Trevor Jones, bass faculty
- US News Ranking: #72 (tie) in National Liberal Arts Colleges
- US News Overall Score (out of 100): 60
- Tuition & Fees 2016-17: $44,142
- Room & Board 2016-17: $10,178
- Total Enrollment: 1,842
- Acceptance Rate (from 2015): 62%
- Student – Faculty Ratio: 11:1
- 4 year graduation rate: 78%
- % of undergrads receiving Financial aid: 65%
- Average Financial Aid: $24,220
Double Bass Statistics
- Average number of undergraduate bass students: 6
- Studio Class, Bass Ensembles, Chamber Ensembles, Jazz Combos, Big Band
What Alumni Are Doing
- From Trevor: The first student that I recruited is set to graduate in a few weeks. He is moving to Chicago to pursue opportunities with his original band and his compositions. He was the first student to graduate with a degree in Contemporary Musicianship. While at IWU he played in IWU Symphony, participated in chamber music ensembles, and his band, Red Scarves performed with the IWU Symphony.
Perspectives from Students and Alumni
Q: What are some favorite memories about studying at this school?
A: Presser hall and the School of Music is a very close-knit community of people. Within a year of attending the school, you will know just about everybody and form lasting friendships. This is one of the most memorable aspects of the school for me.
A: I love playing in ensembles; playing as much as I can helps keep the chops up and is practicing without actually practicing. Since it’s so small, I got a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Yes, I was busy, but it was a lot of fun, and that’s how it was for everything. Intellectually, the classes are challenging, but it won’t keep you away from playing. Some of the best memories are recitals, concerts with guest artists, composition concerts with my friends, and jamming with whatever spare time we had.
Q: How did this school help prepare you for your future endeavors?
A: My double bass lessons have really sharpened my classical “chops”. We try to cover as much of the standard bass repertoire as possible, with an emphasis on audition preparation. Lessons are largely tailored to students needs, however. If you want to be a gigging electric bassist, your lessons will reflect these goals. The other music classes are also very thorough. There are four required music theory classes, two music history classes, piano basics…the list goes on and depends on your major. Overall, the Bachelor of Music degree is all-encompassing and has given me a very strong foundation for grad school. The jazz minor program has room for improvement. There is only one director who leads the two jazz ensembles and teaches the five classes that are a part of the minor. Rehearsals for the jazz ensemble are unorganized and there just are not many students who are entirely serious about pursuing jazz.
A: I was able to plan and execute the first bass guitar concert in the school’s history; since I did all the logistics myself, I gained a lot of knowledge regarding logistics. Professor Jones showed how to practice more effectively (on all my instruments), I spent a ton of time in ensembles playing, and I learned a lot of necessary communications skills. Being in such a small environment helps you manage your time and energy better as well as giving you conflict resolution skills; it’s too small to stay mad at people that you will have to work with daily. It also taught me that, no matter what else was going on with “office” politics and things that I didn’t like, I could take what parts of the environment I had control over and shift them to be super beneficial to me.
Q: What advice would you offer others thinking about studying at this school?
A: If you are looking for a smaller school setting, Illinois Wesleyan is a perfect fit. The campus is fairly small, and there is a small student:faculty ratio, which means class sizes rarely exceed 20 people. This allows faculty to give much more attention to individual students. Although private schools can be more expensive, the university is fairly generous with financial aid, which can be a plus for serious musicians. For a musician looking to consistently gig, however, Bloomington is not the best location. Though gigs can be sparse, the faculty at the School of Music can be great resources in your development. This is a great place to attend if you are not looking to absolutely break bank on your undergrad, while still receiving great instruction.
A: If you’re looking to gig while in school, be prepared to drive a lot. The area is not exactly a booming community, though it is definitely arts-friendly on both of the campuses and among the students. You’ll have to work beyond what the school demands of you if you want to really stand out when you leave, but hard work shouldn’t be a problem.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about this school?
A: Every school has its issues, and IWU is no different. But overall, it’s been a blast to be able to play as much as I was able to play here. It’s going to require you to push yourself if you have dreams outside of the classical spectrum (though the jazz program is looking up significantly and has been for a few years), but the fundamentals and liberal arts you get here prepare you to both play well and synthesize ideas to create better music and engage with the world.
Perspectives from the Bass Faculty
Q: What are some of your favorite experiences teaching at your school?
A: I really enjoy getting to interact with students one on one. I take pride in helping to take the guesswork out of how a recent graduate might procure income after graduation. In addition to lessons, I also have sessions with students about career guidance and post-graduate development.
The IWU bass studio is a collaborative and friendly atmosphere. Students are encouraged to follow their musical interests.
About The Bass Faculty
Based in Chicago, independent artist Trevor Jones works in a variety of musical settings. He has performed with regional orchestras throughout the Midwest. He has also recorded for numerous artists and has co-written and recorded one full length album and 3 EPs with his Chicago-based alternative rock group Molehill.
Trevor is the upright and electric bassist at The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, IL. He has played over 25 productions and his credits include Jeff®-Award Winning Musical Hero in 2012 and in 2014 at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, FL. For the Glory with music by Tony Award® nominee Frank Wildhorn, Battlecry by Paul Bogaev (Aida, Spiderman). and the World Premiere of October Sky 2015 at The Marriott Theatre.
Trevor grew up in Gettysburg, PA and studied double bass with Duane Botterbusch of the Harrisburg Symphony and continued with Andrew Kohn at West Virginia University where he earned a degree in Music Education. In 2009 he completed his Master’s degree in Music Performance at DePaul University where he studied with Rob Kassinger of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While studying at DePaul, Trevor performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the DePaul Symphony Orchestra.
Trevor’s alternative rock project Molehill performs at some of Chicago’s most prominent venues, is played on Chicago’s radio station’s WKQX, WGN Radio and tours throughout the country. Highlights include appearances at CBS Studio Chicago, House of Blues, Metro, Summerfest and SXSW. Trevor has won an ASCAP+ Award for his songwriting for Molehill. See Molehill’s feature in the Chicago Tribune.
Trevor is in demand as an educator in the Chicago area and maintains a studio at Midwest Young Artists, the preeminent youth music program in the Midwest.