Millikin Home
Big Blue RSS
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Faculty and Staff 

Full Time Faculty

Jeremy Brunk
Dr. Jeremy Brunk serves as Lecturer of Music at Millikin University,where he teaches applied percussion, percussion methods, music theory,ear training and assists with the percussion ensembles. Outside of Millikin, he has given solo recitals and masterclasses in marimba and timpani across central and northern Illinois, including past events for PAS and IMEA. Most recently, his composition Dominican Cycles was performed at 2008 PASIC by the Millikin Percussion Ensemble, and he gave solo marimba recitals at Millikin and Northern Illinois Universities last Spring. Dr. Brunk currently serves as Principal Timpanist for the Millikin-Decatur Symphony, Section Percussionist with the Illinois Symphony, and acting Principal Timpanist with the Peoria Symphony this season; appearing previously with Sinfonia da Camera, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic and North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Festival Orchestra. He is also co-founding member of Melange Chamber Players of Chicago and works each summer as a dance accompanist at Interlochen Center for the Arts. In 2007, Jeremy Brunk completed his D.M.A.in Percussion Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and holds an M.M from the University of Oklahoma and B.M. from Millikin University.

David Burdick
David Burdick (DMA, University of Texas at Austin) has taught commercial music, composition, and guitar at Millikin since 1989, and is faculty adviser for the Millikin Songwriters Guild. Dr. Burdick has recently installed and wired his own recording studio, which during its first seven months of operation released fourteen CDs. He continues to perform professionally on guitar and acoustic bass in the Central Illinois region. His last two compositions have enjoyed a number of performances around the country and his most recent piece has been performed at two festivals.

Ronnie Dean

Assistant Professor of Music Ronnie Dean is in charge of the technical component of our Commercial Music program, and has managed and maintained our multi-track recording studio since 1985. His experience includes several years of technical, production, and management experience in radio, television, film, public address, and the music industry, most notably in Nashville. He has served as owner, manager, chief engineer, and producer. Professor Dean holds a valid Federal Communications License and continues his activity in the industry as a freelance designer, installer and television audio engineer. After teaching part time at the college level for nine years, his love for teaching brought him to a full time position at Millikin in 1985. One of professor’s Dean’s most recent accomplishments is the design and installation of our new recording studio and video editing facility, Millitrax.

Guy Forbes

Guy Forbes, Associate Conductor of Choirs and Chair of Music Education joined the Millikin Faculty in 1995. In addition to conducting the Millikin Chamber Chorale, one of Millikin’s top two touring choirs, Dr. Forbes also conducts the Millikin Madrigal Singers. As Chair of Music Education Dr. Forbes has overseen the growth and development of one of the largest and most successful undergraduate music education programs in the Midwest. His responsibilities include teaching conducting and choral methods as well as other upper level choral music education courses. Dr. Forbes is also an award-winning composer with compositions published through Alliance Music, Hinshaw Music, Treble Clef Press, and Pavane Publishing. His compositions have received critical acclaim and have been performed on numerous ACDA and MENC programs including performances by both the 2008 Wisconsin All-State Choir and the 2009 New Mexico All-State Choir. His compositions may be accessed through his web site at: www.guyforbes.com

Helen M. "Hadi" Gibbons

Associate Professor Helen M “Hadi” Gibbons has been a member of the Millikin School of Music faculty since 1985. She currently serves as coordinator of the vocal area and teaches studio voice. She has served two terms as Illinois State Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and continues to judge in state and regional auditions. Dr. Gibbons holds a DMA from Louisiana Sate University, an MM from Colorado State University, and a BA in Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.

Laurie Glencross

Associate Professor Laurie Glencross teaches flute, music theory and aural skills and coaches chamber ensembles including flute choir. She is Principal Flute of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and the Faculty Woodwind Quintet. She completed a Doctor of Music from Florida State University in 2000. In 2002 Dr. Glencross and the Faculty Woodwind Quintet toured to the International Double Reed Society conference in Banff, Alberta where they presented a lecture-recital of Canadian music. As well that year she was a winner of the National Flute Association's Convention Performers Competition, appearing in recital at the NFA's Washington convention and in subsequent conventions as a panel member. She has performed as a chamber musician, soloist, and flute choir director in Canada and the United States, and as an orchestra member of the Orquestra del Festival de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the Palm Beach Opera, Valdosta Symphony, and Southwest Florida Symphony orchestras. At Millikin University, Dr. Glencross has established the Millikin University Flute Society in an effort to foster a deeper interest in flute playing at the school and in the local community. Dr. Glencross is Co-Artistic Director of the St Andrews Arts Festival in New Brunswick, Canada where a Millikin University summer immersion residency has been established since 2006.

William Gorton

William Gorton is Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at Millikin University, where he teaches studio voice, serves as coach and conductor for the opera program, and directs Tudor Voices, a select chamber choir specializing in early music. Dr. Gorton has had a diverse career as singer, voice teacher, composer, and conductor. The Founding Artistic Director of the Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale, he acquired his DMA in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University. He also served as Assistant Chorus Master for the Phoenix Symphony Chorus. With a M.M. in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College, William has had a busy career as a professional tenor and voice teacher, performing numerous opera roles and oratorios with organizations such as Sacramento Opera, Opera Pacific, Pacific Repertory Opera, National Messiah Festival at Bethany College, Orchestra X of Houston, San Francisco Opera Guild, the Santa Fe Opera (Apprentice Artist), and others. Dr.Gorton is also a published composer. His hymn, “O God in Whom We Live,” can befound in Worship and Song, a United Methodist hymnal.

Ted Hesse

Ted Hesse is a Lecturer of Music at Millikin University.  He teaches voice as well as music theory and ear training. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Millikin University and his Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Northern Iowa. He also attended the University of Minnesota where he studied music education.

Brad Holmes


Brad Holmes holds the DMA in choral conducting from Arizona State University. Director of Choral Activities at Millikin since 1991, Dr. Holmes leads a staff of five conductors who work with 300 singers. In addition to directing the University Choir, he teaches conducting and choral methods. His extensive guest-conducting schedule includes engagements throughout the United States in district festivals, ACDA honor choirs, church music clinics and All-State choirs. His international engagements include residencies in Europe and the Far East. He served a term as Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University in England working primarily with the Choir of Clare College. Choirs under his direction have sung in 35 countries in Europe, South America, East Asia, the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. The Millikin University Choir has been invited to appear before three regional and two national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

Georgia Hornbacker

Since 1986, Professor Georgia Hornbacker (MM Indiana University) has taught violin, upper string pedagogy and methods, and coached chamber music at Millikin. She is Concertmaster of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and Associate Concertmaster of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. As violinist with the Kirkland Trio she has performed recitals in Taiwan at the National Taiwan University, on WILL radio’s Second Sunday Concert Series, and at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Concerto appearances have been with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, and the Illini Symphony at the University of Illinois. From 1999 – 2006 she was on the faculty of Illinois Summer Youth Music’s Senior Orchestra camp at the University of Illinois. Professor Hornbacker is a contributing author to Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra (2008) and The String Teacher’s Cookbook (2008) and a regular reviewer of music, books, and CD’s for American String Teacher, journal of the American String Teachers Association. She was named Outstanding Studio Teacher in 2000 by the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Brian Justison

Brian Justison is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Percussion Studies at Millikin University. His responsibilities include directing the chamber and world percussion ensembles and teaching courses in percussion pedagogy and drum set styles. His students include recent winners of the MTNA National Solo Percussion Competition and the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition. His performance credits include the: Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, Canadian Brass, and the Brass of Illinois. He has also performed with a variety of leading jazz, Latin, and pop artists including: Gene Bertoncini, Brian Bromberg, Warren Chiasson, Jeremy Davenport, Dardanelle, Cathy Garcia, John McNeil, and Marcus Roberts. He is currently the drummer for the Jane Hartman trio. Mr. Justison is active as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the region with recent appearances at the United States Percussion Camp, the Midwest Percussion Camp, the IMEA/MENC All State Festival, and the Percussive Arts Society Illinois Day of Percussion (1998, 2000, 2006, 2008).

Kevin Long

Kevin Long has been Artist-In-Residence for Music Theatre at Millikin University since 2003. His duties include teaching Music Theory and Ear Training in the School of Music and Musical Theatre History and Repertoire for the Department of Theatre and Dance. Kevin came to MU from an adjunct position at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where he taught various music courses and served as the Director of the Community Music Academy. He holds two Master's degrees in Music (Piano Performance, Instrumental Accompanying) from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas after receiving a Bachelor's degree in Piano from Elon University in North Carolina. Kevin has worked with many regional theatre companies and serves as the Musical Director / Conductor for the many musicals produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance at Millikin. Kevin is an active member in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and has a strong interest in the production of new musicals.

Michael Luxner

Michael Luxner, Professor of Music, has been at Millikin since 1996. Music Director and Conductor of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Luxner also conducts the String Arts Ensemble and Sinfonietta, and teaches theory, in which he holds a PhD from the Eastman School of Music. Formerly conductor of the Owensboro (KY) Symphony and the Savannah (GA) Symphony, he has been a frequent guest on podiums around the United States and throughout the world. He is a trustee of the Pierre Monteux Memorial Foundation, sponsors of the Domaine School for Conductors and Orchestral Training, and a former director of the Conductors Guild, an international music service organization devoted exclusively to the advancement of the highest standards of the art and profession of conducting.

Manley Mallard

Manley Mallard received the Master of Music Education degree from Kent State University and the Master of Music in Jazz Studies from Webster University in St. Louis. Since 1987 he has taught classical and jazz guitar, guitar ensembles, combos, and music theory at Millikin. Professor Mallard has published numerous arrangements with Plucked String, Inc., Guitar Chamber Music Press, and Mel Bay. He recently gave a presentation on arranging for guitar ensemble at the 1999 Guitar Foundation of America Conference. As a soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Mallard has performed on two National Public Radio broadcasts on WILL-FM. He recently completed a recording with colleague Joseph Mayes (Rowan University) of Johan Kaspar Mertz's Duetten for two guitars. That CD was also released in the spring of 2000.

Tina Nicholson

Tina Nicholson, Professor of Music, teaches oboe at Millikin University. She has been principal oboist with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra since 1987, and performs with the Millikin Faculty Woodwind Quintet. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and taught oboe at Beloit College before coming to Millikin in 1987. She has performed with The Danville Symphony as principal for numerous years, the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Festival, the Illinois Symphony, the Dubuque Symphony, the Elgin Symphony, the Beloit-Janesville Symphony, the Madison Symphony, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, finished the 2001 tour (11 concerts) with the Moscow State Orchestra, and is a frequent soloist in the central Illinois area. During her sabbatical in fall of 1999, she wrote a piece: Moments from Women which was premiered by Nancy Ambrose- King at the International Double Reed Society Convention in Buenos Aires in August of 2000. In April of 2007 she was invited to perform a recital on the Society of Russian Oboists Series in Moscow, Russia. Professor Nicholson won the Alpha Lambda Delta Outstanding Teaching Award in 2007, and was a recipient of a Teaching Excellence Award, 2008. In addition to teaching oboe, she is coordinator of Music Theory and Ear Training, teaches freshman theory, ear training, woodwind methods, coaches chamber groups and is a frequent professor of EDGE and the Honors programs.

Cynthia Oeck

Cynthia Oeck, soprano, has taught Voice and Diction at Millikin University since 1994. Ms. Oeck has performed throughout the country on the opera, oratorio and recital stage. Operatic roles include Vanessa, Fiordiligi, the Countess and Violetta. She has appeared in concert with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra and Rainier Symphony in Washington State; the University of Missouri at Kansas City Symphony and Chorus, the Illinois State Symphony and the Decatur/Millikin Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Oeck has presented sacred and secular recital programs throughout the country from Seattle, Washington to College Station, Texas. Recitals have included all Bach and all Russian programs. In July, 2001 Ms. Oeck performed Nicolas Flagello’s Contemplazioni di Michelangelo at the University of Illinois. Ms. Oeck received a Master of Music from the University of Washington. Past teachers include Augusto Paglialunga, Mary Curtis-Verna and Margaret Harshaw.

Perry Rask


Perry Rask has taught at Millikin University since 1995, teaching saxophone, coaching commercial ensembles and saxophone quartets, directing Jazz Band II, and serving as coordinator of the \woodwind area. Rask received his BA in music from the University of Mary in 1979 during which time he studied saxophone with Jean-Marie Londeix at the Bordeaux Conservatory as part of his undergraduate studies. Rask received his MM from the University of North Texas and completed a DMA at the University of Northern Colorado where he was the recipient of the 1994 downbeat Student Music Award in the Blues/Pop/Rock Instrumental Group and Alto Saxophone Soloist categories. Perry is an active performer, clinician, adjudicator, director and guest soloist throughout central Illinois, performing regularly with such musical groups as Diversity, the Decatur Big Band, the Romaniacs and the Millikin Faculty Jazz Sextet.


Randall Reyman

Randall Reyman is Director of Jazz Activities at Millikin University and Coordinator of Brass, and serves as principal trumpet with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra. His teaching duties include directing Millikin University's Jazz Band I, studio trumpet instruction, brass ensembles, and other courses in the Commercial Music area. Mr. Reyman holds degrees from the University of Northern Iowa, University of Illinois, and Illinois State University. His teachers have included Keith Johnson, Vincent Cichowicz, John Haynie, and Bill Adam. An active composer, arranger, and trumpeter, he performs frequently in jazz venues throughout Central Illinois with his West End Trio and other groups such as the Millikin Faculty Jazz Sextet and the Decatur Big Band. Professor Reyman has published educational materials with Mel Bay Publications and Kendor Music, and his CD , Hard at It , is available from First Step Records.


Mark Samples

Mark Samples is Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Musicology at Millikin University. Dr. Samples received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Oregon, where his dissertation, "A Package Deal: Branding, Technology, and Advertising in Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries," earned him the University Outstanding Scholar in Music award in 2011. He currently researches the role of commercialism in music after 1800, from Jenny Lind to Joan Baez, Tom Waits and Sufjan Stevens. He has given research presentations at regional and national meetings of the American Musicological Society, as well as at Yale University, Boston University, throughout the northwest U.S.A., and at the International Musicological Colloquium in Brno, Czech Republic. He and is the author of several entries in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, and is a supplemental author for The Oxford History of Western Music, College Edition, by Richard Taruskin and Christopher Gibbs. He has taught courses on western music history, music of the world, Romanticism, music of the Americas, history of jazz, opera, and film music.

Gary Shaw

Gary R. Shaw is Professor of Music and Chair of Winds, Brass and Percussion at Millikin University where he teaches trombone and conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Dr. Shaw is also conductor of the Greater Decatur Youth Band, a summer program for students in central Illinois. He is a frequent guest conductor for band and orchestra festivals throughout the Midwest. Dr. Shaw currently performs on trombone with the Millikin Brass Quintet, the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and is a soloist with the Decatur Municipal Band. He has taught at the University of Illinois Summer Trombone Camp and the Illinois Honors Trombone Choir. Dr. Shaw earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Master of Music degree from Boston University and the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Neal Smith

Dr. Neal Smith teaches instrumental music education courses, supervises teaching internships, and currently holds the James Millikin Estate Professorship in Education. He received both a PhD and a Master of Music Education at The Hartt School of Music and previously taught music in schools in Illinois and Connecticut. Dr. Smith has guest conducted numerous regional, county, and district music festivals as well as the Hartford Chamber Players, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and Manchester (CT) Symphony. As an administrator he served as the Executive Director of the Hartt Summer Young Music Festival, the Roberts Center for Young Leadership in the Arts, and the Paranov Arts Partnerships. He is well known as a presenter on issues related to the use of technology in music education and in the application of assessment in music. Currently Dr. Smith serves as the special area chair in technology for IMEA and is a certified instructor for the Technology Institute for Music Educators.

Terry Stone

Terry Stone (MM, University of Illinois-Urbana) has been Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice at Millikin since 1993, teaching studio voice, Opera Workshop, and song literature. He has sung in recent performances of Dialogues of the Carmelites with the Muddy River Opera Company, and of Schubert song cycles Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise.

Matthew Talbott

Matt Talbott earned his BS and MS in education from the University of Illinois, and he brings to Millikin a wealth of real world experience that informs his teaching in commercial music and music business. Matt has worked as a recording artist and touring musician for RCA Records as well as several independent labels, and his band Hum sold over 400,000 albums for RCA. In addition to running his own record label, Matt currently owns and operates a professional analog recording studio in the Champaign area and stays active as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist. http://www.gwrecordrecorders.com/index.php

Catherine Ming Tu

Dr. Catherine Ming Tu teaches general music methods classes at Millikin University. She holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, a B. A. in Musicology from Wuhan Conservatory of Music, and B.M. and M.M.E. from the University of South Carolina. Before coming to Millikin, Dr. Tu had taught music to students from birth to high school in South Carolina, Ohio, and Florida; and music methods classes at Florida International University. Her research has centered on early childhood, elementary, and multicultural music education. Her publications have appeared in Research Perspectives in Music Education, International Society for Music Education Asian Pacific Regional conference proceedings, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education and Musicology in China. Dr. Tu is a member of MENC, Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML), American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Organization of American Kodály Educators, and Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. She is certified by Musikgarten Family Music, Cycle of Seasons, Orff-Schulwerk, GIML early childhood, elementary and instrumental music. In 2008, Dr. Tu won the distinguished Presser Music Award to support the research and publication of a book entitled Authentic Chinese Children's Songs and Music.

Stephen Widenhofer

Stephen Widenhofer has been on the faculty of Millikin University since 1983, serving as Chair of Music Industry Studies before his appointment as Director of the School of Music in 2003. He has been responsible for a variety of curricular changes over his career, including the founding of First Step Records [www.firststeprecords.com], Millikin's own record label and publishing company which is run by students as a hands-on learning experience. Widenhofer is active as a guest clinician/conductor throughout the Midwest, directing numerous district and state honor jazz choirs. He directs Millikin's award winning vocal jazz ensemble, OneVoice. Professor Widenhofer holds undergraduate and masters degrees from Ball State University and the Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He also serves on the music staff at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Decatur, IL and performs regularly as pianist with the Millikin Faculty Jazz Sextet.

Adjunct Faculty

Solomon Baer

Solomon Baer is Adjunct Associate Professor of Clarinet. Mr. Baer is principal clarinet in the Millikin Decatur Symphony, Opera Illinois, and the Prairie Ensemble in which he was soloist in Finzi's "Five Bagatelles," and Lawrence Ashmore's "The Seasons."He is also a member of Sinfonia da Camera which was on tour recently in China, and London. He is also principal clarinet at the Sugar Creek Music Festival, and is a member of the Illinois Symphony and the Champaign Urbana Symphony. Mr Baer has also been soloist at Krannert Performing Arts Center, and Smith Hall. Prior to coming to Illinois he was principal clarinet in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago, Chile. Mr. Baer also was principal clarinet in the National Symphonies of Costa Rica and Chile. While in Chile Mr. Baer was soloist on Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet, And Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante, and toured with the Hindemith Woodwind Quintet. Mr. Baer also was member of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He has toured throughout the United States with various ensembles, performing in such venues as the Kennedy Center, The Museum for Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Grand Rapids Museum of Art, Race Street Gallery, Krannert Art Museum, Interlochen, and the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz California. His clarinet teachers include James Livingston, Larry Combs, Clark Brody, Robert Marcellus, and David Harris. He can be heard on recordings with the Louisville Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony and the Sinfonia da Camera. He is a certified Alexander Technique teacher and has presented master classes at various universities in the U.S. and abroad and at the Illinois Summer Youth Music program at the University of Illinois. He enjoys exploring his roots with his Klezmer ensemble "Little Oy on the Prairie."

Ann Borders

Soprano Ann Borders performed a recital at Alice Tully Hall as the Liederkranz Foundation Winner in 1988; that same year she also won the American Opera Auditions. Her theatrical experience encompasses roles with the Reimann Opera Theatre, the Illinois Opera Theatre, Springfield Opera Theatre, Little Theatre on the Square (Sullivan, Illinois), and Theatre 7 (Decatur).

Chee Hyeon Choi

Chee Hyeon Choi, adjunct assistant professor, teachesPreparatory Piano and Class Piano at Millikin. She holds her Master’s of Music degree in piano pedagogy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignand currently is working on her Doctoral degree in piano performance with pianopedagogy as the cognate minor. She also serves as Coordinator of the Piano Laboratory Program at UIUC. Ms. Choi is a past president of the UIUC Student Chapterof MTNA and is currently vice-president for the Decatur Area MTA. Her on-going doctoral research was selected as a featured presentation for the 2009 biennial National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and also the 2009 Illinois State MTA annual conference. Since 2007, Ms. Choi has served on the piano faculty for the Illinois Youth Summer Music piano camps. She was continuously cited in the directory of teachers ranked as excellent by students as teaching assistant at the University of Illinois. She recently participated in the 2010International Keyboard Institute and Festival (NYC).

Sharon Chung

Violist Sharon Chung enjoys an active life as a chamber and orchestral musician. She has been co-principal viola of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, assistant principal viola of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and spent two summers with the National Repertory Orchestra, as principal violist and a featured soloist in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote. Sharon currently performs with the New Millennium Orchestra. Sharon is on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago, where she teaches Suzuki violin and viola and Musikgarten. As a chamber musician, she has performed in master classes for members of the Alban Berg, Cleveland, Tokyo, and Pacifica String Quartets. Sharon graduated magna cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Music degree in performance. She also holds a Masters of Music degree from Northwestern University, where she studied with Roland Vamos. She is also a registered Suzuki teacher through book 7 and has completed her training with Pat D'Ercole, Alice Joy Lewis, Joanne Melvin, and Ann Montzka-Smelser.

Susan Cobb

Dr. Susan Schroeder Cobb teaches class piano and studio piano at Millikin University. Professor Cobb received her DMA degree from University of Oklahoma and her MM and BM degrees in piano performance from the University of Illinois. An active solo and collaborative recitalist, she most recently has performed duo piano recitals with Millikin faculty Bruce Gibbons. In June 2010 she presented a lecture at Northwest Normal University in Lanzou, China. Dr. Cobb is currently Director of Bella Musica – Millikin in Italy, a summer program in Urbania, Italy, now in its 6th year. In Italy she has performed with faculty chamber ensembles in Urbania, Pergola, Urbino, and Piobbico. https://www.millikin.edu/bellamusica/ In June 2008 she participated in the St. Andrews Arts Festival in New Brunswick, Canada. She has also performed at the Instituto Cultural Dominicano-Americano in Santo Domingo in 1999 in conjunction with a Millikin University exchange program. Dr. Cobb is past director of the Millikin Preparatory Department, a non-credit division of over 600 students. She has been on the faculty of the Summer Sonatina International Piano Camp in Bennington, Vermont and the Illinois Summer Youth Music Camp at University of Illinois, most recently in 2005.

Elizabeth Creighton

Beth Creighton is an Adjunct Instructor of Music for the School of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance where she serves as an accompanist for a variety of classes (including Musical Theater Repertoire, Opera Workshop, Vocal Performance Seminar, Choral Techniques, and Class Voice), choral ensembles and theatre productions. Besides her work with Millikin students, Beth is also the accompanist for the Millikin Children's Choir and Opus 24, a local vocal ensemble. Beth received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Music Education from Millikin University in 2001.

Frances Daniels

Soprano Frances Daniels is an active recitalist, oratorio soloist, and director. Over the past few years she has been the musical director and coach for Music Man, Sound of Music, She Loves Me, and Oklahoma in various regional theater companies. She is the Director of Music for the First Christian Church in Charleston, IL., directing the Chancel, High School, and Handbell choirs. Prior to Millikin she taught at Indiana State University, Penn State University, and Loras College. Since 1980, Professor Daniels has been a frequent contributor to the National Association of Teachers of Singing, adjudicating the NATS Artist Award Competition at both District and Regional levels. This past summer, Professor Daniels participated in an intensive Italian language and conversation study in Urbania, Italy at the Centro Studi Italiani. Daniels holds a B.M.E. in voice from Drake University, an M.A. in voice performance from the University of Iowa, and has completed coursework and required recitals toward a D.M.A. in voice performance from the University of Illinois. Currently, she teaches diction for singers and private voice.

Amy Catron Flores


Amy Catron Flores, an active performer and teacher, is a versatile cellist appearing as soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician.  She is principal cellist with Sinfonia da Camera, and Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana (BACH). Ms. Flores has played as principal cellist with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra.  She is the cellist with the Arcadia Chamber Players and the Kalnin-Flores duo.  As past president of the Tuesday Morning Musical Club, Ms. Flores appears frequently as a chamber musician. Solo appearances have been with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (Florida), the Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, and the Illini Symphony at the University of Illinois.  In January 2012, she was featured soloist on the Brahms Double Concerto in Kankakee with the Olivet Nazarene Symphony Orchestra, and was soloist in April 2012 with the Decatur Youth Symphony, and in May 2013with the Sangamon Valley Community Orchestra in Tchaikowsky’s Rococo Variations.Ms. Flores has been on faculty and has performed at numerous summer festivals including the International Chamber Music Festival (Bulgaria), Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Illinois Wesleyan Chamber Camp and Cello Camp, Bands of America Camp, and Illinois Summer Youth Music Programs. She was headmaster of the Advanced Cello Camp for ISYM. She also has held sabbatical replacement positions at both Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University.  Prior to moving to Illinois, she held a position with the Naples (Florida) Philharmonic.  She has performed with many other orchestras including the Florida Philharmonic, the Akron and Canton (Ohio) Symphony Orchestras, and the Richmond Symphony.  She has been seen and heard in live concerts with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Harry Connick Jr., Patti Lupone, and others.  Her reviews of new music publications frequently appear in the national American String Teachers Association Magazine.  Ms. Flores received her B.M. from Eastman School and M.M. from University of Akron.  She teaches applied cello, lower string instrument methods, and chamber music at Millikin University, in addition to maintaining an active private teaching studio in the Champaign-Urbana area.




Bruce Gibbons

Bruce Gibbons is adjunct professor of music at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where he teaches piano and organ and serves as pianist for opera and music theatre classes and productions. He accompanies numerous student, faculty, and guest recitals at Millikin, and has performed throughout the United States with various artists. Dr. Gibbons holds performance degrees from Colorado State University and Louisiana State University, studying with Wendel Diebel and Jack Guerry. In addition to his academic duties he is also organist at First United Methodist Church, and a bassoonist with the Decatur Municipal Band.

Beth Holmes

Beth Holmes currently conducts the Millikin Women, a choir comprised of 60 freshmen singers, and serves on the Millikin voice faculty. Under her direction the choir hosts an annual Women's Choral Festival on campus, takes an Illinois tour, and performs for the popular Millikin Christmas Vespers and other annual concerts. Beth is an active guest conductor, directing District and All-State festival choirs and Convention Honor Choirs throughout the Midwest. Recent appearances include Women’s Honor Choirs on the 2010 Regional ACDA convention in Minneapolis, as well as state ACDA conventions in Illinois, Florida, and Minnesota. A graduate of Kansas State University, Beth subsequently completed a Masters in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University. She served as the Artistic and Musical Director of the Millikin University Children & Youth Choir Program for 7 years, conducting its premiere ensemble and coordinating a staff of conductors, managers, and Millikin student interns. She has served as ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women’s Choir in both Iowa and Illinois, and maintains a private voice studio in her home.

Sharon Huff

Dr. Sharon Huff teaches Applied Tuba and Euphonium, Brass Methods, and Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble. She also supervises music education student teachers. Dr. Huff holds degrees from Illinois State University (BME) and the University of Illinois (MM and DMA). Before coming to Millikin, Dr. Huff was responsible for low brass, conducting, music education, band, music literature, humanities, and many other courses at Illinois State University and St. Norbert College (WI). She is an experienced public school teacher and much in demand as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator. Author of numerous review articles for the International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal (formerly known as the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association Journal), she has also served ITEA on its Executive Committee as Conferences Coordinator. Dr. Huff is currently president of the International Women's Brass Conference, and she was host of the 2003 and 2006 conferences which were held at Illinois State University. Dr. Huff is Music Director of the Brass Band of Central Illinois and she performs with the Monarch Brass Ensemble.

Hue Jeong Jang

Hue Jeong Jang, pianist, teacher, and accompanist, currently is an adjunct faculty member at Millikin University in Decatur, IL where she teaches college group piano and preparatory piano. She also serves as an accompanist for the Illinois Summer Youth Music camps. Hue received the Bachelor of Music degree from the American Conservatory in Chicago and the Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma from DePaul University. She currently is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Illinois in piano performance with piano pedagogy as her minor cognate. She has performed in the United States and Europe including the 2003 Summer Opera Workshop in Poggio Renatico, Italy, the 2006 International Piano Summer Festival in Prague (Czech Republic) and the 2007 Summer Piano Institute at the University of Illinois. She is an active member of Music Teachers National Association and Illinois’ affiliate chapters in Decatur (chapter treasurer) and Champaign.

Chung-Ha Kim

Dr. Chung-Ha Kim received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, her Master of Music and her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. She remains active as a solo as well as collaborative pianist: recent recitals were at Harper College, University of Chicago, Western Illinois University, Radford University in Virginia, Mount Union College in Ohio, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kim has published articles in Clavier and Piano Pedagogy Forum. An active memberof the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), she currently serves as the first vice-president of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association (ISMTA) and as the president of the Decatur Area Music Teachers Association (DAMTA). Dr. Kim teaches Preparatory Piano, Piano Pedagogy, and Class Piano at Millikin.

Luke Krolikowski


Luke Krolikowski received his B.M. degree from Millikin University in 2009, and is currently pursuing his Masters in Guitar Performance from Illinois State University. Luke has performed in masterclasses for Nathan Wysock, Denis Azabagic, Johannes Möller, The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and Bill Kanengiser. As an active performer in both classical and popular styles, Luke has performed throughout the midwest, parts of the east coast. Luke is currently the lead guitarist and producer for the Great Waltz, whose EP "River City Hard Core" is available on Bluebox records.

Judith Mancinelli

Judith Mancinelli has served on the piano faculty of Millikin University since 1980, as teacher, accompanist, chamber musician, solo performer, and Supervisor of Student Accompanying. She also regularly serves as adjudicator for many competitions and festivals in Illinois and surrounding states. Judith has in the recent past years given many lectures both in the United States and abroad on various piano-related topics. The Kirkland Trio, of which she was a member for 20 years, toured Taiwan and has produced a CD of rarely heard romantic piano trio music. Previously, Judith served on the piano faculty of the University of Tulsa for 9 years, and was the staff accompanist as well.

Nicole Morgan

Nicole Morgan is a graduate of the University of Illinois in vocal performance. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business from Western Illinois University. While at Western, Nicole was involved with the Opera Workshop where she performed the roles of Katisha in The Mikado and Susanna Susannadonna in P.D.Q Bach’s opera The Abduction of Figaro.She has also been a featured soloist with the Western Illinois University Singers, Concert Choir, Vocal Jazz, and Madrigals. At the University of Illinois, Nicole has performed in Bernstein’s Mass as a street soloist and in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly as La Zia in the 2006-2007 season. She has performed many operatic scenes with the Opera Studio under the direction of Jerold Siena. Nicole travelled to Urbania, Italy, where she attended Scuola Italia and had the opportunity to perform operatic scenes and study voice. Nicole has also performed the role of Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore with Prairie Fire Theatre in Bloomington, Illinois. She has also performed many benefit concerts including a concert at the Mill’s Breast Cancer Institute in Champaign. Over the years, Nicole has received many music scholarships and talent grants. Nicole is a member of National Association of the Teachers of Singing.

Douglas Phillips

Douglas Phillips, Professor Emeritus of the Millikin School of Music, has degrees from Northwestern University. He has been chair of the music theory department at MU, as well as coordinator of woodwinds. As a clarinetist, he has played principal clarinet with the Springfield, Millikin-Decatur and Jacksonville symphonies as well as playing as an extra clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony. As a present time adjunct in the MU School of Music, Mr. Phillips is teaching woodwind methods, music theory and ear training.

Andrea Pope

Andrea Frakes Pope has performed as a recitalist and soloist throughout the Kansas City and Washington DC areas. She has performed in the Hillside Arts Fellowship Concert Series with Aaron Copland's Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (Kansas City, Missouri). She was the headlining performer with the Northland Neighborhood Inc. Benefit Concert (Kansas City, Missouri - 2007, 2008 & 2009). Andrea was also coordinator of and performer in the Phenomenal Women, stories and songs celebrating women (Kansas City, Missouri). Most recently, Andrea was seen as guest soloist with the Greater Decatur Chorale in Decatur, Illinois.

Diana Rai

Adjunct Assistant Professor Diana Rai holds the Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois, U-C. She teaches double bass to students of all levels, and cello through the Preperatory Department. She is also active teaching string classes in the Decatur Public Schools. Professor Rai has performed in many regional orchestras and chamber groups. She has also performed in masterclasses throughout the USA, Canada, France, Scotland, Norway and Australia.

Christopher Reyman

Chris Reyman teaches jazz improvisational styles, music theory, ear training, jazz/commercial theory, beginning composition, computers in music, coaches small jazz ensembles and gives private jazz piano and composition lessons. He received his Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music from Millikin University in 2003 and earned his Master of Music in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois in 2006. He completed his doctorate in jazz performance at the U of I in 2011. He was commissioned to compose a piece for the United States Air Force “Airmen of Note” and composed an original score for Lucas Martell’s animated short film “Pigeon Impossible” (pigeonimpossible.com). He is currently completing work on another animated short by Lucas Martell, “The Ocean Maker,” which is due to be completed by the end of 2013 (theoceanmaker.com). He performs regularly throughout Central Illinois with ensembles such as Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project, Jeff Helgesen Quintet, Tangotta and Almost A Quartet. He has performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and is due to tour with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in October of 2013. He is a member of a music-dance collective, CompostQ, which has performed and given workshops at the University of Louisville, Roosevelt University and Eastern Illinois University. He also teaches piano and accordion at Community Center for the Arts in Urbana (c-4a.org). Along with teaching, performing and composing, Chris is the co-founder of in2improv~improvise.play.live (in2improv.com), a collaboration with Sandra Paola López which focuses on the use of improvisation as a tool for human development and community building.

Christine Robertson

Christine Robertson has had a versatile career in musical theatre, opera, and as a concert soloist. Her credits span the Midwest, the Rocky Mountains, and the East Coast, including several productions at the historic Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Opera credits include the role of Lucy in the highly acclaimed world premiere of Kirke Mechem’s opera, The Rivals, at Skylight Opera Theatre in Milwaukee, Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld and Lucy in The Telephone. Solo orchestra engagements include Gabriel/Eve in The Creation with the International Chamber Artists of Chicago, Handel’s Messiah with the Chamber Singers of Iowa City, as well as appearances with the Rockford Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra. Ms. Robertson has been featured at The Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan, IL as Vi Moore in Footloose. She starred as Amalia in She Loves Me at The Theatre at the Center, which was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Musical in the Chicago area. Other regional theatre credits include Laurey in Oklahoma!, Maria in The Sound of Music, and Fiona in Brigadoon. She is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association. Ms. Robertson earned her MA in vocal performance from the University of Iowa and her BM in vocal performance from Indiana University.

Stephen Schepper


StephenSchepper holds degrees from Millikin University and the University of Illinois. After retiring in 2010 from the DecaturPublic Schools, Professor Schepper returned to his Alma Mater as AssistantProfessor of Horn in the fall of 2011.He plays principal horn in the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra andthe Decatur Municipal Band. He isan accomplished musician on all brass instruments, drum set, and timpani, and performsregularly with the Decatur Big Band, the West End Trio, and Four Voices, agroup replicating the vocal style of the Four Freshmen.

Duringhis 30 years at DPS 61, Steve served as music coordinator, taught beginningband at several grade schools, and was Director of Bands at Roosevelt MiddleSchool and Stephen Decatur Middle School.In 1995 he was also named Assistant Director of Bands at MacArthur HighSchool. His efforts at theselevels created a standard of excellence which was reflected in theinternationally recognized Decatur MacArthur band program.

Ricardo Sepúlveda

Baritone Ricardo Sepúlveda has recently appeared as Emile de Becque in ‘South Pacific’, Papageno in ‘Die Zauberflöte’ and, Morales in Bizet’s ‘Carmen’. He made his debut as Der Steuermann in the Caribbean premiere of ‘Tristan und Isolde’, in a production led by Jane Eaglen and Antonio Barasorda, under Metropolitan Opera Assistant Conductor, Gareth Morrell. Since then, he has performed with Puerto Rico Opera, International Vocal Arts Institute, New Jersey Opera, Puerto Rico Lyric Company, Festival de la Orquesta Juvenil de las Américas, Puerto Rico Opera Theatre and, University of Illinois Opera. Credits include roles in operas by Lully, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Gounod, Mascagni, Humperdink, Hindemith and Weill, as well as lead roles in ‘Madama Butterfly’, ‘La bohème’, ‘Così fan tutte’, ‘L’elisir d’amore’ and Salieri’s ‘Prima la mùsica, poi le parole’. Comfortable with the concert repertoire, he has performed works by Vaughan‑Williams, Loeffler, Bach, Händel and Purcell. Ricardo holds a BM from the PR Conservatory, a MM from the U of I and completed a year in the Artist Diploma program, under professor Nathan Gunn. As a versatile performer and musician, Mr. Sepúlveda has been seen in plays by García Lorca and Myrna Casas, with favorable critics; he also served as a voice teaching assistant and substitute vocal instructor at the U of I. He is a former member of ‘Orfeón San Juan Bautista’, a professional choral ensemble, with whom he recorded its first commercial recording ‘Puerto Rico a capella’ (2002). He was the recipient of the U of I Stotler Fellowship Award, the Grace Elizabeth Wilson Award for Excellence in Singing and, the Joseph W. Schlanger Memorial Opera Scholarship. Ricardo is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Marion van der Loo

Marion van der Loo holds the B. Mus. Degree in Opera Performance and the M. Mus. Degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University's Esther Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia. She also completed a doctoral residency in Choral Conducting at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Ms. van der Loo enjoyed a long singing career on the east coast as a mezzo-soprano with consistently enthusiastic reviews for her interpretation of opera, oratorio and the lied. She has sung with orchestras throughout the east coast, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, and the Baltimore Symphony, as well as in Europe and in the Midwest. Since moving into the area of conducting, while still maintaining a private voice studio, Ms. van der Loo has, for 20 years, conducted choruses and orchestras in both professional and non-professional venues. During her 12 seasons as Director and Conductor of the Illinois Symphony Chorus in Springfield, she frequently conducted the Chorus with the Illinois Chamber and the Illinois Symphony Orchestras. She has since become Music Director and Conductor of the 70-voice Springfield Choral Society and is the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of Prairieland Voices, a chamber chorus based in Springfield.


Melinda Shaw

Coordinator for Outreach and Community Relations

Brynn Kickle  
Audition Coordinator

Ruth Young
Financial Coordinator

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL