Coe College band rehearsal


Luke Sanders

Original Work

Luke Sanders ’17 made valuable connections in the world of music education and had multiple performance opportunities during his time at Coe. His proudest accomplishments are having his original works performed by the Coe jazz band and orchestra. Upon graduation, Luke accepted a position teaching high school band at Waterloo West High School (Waterloo, IA), and shortly thereafter completed a master's degree in jazz pedagogy from the University of Northern Iowa. He was recently hired by the University of Northern Iowa as Instructor of Guitar.

Why Music at Coe?

Performance Opportunities

From ensemble concerts each semester and full-scale musicals with the Theatre Department to Opera Workshop and Jazz & Improvisation Lab, there is no shortage of opportunities showcase your talent. The diversity of ensembles allows for performances in a wide range of musical styles. And recitals and a weekly recital hour provide additional opportunities for solo and collaborative performance.

Depth of Study

The Music Department provides a variety of music degrees and concentrations, combining the intensity of conservatory training with the breadth of a diverse liberal arts education. Students can choose between the professional preparation of the Bachelor of Music degree or the flexibility to double major with the Bachelor of Arts degree. A minor in music is available for non-majors, and all students with music backgrounds and interests are encouraged to participate in applied lessons and ensembles.

Areas of Emphasis

Coe offers music majors the opportunity to complete an emphasis in: 

  • musical theatre
  • jazz studies
  • music industry 
  • pre-music therapy

These emphases provide additional, focused coursework and experiential training in increasingly popular music-related fields.


Coe offers the ideal combination of a small, private college in a metropolitan setting. Students receive the personal attention of world-class instructors on over 20 instruments and voice, while taking advantage of the many artistic opportunities provided by the city of Cedar Rapids.

International Tours

In the past 15 years, music groups have toured in Italy, Ireland, Costa Rica, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China. In June 2023, the ensembles are touring to the Netherlands and Belgium, with an optional extension to Paris.


Our scholarship auditions enable all admitted, prospective students to compete for annual awards ranging up to full tuition. Students pursuing the Bachelor of Music degree can apply for the full-tuition Williston Jones Marshall Music Scholarship. Other partial-tuition scholarships, including the Schauwecker Music Scholarship, are available to all students and renewable through annual participation in select ensembles. Coe also offers Visual & Performing Arts Scholarships (up to $4,000 per year) as well as the All-State Music Scholarship ($5,000 per year).

Transfer agreements

Coe College has a music transfer agreement with Kirkwood Community College.

National Association of Schools of Music Logo

Coe College has been a member of the National Association of Schools of Music since 1962.

Julia Rodkey

A Well-Rounded Musician

Julia Marie Cecilia Rodkey ’21

“The Music Department at Coe is its own family. Students of all studies gather to make music, and there is something really beautiful about that.”

As a music education major, Julia took courses in advanced theory, music history, and music education--in addition to participating in ensembles and lessons. After graduation, she accepted a position teaching elementary general music and choir at Marie Durand Elementary School in the Vineland Public School District (Vineland, New Jersey).

Engage Like a Kohawk