Music at St. Ambrose is enriching and expressive, providing the in-depth training and experience that aspiring musicians and educators seek. Here, musicians boldly pursue a path of musical creativity and dedication.

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.

Click here to audition for a music scholarship

Click here to receive more information about the Music program

>> Schedule a Virtual Visit with one of our Music professors! Click here

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). 

Thanks to the number and diversity of our music groups, you get all the experience you would 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 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 solo, in a small ensemble on-campus, in the QC community, or even internationally. Our Symphonic Band regularly travels to Ireland for a performance tour, and in 2017, our Chamber Singers toured Europe. 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 is the 7th Grade Band Director at Sudlow Intermediate, Davenport.

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

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

Music Department Events

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

2020-21 Music Department events will not be open to the public or visitors.

Faculty and Staff

Nathan Windt, DMA, Chair and Assoc. Professor

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

Teaching Artists

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Music

All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

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

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

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

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 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.

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

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

Ashley Dean

Bachelor of Arts in Marketing,Class of 2021

Ashley Dean is thriving, and her success is directly tied to her own hard work and determination. At SAU, we provided her the education and opportunities to soar.

See My Story

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Contact Us

Nathan Windt, DMA

Music Department
Galvin Fine Arts Center 109
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.