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EIU Department of Music

New & Returning Students

Welcome to the EIU Department of Music!  

Whether you are a new or returning student, we are so happy to have you joining us and hope you find your college experience as a musician at EIU second to none. 

This page serves to help you get organized for your arrival on campus and know what will be expected of you in the first few weeks of classes.  When you arrive on campus on Move-In Day (or earlier, if you join the Panther Marching Band), it's a great time to familiarize yourself with the Doudna Fine Arts Center and find where your classes, lessons and rehearsals will be held.

Department Meeting and Ice Cream Social

Monday, August 19, 2024 at 2:00 pm - We will have a department meeting in the Doudna Recital Hall, followed by an Ice Cream Social in the Doudna Concourse.

Music Theory/Aural Skills Diagnostic Test (for freshmen)

All students registered for MUS 1501 or MUS 0541 will take a diagnostic exam on the first day of classes.  Results of this test will determine placement in either Music Theory Rudiments (MUS 0541) or Comprehensive Musicianship I (MUS 1501).  

Click below to access the audio files for the Sample Aural Skills/Dictation Practice Placement Exam.

 I-1 Interval  I-2 Interval  I-3 Interval      
 II-1 Triad  II-2 Triad  II-3 Triad
 III-A Rhythm       III-B Rhythm       
 IV-A Melody  IV-B Melody  

Placement Exams for Transfer Students

All incoming transfer students with college-level music theory/aural skills/music history experience will complete a placement exam before the beginning of the academic year.  For incoming transfer students, this website describes the content covered in the various levels of the Comprehensive Musicianship (music theory) sequence.

Sample Transfer Exams:

    I.A. Melodic Dictation       II.B. Melodic Dictation         III.A Melodic Dictation       IV.A. Melodic Dictation   
  I.B. Harmonic Dictation   II.B Harmonic Dictation   III.B. Harmonic Dictation   IV.B. Harmonic Dictation


  • Please scan and record (singing exam) your exams and email them to Dr. Eckert at  Dr. Eckert will provide specific feedback and suggestions for how to best prepare for the actual exam.
  • Placement exams will take place the weekend before classes begin or on the first day of classes.  Dr. Stefan Eckert will contact all transfer students to schedule a time for the placement exam(s).
  • If you have questions or need to reschedule a time for your placement exam, please contact Dr. Stefan Eckert.

Applied Piano and Piano Class Placement Auditions

  • All music majors are required to take two semesters of Functional Skills in Piano: MUS 2203 and MUS 2204.
  • Two additional semesters of class piano (MUS 2205 and 2206) are required for students in the following programs: Vocal and General Music Teacher Licensure; Vocal and Instrumental Performance.

Piano Placement Auditions will be held on Tuesday, August 22, 2024 from 3:00-5:00 pm and Tuesday, August 29, 2024 from 3:00-5:00 pm for students who wish to have their piano requirements waived. Interested students should sign up outside of DFAC 2351 for a 10-minute audition. 

  • For more information, contact Dr. Shichao Zhang (
  • Click here for detailed information on requirements to test out of each level of class piano.

Jazz Informational Meeting

There will be an informational meeting about the jazz program on Monday, August 19, 2024 at 6:30 pm, in DFAC 1360. You are encouraged to attend to review the audition materials and ask any questions you might have. You may sign up for an audition at the meeting, or sign up on line.  

To audition for a jazz group, students should do the following:

  1. complete the online form; and 
  2. sign up for an audition time on Monday, August 19, 2024 or Tuesday, August 20, 2024 in DFAC 1360.  Audition requirements and additional information are available at

If you are interested in playing in a jazz ensemble, but cannot attend this meeting, please contact Dr. Fagaly or Mr. Johnston.

Jazz Ensemble
(MUS 0220)

Jazz Lab Band
(MUS 0221)

Jazz Combos

  • Sam Fagaly, director  
  • MWF:  3:00-3:50 pm; Th: 12:30 - 1:45 pm
  • DFAC1360 a;sdlka;lskdjaf;dj;falksjd;lfkajd;ls
  • Paul Johnston,  director
  • T/TH:  2:00 - 3:15 pm
  • DFAC1360a;lskdjaf;lkddjfa
  •  MW 4:00 - 4:50 or MW 5:00 - 5:50 in DFAC 1360skd;ajsd;lfajs;

Questions should be directed to Dr. Sam Fagaly at 581-6628.

Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra (auditions details for wind, brass, and percussion)

The Wind Symphony and Eastern Symphony Orchestra require all woodwind, brass, and percussionists to audition for acceptance. Additionally, all woodwind, brass, and percussion music majors should audition for these groups.

Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra ensemble audition excerpts and instructions for woodwinds, brass, and percussion are available online here.

Ensemble placement auditions for Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra for the upcoming academic year will take place during the first 3 days of classes in the fall, August 19-21. Online audition sign-up days and times will be posted here online by Monday, August 12th.

Once you’ve downloaded the excerpts, please practice them along with any scales that may be listed in your audition packet. Any non-music majors who would like to audition for the Wind Symphony or Symphony Orchestra should also use the Audition Excerpt Page linked above to locate the audition material for this fall.

Concert Band (a non-auditioned ensemble, meets twice per week)

If you are a non-music major with prior playing experience and you would like to sign up for the Concert Band, please let your advisor know that you would like to sign up for, Concert Band–MUS 0201R. Click here for details about this ensemble.

The Concert Band’s first rehearsal will take place on Thursday, August 22, 2024 from 3:30-4:45 pm in Doudna 1550. If you signed up to “Play for a Day” please plan to attend this rehearsal!

Questions? Please email Dr. Alicia Neal. 

Eastern Symphonic Band (a non-auditioned ensemble, meets once a week)

If you are a non-music major with prior playing experience and you would like to sign up for the Symphonic Band, please let your advisor know that you would like to sign up for, Symphonic Band–MUS 0203R. Click here for details about this ensemble:

The first Symphonic Band meeting, with no instruments, will be for EIU students only (no community members yet) and will take place on Monday, August 19, 2024, at 7:00 pm in Doudna 1550. Or, if you’d like to attend the first meeting to learn a bit more about the group before you register, just show up to the meeting!

Community members, please plan to attend the first playing rehearsal of the semester on Monday, August 26, 2024 from 7:00-8:40 pm in Doudna 1550.

Questions? Please e-mail Prof. David Boggs.

*Still have a question? Visit the FAQ page to learn more.

**Additional information about all of the different EIU Bands can be found here.


Eastern Symphony Orchestra Auditions & First Rehearsals

Auditions to play in the Eastern Symphony Orchestra (ESO) are open to all undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Wind, Brass, and Percussion sections are comprised primarily of music majors, however they may in special cases be open to others who qualify by audition. Excerpts and audition instructions are the same as for Wind Symphony and Concert Band, to be found on this website.

The string sections in the ESO are comprised of music majors, non-music majors, and community members.  Auditions are by video submission, to include the following. String video auditions must be submitted by Monday, August 19, 2024.

  1. A 2-to-3 minute portion of a representative solo piece you are playing
  2. A 3-octave major scale of your choice
  3. A melodic minor scale of your choice, of at least 2 octaves
  4. The excerpt for your instrument:       violin         viola          cello        bass

Click HERE for a link to the MachForm you should use to submit your video audition.

All students enrolled in Orchestra must attend the following:

  • First Organization Meeting on Tuesday, August 20, 2024 at 5:00 pm, in Doudna1550.
  • The First Rehearsal of the ESO will be on Wednesday, August 21, 2024 at 7:00pm, in Doudna 1550.

Choral Ensemble Informational Meeting

ALL SINGERS (music majors, minors and non-majors) will meet on Monday, August 19, 2024, at 1:00pm in Doudna 1240 (Recital Hall). This meeting will be an opportunity to answer any questions you may have, including what to expect during your vocal placement. During the first week of class every vocal student will complete a vocal placement.  

Questions? Please email Dr. Howard Eckdahl for more information.

Concert Choir, University Mixed Chorus, and Camerata Singers Vocal Placement 

Vocal placements will take place Tuesday & Wednesday, August 20 & 21, 2024 in Doudna 2425. Please sign up for a time on the schedule posted on the door to Doudna 2425. Each placement will last ten minutes and will include vocalizing, pitch patterns, and light sight reading. It is not necessary to have a prepared piece for the placement. 

Questions?  Please email Dr. Howard Eckdahl for more information.

Applied Voice Placement Auditions

Music minors and non-majors who are interested in voice lessons need to audition on Monday or Tuesday, Aug. 19 & 20, 2024 from 2:00-4:00pm in DFAC 2427.  Students should prepare one song and bring music. For further information and to set up an audition time, please contact Dr. Julie Park.

Instrument Rental

The Department of Music has a limited number of wind and brass instruments available for rental to students interested in participating in music ensembles.  The non-refundable fee for rental of the instrument will be as follows:

  • $225 per year for Music Majors renting their primary instrument.
  • $60 per semester for Music Minors renting their primary instrument and for Music Majors renting a secondary instrument.
  • $40 per semester for Non-Music Majors or Non-Music Minors, and for all Athletic Bands.

This fee supports the annual cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep of instrument.  Please contact Prof. David Boggs for additional information.


Related Pages

Contact Information

Music Department

Doudna Fine Arts Center
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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