WIU Choirs

Dr. Hawkins

Dr. Jason Hawkins

Choral Music Education
Sallee 200
(309) 298-2782

Jason Hawkins is an Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at Western Illinois University where he teaches Concert Choir, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Music Education courses. He earned a B.A. in both Choral Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Western Illinois University, a M.A. in Education from Governors State University, and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois while completing a Ph.D. in Music Education.

Dr. Hawkins comes to WIU following twelve years as Director of Choirs at Plainfield North High School in the Chicago suburbs. As an inaugural staff member at PNHS, he oversaw the inception of the Music Department and was influential in its rapid growth. Under his direction, the choir program at PNHS grew from 35 to 200 students and received numerous prestigious honors: 2015 Choirs of America Nationals "Spotlight Performance" at Carnegie Hall, 2013 winners of "Outstanding Performance" in DownBeat Magazine’s Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble division, 2012 ILMEA All-State guest performing ensemble, "Most Outstanding Choral Group" at the 2011 Washington D.C. Heritage Festival, as well as many performance invitations throughout the community, state, and country. Dr. Hawkins has been honored many times by the Plainfield Schools including selection as the 2016 PNHS "Teacher of the Year" and 2016 "Award of Excellence" winner. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Lewis University and was active in the Plainfield United Methodist Church, directing the Chancel Choir and Worship Band.

Dr. Hawkins makes frequent appearances as clinician/conductor for ILMEA, IHSA, IGSMA, and regional choral festivals and has gained a strong reputation throughout the state. His research interests include the use of technology for assessment and instruction in the choral classroom, which led to a presentation at the International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education (2015) and subsequent publication (2016). He has also presented at the Illinois Music Educators Conference (2014) and has been a guest lecturer at numerous regional universities. Dr. Hawkins resides in Macomb with his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Olivia.