 1 MUS 111 Chorale; MUS 117 Band; or MUS 122 Large Ensemble 1
MUS tech course (MUS 234-242) 1 MUS 325/6/7 Music History 3
MUS 319 3 MUS tech course (MUS 234-242) 1
THEO/PHIL 100-200 3 KIN 149 1
non-Music elective 3 non-Music elective 3
Total 17-18 Total 17-18

Year Three

FallCreditsSpringCredits
MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0 MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0
MUS 303 applied major 2 MUS 303 applied major 2
MUS 111 Chorale; MUS 117 Band; or MUS 122 Large Ensemble 1 MUS 111 Chorale; MUS 117 Band; or MUS 122 Large Ensemble 1
MUS 302 Theory IV 2 PHIL/THEO 3
MUS 308 Aural Skills IV 2 Foreign Language 102 3
MUS 322 or 323 3 MUS 407 Form & Analysis** 3
Foreign Language 101 3 MUS tech course (MUS 234-242)*** 1
MUS 325/6/7 Music History 3 MUS History 325-327 3
non-Music Humanities 3
Total 17 Total 16

Year Four

FallCreditsSpringCredits
MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0 MUS 099 Concert Attendance  0
MUS 303 Adv. Applied Music 1-2 Writing intensive non-Music elective 3
PHIL/THEO 300+ 3 MUS 403 Applied Recital 2
MUS 111 Chorale; MUS 117 Band; or MUS 119 Orch. 1 MUS 407** or non-Music elective 3
non-Music elective 6 non-Music elective 6
KIN activity 1-2
MUS 407 or non-Music elective 3
Total 15-17 Total 14

*Basic Musicianship is not part of the Music Major curriculum requirements. Although students may need to take the course to be successful in the Major, this course does not count toward the Music Major. It does count towards one of your humanities courses.
** This course is offered every three semesters. Check with Dr. Campbell to confirm the next offering.
***You are required to complete two Techniques Courses. It is recommended that students with a concentration in voice take MUS 236 and MUS 237, and students with a concentration in Instrumental Music take the two courses that best fit their needs.

Recommended courses:
MUS 324 Music Technology
MUS 150 Composition Class
COMM 240 Principles of Public Relations

Music Minor

Requirements for a Minor in Music (18-22 credits)

The Music minor allows students to balance their desire to study and make music at a deeper level while balancing the demands of a different academic major.

Required:
MUS 099 Concert Attendance, 0 credits (4 semesters)
+MUS 103, 203, or 303 Applied Lessons, 1 credit (at least 4 semesters)
MUS 111, 118 or 122 Ensemble, 0-1 credit (at least 4 semesters)
+MUS 110 Music Orientation, 3 credits
MUS 201 Music Theory I, 2 credits
MUS 207 Aural Skills I, 2 credits
MUS 221 Techniques for Piano, 1 credit
MUS electives (minimum two courses)

Click here to read course descriptions for Music

Jazz Studies Minor

Requirements for a Minor in Jazz Studies (19 credits)

Courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

MUS 099 Concert Attendance, 0 credits
+MUS 110 Music Orientation
+MUS 103, 203, or 303 Applied Lessons, 1 credit
+MUS 118 Jazz Ensemble, 0-1 credit
+MUS 120 History of Jazz
MUS 201 Music Theory I, 2 credits
MUS 207 Aural Skills I, 2 credits
MUS 221 Piano Techniques, 1 credit

+ Satisfies a General Education requirement


Meet Our Alumni & Current Students


Our alumni and students are sharing their love for music through their occupation and musical gifts. Learn more about just one member of our community.

Nick Vasquez '08, BA in Music
Parker Haley Cutout Mobile Image Parker Haley Cutout Image

Parker Haley

Music Education,Middle and High School Choir Director, Orion (Illinois) School District,Class of 2017


At SAU, you can expand your passion for music into a professional teaching career, just ask Parker. He says our leading music and education programs – combined with extensive practicums – gave him phenomenal preparation for his career as a middle and high school choir director.

See My Story

So, what's next?

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