Why Western?

As a music faculty member, I frequently interact with prospective students and their parents and one common question is “With so many college and university music programs, why should we choose Western?” I began my fulltime teaching career at Western in the fall of 1993, after teaching as an adjunct instructor at Roosevelt University and working on my doctorate at Northwestern University. When I visited the campus for my interview, I was most impressed with the collegiality of the faculty and their intense commitment to teaching. During my years at Western, many of the faces have changed but this fundamental attitude hasn't changed — I still feel that sense of commitment, dedication and loyalty to our music students and my colleagues. This shared vision creates a strong sense of community and stands as one of our fundamental core values.

I've found that prospective students are best informed when they come and spend a day visiting our campus. This gives them an opportunity to interact with our faculty, take a complimentary trial lesson, sit in on a classroom session, visit an ensemble rehearsal, talk to currently enrolled students, and see the campus. Here are some important benefits to our program:

  • Quality of faculty — the School of Music faculty represents an international collection of scholars and performers with an impressive portfolio of credentials. You can review their individual bios at:
  • Student/Faculty ratio — The School of Music has 260 majors that interact with 41 fulltime music faculty. Those ratios (6:1) assure a strong educational relationship with your primary teachers.
  • Diversity of music programs — the School of Music offers degree programs in Music Education, Music Business, Music Therapy and Performance. A core collection of classes in theory, aural skills, history, and piano is fundamental to all of these programs.
  • Cost effectiveness — Western offers an excellent education at affordable cost. The University Cost Guarantee locks the freshman tuition rate in place for 4 years. The School of Music offers talent grants (performance service awards) for students who qualify by audition.
  • Ensemble program — the School of Music offers performance experiences with both large and small ensembles. Ensembles tour and record annually and are invited to perform at conventions and meetings all over the country. Last spring, the Western Illinois University Trumpet Ensemble were semi-finalists in the National Trumpet Competition held in Fairfax, VA.
  • Instrument inventory — trumpet students come to the university with their own instruments but the School of Music offers these specialty instruments that are used both in the ensembles and studio applications:

  • Bach C trumpets
  • Yamaha E flat/D trumpets
  • Yamaha, Schilke, and Benge piccolo trumpets
  • Yamaha custom cornets
  • Getzen cornets
  • Yamaha flugelhorns

  • Graduate school placement and student success — upon completion of their undergraduate studies, many students continue into graduate music programs. Western trumpet alumni have successfully moved into graduate music programs at the Eastman School, Indiana University, Northwestern University, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Boston University and the University of North Texas. Western trumpet students were chosen as semifinalists and finalists in the International Trumpet Guild Orchestral Excerpt Competition, the National Trumpet Solo Competition, the MTNA State, Regional, and National Solo Competition, and the Western Illinois University Concerto Competition.