If you believe music is a social art, a vehicle for expression, or your personal life-long vocation, St. Ambrose provides the intensive professional training that aspiring musicians and educators need. 

Click here to audition for a music scholarship

Click here to receive more information about the Music program

Our graduates work as professional musicians; studio teachers; at retail locations such as West Music and Griggs Music; and music directors at theatre companies and houses of worship.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Freedom to Explore
  • Small Campus, Big Opportunities
  • Expert Faculty & Guidance

marian lee teaching

boy singing

Student playing the clarinet

Our faculty are exceptionally dedicated, approachable, and active professionals in all areas of music. They give you an education and a stage to perform, compose, conduct, and let you follow your interests and perfect your craft.

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

Music Scholarships

Vocal and Instrumental

The Music Department awards more than $170,000 in annual scholarships to talented music students who audition – and the grant is renewable every year through graduation.

Learn more about scholarship auditions

More Information on the Music Program

What are some of my unique learning opportunities?

At St. Ambrose University, you can perform from the start of your undergraduate career. Join one or more of our performing groups: Symphonic Band, String Ensemble, University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Jazz Combo, Bella Voce, Bee Sharp, and STAMVOJA (vocal jazz ensemble). 

The number and diversity of music groups is large for a department our size, so you get all the experience you'd get at larger schools – including conducting for music education majors – but with the benefit of more attention and leadership opportunities.

You can also audition for a music scholarship – awarded annually provided you meet certain conditions. The department awards nearly $170,000 each year!

You can also perform solo, in a small ensemble on-campus or in the community, or even internationally. Read about our most recent International Tour in Europe. We give you opportunities to compose, teach, and conduct large ensembles in a public performance, which makes our Music program even more unique. If you are multi-talented, you should consider joining the SAU Marching Band.

Because SAU is located within a strong performing arts community, you will get to attend and perform at many venues, including River Music Experience, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Bix Jazz Music Festival, Mississippi Blues Festival, Nova Singers, the Adler Theatre and many more – and we're only three hours from downtown Chicago and Des Moines.

Music Scholarships

Each year, the Music Department awards more than $170,000 to talented musicians (audition required). Click here to 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 Community Arts Director at Quad City Arts. Tyson also was actively involved in Davenport Junior Theatre as its Artistic Director.

Darian Auge '16, who double-majored in English and Music, is a piano instructor at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf.

Nicole Schmidt '12 earned her bachelor of Music Education and teaches music at the Prince of Peace Catholic School in Bellevue, Iowa.

Amber Grunder '09 is director of liturgy at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Catholic Church in Katy, Texas.

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

2018 Music Department Events

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

Casual Classics Concert IV: Lorallee Songer, mezzo soprano, and Perry Mears, piano
Friday, February 2, 5 p.m. 
Madsen Hall

Winter Instrumental Concert: Symphonic Band, String Ensemble
Friday, February 23, 7:30 p.m.
Allaert Auditorium

Winter Vocal Concert: University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Bee Sharp, Bella Voce
Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m.
Allaert Auditorium

SAU Jazz Concert: SAU Jazz Ensemble, STAMVOJA
Saturday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.
Rogalski Center Ballroom

SAU High School Honor Band Festival Concert
Saturday, March 11, 7 p.m.
Allaert Auditorium

Casual Classics Concert V: Michael Carrera, cello, and Chris Durrenberger, piano
Friday, March 23, 5 p.m.
Madsen Hall

Students Honor Recital
Sunday, April 8, 3 p.m.
Madsen Hall

Casual Classics Concert VI: Matthew Hartman, trumpet and Marian Lee, piano
Friday, April 13, 5 p.m.
Madsen Hall

Senior Recital Alex Reed ‘18, piano
Sunday, April 15, 2 p.m.
Madsen Hall

String Ensemble Concert
Wednesday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
Madsen Hall

Spring Jazz Night: SAU Jazz Ensemble, STAMVOJA, Bee Sharp, Bella Voce
Friday, May 4, 7:30 p.m.
Rogalski Center Ballroom

St. Ambrose University Band Day at the Bandshell: Symphonic Band and Marching Band
Saturday, May 5, Noon
LeClaire Park Bandshell, Downtown Davenport

Spring Choir Concert, Bernstein at 100: University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Bee Sharp, Bella Voce
Sunday, May 6, 3 p.m.
Allaert Auditorium

Faculty and Staff

William Campbell, Professor and Chair

Terri Buesing-Flynn, Administrative Assistant
Megan Cooney, Director of Athletic Bands
Sheila Doak, Chorale and Chamber Singers Accompanist
Thea Engelson, Instructor
Nicholas Enz, Asst. Professor and Director of Bands
Judy Hyland, Instructor
Marian Lee, Asst. Professor of Piano
Nathan Windt, Assoc. Professor

Teaching Artists

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Music

MUS 099 Concert Attendance (every semester enrolled)
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 327 Music History and Literature III
MUS 407 Form and Analysis

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 242 Techniques for Studio Teaching

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

MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0 MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0
*MUS 101 Basic Musicianship   3 MUS 203 1
Social Science 3 MUS 207 Aural Skills I 2
MUS 203 1 MUS 201 2
MUS 111 Chorale; MUS 117 Band; or MUS 122 Large Ensemble 1 MUS 221 Piano Techniques 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

MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0 MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0
MUS 203 1 MUS 301 Theory III 2
MUS 208 Aural Skills II 2 MUS 307 Aural Skills III 2
MUS 202 2 MUS 203 1
MUS 222 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 Total 17

Year Three

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

MUS 099 Concert Attendance 0 MUS 099  Concert Attendance  0
MUS 303 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 16-17 Total 15

*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 (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.

Concert Attendance: 4 semesters of MUS 099
Applied Music (private lessons): at least 4 semesters of MUS 203
Ensemble: at least four semesters of MUS 111, 118 or 122
Music Theory I and II: MUS 201, 202 (4 credits)
Aural Skills I and II: MUS 207, 208 (4 credits)
Music History: MUS 325, 326, and 327

Click here to read course descriptions for Music

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
Nathan Tappen Headshot Mobile Version Nathan Tappen Headshot

Nathan Tappen

Class of 2021

Nathan Tappen was undecided on a major when he became an Ambrosian in 2017, but “undecided” is OK. We offer more than 60 undergraduate programs, and Nathan was eager to explore. “I like the academic programs SAU offers, and maybe what I want to do in the future will be inspired by a class I take.”

See My Story

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Contact Us

William Campbell, PhD

Music Department
Galvin Fine Arts Center 111
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 27 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!