School of Music Academy

Julie Gunn, Director

Join the Academy

Auditions for the School of Music Academy (2015-2016 academic year) were be held in August. New inquiries are welcome. Please contact Amanda Ramey at with any questions or to sign up for an audition.

Audition Requirements (Same as for ECIYO)

About the Program
Established in the fall of 2011, the School of Music Academy is a college-preparatory chamber music program for advanced pianists, string players, and other musicians. The Academy also offers instruction in music composition and music theory, open to all middle school and high school students.

Students are selected by audition in the spring and placed into groups of similar age and expertise. The Academy program consists of weekly rehearsals, coachings, and theory lessons. Students enjoy master classes, studio classes and recitals with UI faculty. Each semester culminates in an Academy-wide recital including the classical repertoire and student compositions. Many of our students have gone on to pursue musical studies, either as majors or non-majors, at:  MIT, Johns Hopkins, Amherst, the University of Illinois, the Peabody Institute, and the Eastman School of Music.

School of Music Faculty

Julie Gunn, piano
Dmitri Kouzov, cello
Stefan Milenkovich, violin
Stephen Taylor, composition
The Jupiter String Quartet

Instructional Staff

Aaron Jacobs, violin, ECIYO quartet coach
Zhanna Lehmann, theory
William Pearson, composition
Amanda Ramey, violin, head coach
Tatiana Shustova, piano, head of theory


The curriculum of the School of Music Academy includes traditional performance repertoire, primarily from the classical, romantic and 20th century chamber music repertoire for strings and piano. Technical development is augmented with musicianship study in weekly theory classes for all students. Composition classes are also offered as an option.

All pupils participate in weekly rehearsals and coachings and perform on the recitals at the end of each semester. The course of instruction coincides with the University calendar and consists of two 14-week semesters.