Chamber Music Academy

Program Coordinator – Dr. Aaron Jacobs 
Faculty Liaison – Daniel McDonough, Jupiter Quartet

2018 Auditions

Fall 2018 auditions were held in May. Any interested students who did not audition are encouraged to contact us at any time.

Interested students may audition for the East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra and the Illinois Chamber Music Academy simultaneously. 

Contact us to request an audition time. 

Audition Requirements

About the Program

Established in the fall of 2011 by U of I professor Dr. Julie Gunn, the Illinois Chamber Music Academy is a college-preparatory chamber music program for advanced pianists and string players. The program is open to wind and brass players as well, with acceptance dependent upon the feasibility of appropriate chamber group placement and available repertoire.

Students are selected by audition and placed into chamber ensembles that study and perform standard repertoire. The Academy program consists of weekly rehearsals, coachings, studio classes, and theory/musicianship lessons with graduate student and postdoctoral instructors. Coaching sessions and master classes are regularly held with School of Music faculty members. Each semester culminates in an Academy-wide recital.

The Academy also offers instruction in music composition and music theory/musicianship, which is open to all youth age 10-18 regardless of their participation in the full chamber music program.


Registration Form

Contact Information

Dr. Aaron Jacobs, Coordinator
Trevor Thompson - Assistant Coordinator / Chamber Music
Stephen Burian, Public Engagement Assistant Director

Academy Instructors

  • Aaron Jacobs – Program Coordinator / Chamber Music
  • Trevor Thompson – Assistant Coordinator / Chamber Music
  • Tatiana Shustova – Assistant Coordinator / Theory/Musicianship
  • Chia-Ying Chan – Chamber Music
  • Jebat Kee – Chamber Music
  • Zhanna Lehmann – Theory/Musicianship and Ear-Training
  • Ralph Lewis – Composition / Advanced Theory
  • Chris Livesay – Chamber Orchestra Conductor / Chamber Music

Participating School of Music Faculty



The curriculum of the Illinois Chamber 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, with the performance of student compositions by their peers in May.

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.

Information for the 2018-2019 Academic Year

Important dates

  • Orientation and theory assessment – September 8, at 2:00 PM
  • Fall Concert – December 15, 2018 at 7:30 PM
  • Spring Concert – May 5, 2019, at 7:30 PM
  • *Both concerts will be in the Music Building Auditorium

Typical Saturday schedule

  • 12:00 – ear-training (45-min, optional class)
  • 1:00 – composition (45-min, optional class)
  • 2:00 – theory (45-min)
  • 2:45 – chamber orchestra rehearsal or studio class (45-min)
  • 3:30-5:00 – chamber rehearsals and coachings (90 min)