COVID-19 precautions and policies are in place to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. Information can be found on our main COVID-19 page


Donald Meyer

Don Meyer

Professor of Music
Co-Chair of Self-Designed Major



Music in General Studies
Music History
Electronic Music
Music Theory


Music in Film and Media, Composition, History of Rock, Music in American Culture


PhD, Music, University of California, Davis
MA Music, University of California, Davis
BA Liberal Studies, magna cum laude, University of California, Santa Barbara

Courses Taught

CWR 100: College Writing
First-Year Studies: The Future
First-Year Studies: Music in Chicago
Music 101: Perspectives on Music
Music 150: Fundamentals of Music
Music 217: World Music Survey
Music 220: Songwriting

Music 225: Introduction to Electronic Music

Music 227: History of Jazz
Music 251: Music Theory I
Music 252: Music Theory II
Music 262: Great Composers
Music 264: History of Rock and Roll
Music 265: American Music
Music 266: Music in Film

Music 268: Music and the Mind
Music 325: Advanced Electronic Music

Music 351: Music Theory III
Music 352: Form and Tonal Analysis
Music 360: History of Western Art Music I
Music 361: History of Western Art Music II
Music 480: Senior Seminar
M/LS Seminar: Sound and Image

Academic Appointments

Professor of Music, Lake Forest College, 2013–present
Music Department Chair, Lake Forest College, 2005-2014
Associate Professor, Lake Forest College, 2001-2013
Assistant Professor, Lake Forest College, 1995-2001
Visiting Assistant Professor, Wichita State University, Spring 1995
Teaching Assistant & Instructor, University of California, Davis, 1989-93 

Original Compositions: Dramatic Collaborations

Original music for the independent short film Blackout, directed by Michale Chatlien, due to be released 2022.

Chris White and Don Meyer; original music for the silent film Something New (1920), with participation from Lake Forest College students, premiered 2020.

Producer of the album Souvenir Music of the World’s Columbian Exposition, with Chris White, Brad Jungwirth, and Kate Carter, as part of the Lake Forest College Mellon Digital Humanities Grant, released January 2018.

Compilation score for the 1916 silent film Max Wants A Divorce, premiered in 2016 at the Chicago History Museum and elsewhere.


Original music for digital video art piece 12 x 30, Blind, with filmmaker and artist Jean DeTheux, premiered at Lake Forest College in 2014. Also screened at Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois (February 2015) and the Melbourne International Animation Festival (June 2015).

Soundtrack for the independent short Break a Leg, released 2014.

Film/Music collaboration 12 x 30, Blind, with Jean DeTheux. Premiered September 2014.

Original music for Melting Pot, independent art film directed by Tracy Taylor, for the exhibition 9-11-57. The Mission Projects, SUB-Mission, Chicago IL, October 2013; and at the Fine Art Gallery, Colorado State University, Pueblo, CO, 2014.

Soundtrack for the independent documentary The Tinaja Trail: Life and Death in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, released 2014.

Soundtrack for the independent film Nightlights, independent feature film directed by David Midell, composed jointly with David Midell. Play On Productions, released 2012.

Original music for Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, theatrical production directed by Richard Corley at Lake Forest College, March 2011.

Soundtrack for the promotional web video Billy Dec’s Avatar Wants a Two-Year Anniversary Party for a Good Cause, January 2011.

Soundtrack to short independent film Turkish Coffee, directed by Adam Dick. November, 2010.

One of six winners of a composition contest through ERM Media, for the re-scoring of the 1904 Edison Film The Maniac Chase, 2010.

Soundtrack for A Better Life: Chicago and Illegal Immigration, an independent documentary by Heng Dai Productions. September, 2009. Selected for inclusion in the Beloit International Film Festival, February 2010.

Original music for two campaign commercials for Elliot Richardson, candidate for the Democratic primary for Congress, January 2010.

New film score for Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1926), premiered by the Lake Forest College Orchestra, October 2007, composed with Dave Amrein and Meg Golembiewski. Also presented at The Portage Theater, Chicago, February 2008, through the Silent Film Society of Chicago.

Original music for Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a student-acted musical directed by Dennis Mae at Lake Forest College, February 2006.

Original Compositions: Audio Collage

The Muttering Sickness. Uptown Bush. Video mashup released June, 2015.

The Muttering Sickness. The City of Interzone. Presented at the Chicago Humanities Festival, November 1, 2014.

Schneiderman, Davis, and Don Meyer. The Last Days of Radio. Audio Collage CD, currently in production, 2014.

Schneiderman, Davis, and Don Meyer. Steamhouse. A series of twelve podcasts published by the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, 2012.

Schneiderman, Davis, and Don Meyer. “Love Cats.” Short film for the Exquisite Corpse Film Festival. Presented at the Bowery Poetry Club and Café, New York, March 2012.

Schneiderman, Davis, and Don Meyer. “Pi Day.” Audio Collage for the Exquisite Corpse Film Festival.

Novack, Carol, Jean Detheux, and Don Meyer. Destination. Audio collage published on Vimeo as part of the memoir Giraffes in Hiding, Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2011.

Novack, Carol, and Don Meyer. Little Red. Audio collage, read at the &Now Conference, Buffalo, NY, October 2009.

Schneiderman, Davis, and Don Meyer. Memorials to Future Catastrophes. Audio Collage CD. Jaded Ibis Productions, 2008. Individual sound collages, originally published in several journals.

Incidental Music for poetry and poems published in Mad Hatters’ Review, issues 7-12 (2006 to present).

Novack, Carol, and Don Meyer. “A Without Q.” Notre Dame Review 23 (February 2007).

Selected Original Compositions: Miscellaneous

Four Miniatures, quintet for oboe and strings, written for the senior recital of Brooke Marston at the University of Colorado, premiered March 2012.

Soundtrack for the East on Central Tenth Anniversary DVD, released 2011.

“Evening,” original choral composition premiered by the Lake Forest College Choir, April 2011.

Soundtrack for two campaign commercials, Elliot Richardson for Congress, January 2010.

Three Elegies. Set of three choral compositions set to texts by David Berman. “Grace” premiered by the Lake Forest College Chorus, 2008.

Conspirators’ Waltz. Premiered by the Lake Forest College Jazz Ensemble, November 2007. Also performed December 2007.

Electric Blackberries. Interactive Flash composition, created July 2006.

Tempest Choral Suite. Premiered by the Lake Forest College Chorus, 2006.

In C-Mixolydian. Premiered by the Lake Forest College Experimental Music Group at the Center for Chicago Programs, 2006.

Several dance pieces written for the Taz-Wood Dance Company in East Peoria, IL, 1996–2003.

Music Appreciation Textbook

Perspectives on Music. Prentice Hall, 2003. (author) 

Major Articles

“Music Cue Archetypes in the Film Scores of Elmer Bernstein.” Journal of Film Music 5/1 (2012).

“Toscanini and the Good Neighbor Policy: The NBC Symphony Orchestra’s 1940 Tour to South America.” American Music 18:3 (Fall 2000). (author)

“Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra: High, Middle and Low Culture.” Essays on American Music, vol. 3, ed. Michael Saffle. New York: Garland, 2000. (author)

“The Real Cooking is Done in the Studio: Toward a Context for Rock Criticism.” Popular Music and Society 19:1 (Spring 1995). (author)

“The Genesis of the NBC Symphony Orchestra.” Amadeus, May 1995.

Other Writing and Recent Papers Read

“Souvenir Music from the World’s Columbian Exposition.” Presented at the Chicago History Museum, March 7, 2017, plus several other locations, through 2019.

“Music at the 1893 World’s Fair.” Presented at the Newberry Library, October 17, 2018.

CD Liner Notes, Souvenir Music of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, as part of the Lake Forest College Mellon Digital Humanities Grant, released January 2018.

“Listening to Film Music.” Presented at the Highland Park Rotary Club, February 27, 2017.

Program Note annotator, Mid-Columbia Symphony Orchestra, 2013–present.

“Music at the 1893 World’s Fair.” Presented at the Newberry Library, October 17, 2018.

“Souvenir Music from the World’s Columbian Exposition.” Presented at the Chicago History Museum, March 7, 2017.

“Listening to Film Music.” Presented at the Highland Park Rotary Club, February 27, 2017.

“Elmer Bernstein and the Evolution of the Western Film Score.” Presented at the Lake Forest Rotary Club, April 24, 2012.

“Music Cue Archetypes in the Film Scores of Elmer Bernstein.” Presented at From Nineteenth-Century Stage Melodrama to Twenty-First-Century Film Scoring: Musicodramatic Practice and Knowledge Organization, California State University, Long Beach, April 13, 2012.

“Electric Blackberries: Using flash animation to bridge the composer/performer divide.” Presented at the NITLE (National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education) workshop Creativity Across the Curriculum, Willamette University, October 4, 2008.

“Making music appreciation more like theory.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the College Music Society, San Francisco, November 4, 2004.

“Perspectives on Music: A new student-centered music appreciation textbook.” Presented at the Great Lakes Chapter meeting of the College Music Society, University of Michigan, March 26, 2004.

    Awards and Honors

    Bird Award (acknowledging “a special measure of intellectual fervor or commitment”), 2019.

    Summer Director, Lake Forest College Richter Scholar Summer Research Program, 2014–2017.

    Charlotte Simmons Prize (for fostering beneficial community relations, awarded to the Music Department). Lake Forest College, 2011.

    Great Teacher Award. Lake Forest College, 2008.

    William Dunn Award (for outstanding teaching and scholarly promise). Campus-wide award, Lake Forest College, 1998.

    Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award. Campus-wide award, UC Davis, 1992.

    David Saxon Award (for excellence in early music performance). UC Davis, 1990.