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Deborah Knowles

Deborah Knowles

Teaching Associate in Music



Percussion Ensemble
Winds and Brass


Playing many instruments, jazz and percussion arrangements, jazz piano


BME Northwestern University
MM Northwestern University

Courses Taught

Music 107: Band
Percussion Ensemble
Music 111-13: Applied Percussion
Music 104: Perspectives on Music
Music 150: Fundamentals of Music
Music 265: American Music


Musicals: West Side Story, Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Music Man, 1776, Sound of Music, South Pacific, Singing in the Rain, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, Pirates of Penzance, the Mikado, Anything Goes, Oliver, Cats, Ragtime, Candide, the Fantasticks, and others ‘

Light Opera Works in Evanston, principal percussionist

Lake Forest Symphony, principal percussionist for over 20 years

Nutcracker Ballet

Jazz and Dixieland combos

New Horizons Band (tuba, euphonium, flute, alto flute, piccolo, bass clarinet, bariton sax,  percussion)


Debbie Katz Knowles has been a Senior Lecturer and Teaching Associate in Music at Lake Forest College for over 20 years. She has Bachelors and Masters degrees in music from Northwestern University. She formerly held teaching positions at Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. Courses she has taught at LFC include Fundamentals of Music, American Music, World Music Survey, Perspectives on Music, and Senior Seminar. She previously conducted the concert band for 7 years, and did so again during the Fall of 2016. Professor Knowles is a very active professional percussionist and drummer in the Chicago area, performing with many different groups like the Lake Forest Symphony (principal percussionist), Light Opera Works (principal percussionist), the Kenosha and Evanston Symphonies, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, other orchestras, musical theater groups, and jazz bands. She has recorded cds with the Lake Forest Symphony, Millar Brass Ensemble, Belle Aire Brass, Dana Legg Stageband, and Mike Fiorino and Ensemble 456. Besides percussion, Professor Knowles plays baritone sax, flute, piccolo, clarinet, and bass clarinet in community musicals and jazz bands.