Maureen Balke, chair and professor.
B.A., 1974, Marquette University; B.M., 1978, M.M., 1980, D.M. (vocal performance and pedagogy), 1991, Indiana University. Teachers and coaches include Lorna Warfield, Martha Lipton, Gianna d’Angelo and Carol Smith, Martin Katz, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dalton Baldwin, Gerhard Hüsch. Post-doctoral studies at the CIFM International Music Institute in Nice, France; the Mozart Opera Studies Institute in Kaprun, Austria; the Aston Magna Academy on Schubert (NEH Fellowship); the Schubert Lied and Keyboard Festival, Westminster Choir College; and the International Festival of the Art Song. Certified Level III Somatic Voicework™—The LoVetri Method. Appointed 1988.
David W. Abbott, professor.
B.M., 1977, Eastman School of Music; M.M., 1980, The Juilliard School; D.M.A., 1995, Eastman School of Music. Appointed 2005.
James S. Ball, professor.
B.M. (trombone), 1974, Oberlin Conservatory of Music; M.M. (trombone), 1982, Georgia State University; M.M. (orchestral conducting), 1983, Northwestern University; D.M.A. (orchestral conducting), 1992, Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City. Appointed 1999.
Lia Jensen-Abbott, assistant professor.
B.M. (piano performance), 1995, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; M.M., (piano performance and pedagogy), 1999, M.A. (music theory and music history), 2003, Pennsylvania State University; D.M.A. (piano performance), 2006, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Performer Diploma, 2006, Indiana University.
Samuel D. McIlhagga, professor.
B.Mus.Ed., 1992, Grand Valley State University; M.M. (wind conducting), 1993, Northwestern University; Ph.D. (music education), 2006, University of Minnesota. Appointed 2003.
Clayton G. Parr, associate professor.
B.A. (vocal performance), 1980, Albion College; Teaching Certificate, 1981, Michigan State University; M.M. (choral conducting), 1987, M.M. (vocal performance), 1989, D.M.A. (choral conducting), 1990, Michigan State University. Appointed 2012.
Applied Music Faculty
Takeshi Abo, adjunct instructor, violin and viola.
B.M. (violin performance), 1994, Kyoto City University of Arts; M.M. (violin performance), 1997; D.M.A. (violin performance), 2006, Michigan State University.
Emily Benner, adjunct instructor, voice and opera/musical theatre workshop.
B.M., 1995, M.M., 1997, D.M.A., 2005, University of Michigan.
Robert Doyle, adjunct instructor, voice.
B.M., 1985, Michigan State University; M.M., 1992, University of Texas, Austin; M.M. candidate in organ and church music, University of Michigan. Certified Level III Somatic Voicework™—The LoVetri Method.
Cynthia Duda, adjunct instructor, bassoon.
B.M., 1999, Bowling Green State University; M.M., 2003, Western Michigan University; D.M.A. candidate, Michigan State University.
Ellen Grafius, adjunct instructor, harp.
B.M.E., 1970, Michigan State University.
John King, adjunct instructor, voice and opera/musical theatre workshop.
B.M.E., 1972, Central Michigan University; M.M., 1974, University of Colorado.
Nicholas Laban, staff accompanist.
B.A., 2011, Albion College; M.M., 2013, Western Michigan University.
Sarah Manasreh, adjunct instructor, clarinet, saxaphone.
B.M., 2005, Florida State University; M.M., 2007, Royal Northern College of Music (UK); M.M. candidate, Michigan State University.
Mark Mathias, adjunct instructor, double bass.
B.M., 1974, University of Michigan; M.F.A.,1980, Eastern Michigan University.
Daniel McDonald, adjunct instructor, percussion.
B.M., 2005, Central Michigan University; M.M., 2009, University of Michigan.
Tess Miller, adjunct instructor, flute.
M.M., 2001, D.M.A., 2004, Michigan State University.
James Otto, adjunct instructor, horn.
B.Mus.Ed., 1979, M.M., 1985, University of Michigan.
Daniel Palmer, adjunct instructor, guitar.
B.A., 2011, Albion College; M.M., 2013, University of Toledo.
Gabriel Renteria, adjunct instructor, oboe.
B.M., 2004, Oberlin Conservatory; M.M., 2006, University of Washington.
Stacy Root, adjunct instructor, elementary music education.
B.A. (music education), 2002, M.A. (music education), 2010, Michigan State University.
Elena Melinda Solero, accompanist.
B.M., 1982, DePauw University; M.M., 1984, Bowling Green State University.
Daniel Tressel, adjunct instructor, cello.
B.M., 2004, University of Illinois; M.M., 2006, University of Nevada, Reno; D.M.A., 2012, Michigan State University.
Daniel Willenberg, adjunct instructor, jazz piano.
B.A., 2011, Albion College; M.A., 2014, Western Michigan University; Performer’s Certification (Jazz Piano), 2016, Western Michigan University.
Music is one of the oldest disciplines in the liberal arts, and thus represents one of the traditional fields of knowledge. Integration with other disciplines is represented well within the department, for music brings people in contact with great literature such as drama and poetry, with dance, with historical and sociological trends, and with religious and philosophical ideas.
One of the most important contributions provided by the Music Department is the opportunity for self-expression, either individually or with others. The stimulation and enjoyment derived from music springs from study, self-examination and criticism, discipline, knowledge of other disciplines that bear upon musical interpretation, and a desire to achieve excellence. These are liberating, civilizing, sensitizing influences upon humanity in any age and in any place; they help prepare students for rich and rewarding lives.
The philosophy and mission of Albion College are reflected in four primary goals of the Music Department: (1) To be an artistic presence on the campus and to share the rich heritage of great music with students, faculty and community; (2) To expose students to and involve them with the creative process through music, to heighten students’ sensitivity to themselves and others, and to introduce them to a broad range of significant music; (3) To develop an understanding of music, impart knowledge of music and increase musical skills by means of courses offered within the framework of the liberal arts; (4) To provide courses and curricula for music majors so they may have the necessary foundation for graduate study, teaching, performing, or other career-oriented goals.
The Music Department offers courses for a broad range of students—from those who aspire to a musical career to those who wish to develop their avocational interests in music. Membership in all performing ensembles and opportunities for private music lessons are open to all students regardless of major. Albion has an excellent library of books, musical scores, recordings and stereo listening equipment—all available for student use. Albion College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
The Music Department offers three music curricula: (1) music major; (2) music major with performance emphasis; and (3) music major with music education emphasis. These programs are listed below with an explanation of the purpose and the requirements for each.
Music Department Website
Career possibilities for Albion music graduates include public and private school teaching, private teaching, music or arts management, church music and professional performance. Many of our music graduates elect to attend graduate school to further prepare themselves for their chosen careers.
Interested students may take advantage of off-campus study and apprenticeships made available through the GLCA in New York and Philadelphia. Foreign study is available as well.
Vocal students are regularly sent to state and regional National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competitions. They also take part in a musical and/or opera workshop on an annual basis. Opportunities for instrumentalists include the Intercollegiate Honor Band.