What Our Alums Have to Say About Their UI Experience

“The U of I was the perfect place to study and learn my craft.”

— David E. Bilger (B.M. '83)
Principal trumpet, Philadelphia Orchestra

“UI was a wonderful place to earn my master's degree; teacher John Wustman was peerless as an accompanist/coach; . . . I was exposed to an enormous amount of repertoire in U of I's various studios; there is no better way for learning one’s craft than through the constant performing of recitals.”

—Susan Shiplett Ashbaker (M.M. '84)
Director of Artistic and Music Administration,
Opera Company of Philadelphia

“It was perhaps the most crucial, decisive year of my entire career.”

—Jon Deak (M.M. '69)
Associate Principal Bass and Creative Education Advisor,
New York Philharmonic; Composer

“There is no finer place to receive an education!”

— David Morrison (B.S. '73; M.S. '77)
2003 State of Illinois Teacher of the Year; Director of Bands,
Prospect High School, Mt. Prospect, IL

“My years at U of I gave me lifelong contacts with great performers that I still treasure.”

— David Halen (M.M. '83)
Concertmaster and soloist, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

“My experience as a percussion and composition student at the University of Illinois School of Music (1950-54) was more than an education, it charted the course of my life. When I went to New York City after graduation I was more prepared as an all-round percussionist than many of the pros I met and was immediately accepted into the inside circles of free-lance musicians. Gradually, my dream of being a composer blossomed into a career and became also my prime source of income. I will forever be thankful for the teachers who were so patient with that inexperienced high school student who entered with a chip on his shoulder and left with a sense of direction in his life. Little did I know I was running into the most innovative percussion program in the country created by Paul Price, which became the model for the development of the percussion ensemble in American universities.”

— Michael Colgrass (B.M. '56)
Composer; 1978 Pulitzer Prize for music; 1982 Emmy Award for PBS documentary; Awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships, and grants from Rockefeller, Ford, Fromm, and first prize in the Barlow and Sudler International Wind Ensemble Competitions, and the 1988 Jules Leger Prize for Chamber Music

“I have fond thoughts of my years at Illinois and continue to be proud of my education. My work there with the Student Union Board of Directors, the School of Music, and many other aspects of Campus Life gave me a good beginning for much of what has become my life work.”

— Mary Palmer (B.S. '66; M.S. '66; Ed.D. '74)
Professor of Music Education and Coordinator of Graduate Studies in music education at the University of Central Florida, Orlando; 2002 honoree of the Florida Arts Recognition Award

“My years at Illinois were ones which were crucial to my early development as a musician, a thinker, a person, and a leader, and formed a solid foundation for my 30-year career in leadership in music and arts education.”

— Jeff Kimpton (B.S. '73; M.S. '75)
President, world-renowned arts education institution,
Interlochen Center for the Arts, in Michigan

“I grew up in Champaign and the University of Illinois, its traditions, and high standards are part of my blood. My experiences at U of I prepared me well for the challenges in the world of education and it gave me the confidence I needed to succeed.”

— Margene Pappas
Director of Bands,
Oswego High School, Oswego, IL

Home | Calendar | News | Faculty | Academics | Admissions | Facilities | Ensembles | About | Links
Sonorities | Alumni | ISYM | Outreach | Employment | Request Information | Services | Contact Us
WebMaster | College of Fine and Applied Arts | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign