Music Studies at Eureka College
Fill out the online sign-up form to audition for Chorale, Chamber Singers, and/or Dischords on Wedn 8/21 or Thur 8/22! Scroll down for more information about these ensembles.
Music Studies at Eureka College
Courses in music provide opportunities for enrichment through a variety of musical experiences, including classroom study, group and private lessons, and ensemble participation. The major in Music serves as a foundation for further study in graduate school and for careers in performance,composition, and music education. Music degree programs at Eureka College include the following:
- Music-Performance (Vocal or Piano)
- Music Education (Classroom/Vocal)
- Pre-Music Therapy (Music Major with Psychology minor)
- Music Non-Performance
The music minor, combined with a major in Business Administration or Communication, also offers opportunities for careers in arts management, music broadcasting, and music business.
Choral Performance Ensembles
Joining a chorale ensemble at Eureka College is an enjoyable, “hands-on” way of exploring music you might not encounter in any other way, guided by faculty who are experts in the field. It can provide student with an experience that is intellectually stimulating, aesthetically rewarding, and fun to do with other impassioned musicians.
Both the Eureka College Chorale and the Eureka College Chambers Singers are offered for credit and serves as a required, curricula course for music majors (e.g., music education, music performance, music non-performance, and/or pre-music therapy). Non majors also participate in the ensembles as a co-curricular course.
Choral ensembles at Eureka College allow students to learn and develop choral skills, performance skills, learn about the voice as a musical instrument, prepare outstanding choral music, and learn how to work as a team to achieve goals of musical excellence.
The Music Department offers the following music ensembles:
Eureka College Chorale
The Eureka College Chorale (MUS281 or MUS981) is an auditioned, mixed ensemble dedicated to the performance of a wide variety of musical styles and genres. Membership in the College Chorale is open to all students at Eureka College via audition. The Eureka College Chorale has conducted concert tours in in the Midwest, New England, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The College Chorale’s musical sensitivity, energy, and unique sound is a testament to the dedicationand talent of its singers. Students may take this this course for 1 hour credit (MUS281) or no credit (MUS081).
The Eureka College Chorale meets every Monday and Thursday 3:15-4:30 PM in McCallister Hall of the College Chapel.
Eureka College Chamber Singers
The Eureka College Chamber Singers is an auditioned, mixed ensemble of 16-20 voices that specializes in chamber choral music in all styles, genres, and historical eras. In addition to local performances the Chamber Singers have toured both domestically and internationally where they have established a reputation of excellence in choral music performance.
The Chamber Singers also produce and present the extremely popular and successful Renaissance Christmas Dinner during the first week of December. This musical, dinner-theater production is held annually in the Terrill Rooms of the Donald B Cerf Center.
The Eureka College Chamber Singers meet every Tuesday 4:15-5:30 PM and Friday 3:15-4:30 in McCallister Hall of the College Chapel. Students may take this this course for 1 hour credit (MUS382) or no credit (MUS082). Students who sing in the Chamber Singers must also maintain membership in the College Chorale.
Eureka College Men's Ensemble
Dischords: Male A Cappella Group (student-directed)
Dischords is the male a cappella group at Eureka College and is available to those singing in Chorale. In Dischords, we have sung songs such as You’ve Got a Friend in Me, Hooked on a Feeling, Spider-Man (theme song), and many more. We perform at the Chorale performances as well as at other opportunities that arise throughout the semester (e.g. events on and/or off campus, both hosted/organized by EC and by outside groups). We rehearse twice a week for roughly 30-45 minutes in the Chapel throughout the semester. For those interested in performing in the group, there will be an extra part to your audition with the director of Dischords following your chorale audition; however, nothing needs to be prepared ahead of time- it’s just a stress-free time to hear and learn more about you!
Vocal Ensemble Auditions
Fill out the online sign-up form to audition for Chorale, Chamber Singers, and/or Dischords on Wedn 8/21 or
Each audition consists of the following:
- Vocal warmups (to determine your range)
- Tonal memory (singing back a short pattern you just heard)
- Singing “America the Beautiful” or another simple folk song, without accompaniment
- Sightsinging (if you know how to read music)
Contact Dr. Riskind at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Dr. Sarah Riskind, Director of Choral Activities
Previously based in Seattle, conductor and composer Sarah Riskind is the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Eureka College. Through her work as choral director and faculty at The Walden School (www.waldenschool.org), an inspiring summer program in NH for creative musicians, she has become an advocate for developing musicianship and improvisational skills in choirs of all ages and abilities.
Among her original works are Jewish and Judeo-Christian music, secular pieces with improvisatory elements, and frequent settings with string obbligato parts. Recent premieres include the tenor/bass arrangement of Oseh Shalom by the Appalachian State Glee Club in April 2019, the Robert Frost setting Looking for a Sunset Bird in Winter by the Pacifica Choirs Interludes Ensemble in March 2019, and several arrangements of Judeo-Spanish melodies by the Seattle Jewish Chorale and Dr. Riskind’s own ensemble Las Kantaderas del Noroeste in November/December 2018. She has also written for the Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Ensemble Dal Niente as part of the Walden School Faculty Commissioning Project, as well as for the Creative Commissions project through the University of Cincinnati.
Dr. Riskind enjoys accompanying voices as a violinist/fiddler and improvisor, and she has most recently sung soprano in the Mägi Ensemble, a professional Baltic women’s choir in Seattle. She holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from University of Washington, an MM in Choral Conducting from University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a BA in Music from Williams College.
Piano Studies at Eureka College
The Music Performance concentration is offered for the student with advanced performance skills who intends to pursue a career in either solo or ensemble performance or collegiate studio teaching following graduate school. An audition, consisting of two memorized compositions, must be scheduled with the EC Music Department faculty.
Students pursuing a piano performance degree complete the Music Major course requirements including 2 credit hours of applied lessons (60 minute lesson per week) each semester and two solo recital performances. The Junior Recital consists of a 30 minute memorized program. The Senior Recital consists of a 60 minute memorized program. Additional performance opportunities include semester jury exams and semester recitals, campus concerts, piano duet recitals and special campus functions.
Students seeking the non-performance degree will continue to develop their keyboard skill and possibly pursue a career in private studio teaching. They will complete the Music Major course requirements with one credit hour of applied lessons (30 min. lesson per week) each semester. There are minimal performance requirements including semester jury exams and recitals.
All Music Majors are required to pass piano proficiency. Students with piano background will complete the proficiency requirements with at least 4 semesters of applied lessons. Beginning piano study is offered for those students with limited or no piano background and completion of the proficiency requirements may require 4 years of study.
Piano elective for non-music majors: Piano lessons are available for the adult beginner and for the experienced non-music major pianist. 4 accumulated credit hours (4 semesters of applied study) fulfill a General Education requirement. Contact the Music Department for more information.
Semester Duet Recital Performances
Students and faculty prepare piano ensemble selections for performance. Piano literature is performed on two grand pianos: The Steinway concert grand which is the Music Department recital instrument and the Vose conservatory grand which was donated by EC Trustee, Rennie Atterbury in memory of Cynthia Atterbury.
Mrs. Pamela Bates – Applied Piano and Music Theory
B.M. Piano Performance, B.M.E. Music Education and M.M. Piano Performance – Bradley University. Collegiate teaching experience includes Bradley University and Illinois Central College. Secondary music choral director at Metamora H.S. Metamora, Il and Richwoods H.S. Peoria, Il. Church choir director for Memorial Christian Church, Salem Lutheran Church and First United Methodist Church Peoria, Il. Over 30 years of piano studio teaching. Member of and adjudicator for Peoria Area Music Teachers’ Association, Illinois State Music Teachers’ Association and the Music Teachers’ National Association.
Voice Study at Eureka College
The Music Performance concentration is offered to the student with advanced performance skills (solo singing experience that demonstrates musicianship, artistry and competency with languages) who intends to pursue a career in professional opera, musical theater or collegiate studio teaching following graduate school. An audition consisting of 2 memorized art songs or arias (1 in a foreign language – Italian, German or French) must be scheduled with the Music Department faculty.
Students pursuing a vocal performance degree will complete the Music Major course requirements including 2 credit hours of applied lessons (60 minute lesson per week) each semester and 2 solo recital performances. The Junior Recital consists of a 30 minute memorized program.
The Senior Recital consists of a 60 minute memorized program. Recitals feature art songs, arias and musical theater selections from a variety of periods in music history. Additional performance opportunities include master classes, semester jury exams and recitals, campus concerts, Chorale and Chamber Singer events, the Renaissance Christmas Dinner, musical theater productions (in conjunction with the Theatre Department).
Students seeking the non-performance degree will continue to develop their singing skills (technique, musicianship, artistry and languages) and possibly pursue a career in private studio teaching. They will complete the Music Major course requirements including 1 credit hour of applied lessons (30 minute lesson per week) each semester. There are minimal performance requirements including master classes, semester jury exams and recitals.
Voice Elective for Non-Music Majors
Voice lessons are available for beginning or advanced singers who are pursuing a degree other than music. 4 accumulated credit hours (4 semesters of applied study) fulfill the General Education requirement in Fine and Performing Arts. Contact the Music Department for more information.
Mrs. Libby Moore – Applied Voice
B.M.E Music Education – Bradley University and M.M. Vocal Performance – Illinois State University. Collegiate teaching experience includes Knox College Galesburg, Il and Illinois Central College East Peoria, Il. Elementary general music teacher – Creve Coeur public schools. Church Choir director for the Evangelical United Methodist Church and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Washington, Il. Professional Performing Ensembles and Community Theater: Eastlight Theater, Dramatic Crossroads, Sugar Creek Symphony and Song, Opera Illinois, Opera Illinois Guild, Peoria Civic Chorale, Nova Singers and vocal soloist for the Peoria Municipal Band.
The Eureka College Chapel, built in 1869, is the current home for the College Music Department. As one of the two oldest buildings on campus, the Chapel was constructed using an Italian Villa design with bracketed eaves and tall, thin arched windows. The College Chapel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 31, 1980.
The first floor contains a classroom, several piano practice rooms and faculty offices. The second floor, named after Raymond F. McCallister (Class of 1931) who would serve with distinction in various pastoral and administrative roles within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), serves as both a concert hall and rehearsal hall. Annual Campus Concerts are held in Becker Auditorium of the Donald B. Cerf Center.