Other Instrumental Ensembles | Music | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Other Instrumental Ensembles

New Music Ensemble

New Music Ensemble

The New Music Ensemble performs regularly in concerts of recent music. It serves the composition students as an outlet for their original scores and a performance medium in itself. Most importantly, it is an experimental resource for composers to attempt various new ideas including timbral possibilities, improvisation, theater pieces and music interacting with computers.

Theory and Composition majors are encouraged to join this ensemble in order to have easy access to performances of their music and to expand their own understanding of musical possibilities. In this ensemble, free reign is given to exploration of every aural texture. Originality is encouraged, in fact demanded, from all members.

Enrollment is not limited to theory and composition majors. All performing musicians are welcomed. Non-theory and composition majors may use this elective course as an outlet for their secondary interest in new music, avant garde music and/or composition. Because much of the music is in some way improvisatory, student musicians receive experience in rehearsing, performing and understanding musical possibilities that are normally outside their area of expertise.

The specific make-up of the ensemble changes with enrollment per semester. However, the New Music Ensemble also serves as a core ensemble, to which other performers are added for specific pieces to be performed. In this way, anything becomes possible for student composers.

Guitar Ensemble


A message from Dr. Lausell:

    Welcome to our little corner in cyberspace! Our guitar program is as unique as the music department at SIUC. The guitar program was founded by guitarist/composer Joseph Breznikar and it was conceived in a manner that allows the student to gain experience and knowledge that is directly applicable to careers in music. We currently offer several performance outlets through student recitals, master classes, studio class, chamber music ensembles, guitar ensembles, guitar orchestra, big band, jazz combos and musicals.  The diversity of the opportunities helps us mold our students into professionals who are ready and adaptable regardless of their main area of expertise.

    Whether we have a pedagogy or conducting student we firmly believe that they are first and foremost musicians. This is why all of our students, regardless of their major take instrument lessons and play in the school’s ensembles. This allows for unique career opportunities that will form more attractive and hirable professionals. For example, a graduate student can study an in demand career such as music pedagogy while still continuing to hone their skills as a classical or a jazz guitarist.

    Our renewed classical guitar program integrates the knowledge of early music, Latin American, flamenco, Spanish, 20th-21st century music and jazz. Coming in contact with these traditions enriches the technical palette and provides the student with contextual references for idiomatic musical interpretations

    Our newest offering is the B.M. in studio jazz performance with focus in jazz guitar. Pedagogically we believe that the guitar is one instrument with many manifestations and traditions throughout the world. This is why our jazz students are taught how to play both the classical and the electric guitar. The understanding of how these instruments are connected allows our students the opportunity to grow beyond the usual pedagogical models and truly approach the jazz genre as a whole. Our students can explore Wes Montgomery’s repertoire on an archtop electric while simultaneously learning how the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim is done with the classical guitar. Our goal is to use music as a vehicle to unite, grow and share.

For information on our concerts and master classes visit:

Music Events


Dr. Isaac Lausell - Assistant Professor

Head of the guitar program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale