- Millikin is a small comprehensive undergraduate university where approximately one in four students major in the fine arts (350+ are music majors).
- Collaborative experiences across disciplines are a signature element of the Millikin Experience.
- Millikin blends the performance based aspects of a conservatory-styled education with a rigorous liberal arts curriculum.
- All courses and lessons are staffed by experienced professionals (not graduate students) committed to offering the highest quality of instruction.
- Our comprehensive graduate success rate with regards to placement into professional employment and graduate school is 98%.
- Millikin’s tuition rate is comparable to other regional institutions of similar quality. Compare us! Generous Academic Merit Scholarships and Talent Awards are available.
- A separate building (Percussion House) accommodating eleven percussion practice rooms and a rehearsal studio make our facilities among the most spacious (and unique) anywhere.
- A 1,900 seat Fine Arts Center auditorium provides the venue for ensemble performances and performance by national touring acts.
- A newly renovated School of Music Facility featuring state of the art technological resources includes a: 32 track fully automated digital recording studio; Mixing studio; Video editing suite; MIDI lab; and Computer lab with 20+ iMacs, various software and keyboards.
- 2013 Jazz Educators Network National Conference performance by World Percussion Ensemble, Atlanta, GA
- 2013 Downbeat Student Music Award for "Outstanding Latin Jazz Performance" MU World Percussion Ensemble
- 2013 Downbeat Student Music Award "Winner" Best Classical Group, MU Chamber Percussion Ensemble
- Percussive Arts Society International Convention 2008 "Focus Day" performance by Chamber Percussion Ensemble, Austin, TX
- Finalist in the 2003 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition, Louisville, KY
- Recipient of laudable reviews in Percussive Notes and Gramophone Magazine (June 2004) for the chamber ensemble's Best Kept Secret CD.
- Host of the 2006 IMEA All-State Percussion Symposium
- Featured performance at the Percussive Arts Society (IL Chapter) " Day of Percussion" (1998, 2000, 2006, 2008)
- Featured performance at the 2007 IMEA All State Music Festival
- Play in one of two chamber percussion ensembles and a world percussion ensemble (see below).
- Perform with traditional large ensembles (wind ensemble, jazz band, & orchestra), plus a variety of small ensembles including jazz combos, vocal jazz groups, and pop/rock, R&B, or metal bands.
- Participate in a Millitrax recording session as song writer, engineer, producer, or performer.
- Participate in First Step Records, the University’s record label and publishing company.
Chamber Percussion Ensembles
The Millikin Chamber Percussion Ensembles, under the direction of Brian Justison, have been widely acclaimed for their performances of concert repertoire for percussion instruments. They are a recent winner of the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition and were selected to perform at the 2008 PASIC Focus Day session. In 2013, the group was awarded a Downbeat Student Music Award for "Best Classical Group." Performances at numerous regional music festivals are also part of their activities. Additionally, their debut CD, Best Kept Secret, received laudable reviews from both Gramophone Magazine and Percussive Notes. The group has premiered more than 20 new works, including four such premieres at PASIC showcase concerts. They released their second CD in the fall of 2012 comprised solely of works premiered by the ensemble.
Each year the percussion ensembles present a concert season beginning with the venerable Halloween concerts. Sponsored the Decatur Children’sMuseum, WAND TV and Pepsi, this all-ages, family-friendlyevent of the season takes place in the infamously haunted Albert TaylorTheater. Audience members join theensemble in costume and all proceeds gotoward MU students attending the Percussive Arts Society InternationalConvention. The ensemble then embarks on an annual recruiting tour with recent performances in St. Louis, Indianapolis, the Quad Cities and Chicago.
In February, PercussionEnsemble Synergy showcases the distinctiveness of Millikin's ubiquitousinterdisciplinary alliances through a collaborative concert featuringperformances with students and faculty across the College of Fine Arts. The season ends in April with the Masterworks concert showcasing the depth andbreadth of contemporary percussion chamber music through a program featuringworks by the disciplines leading composers. Each year, the Millikin ensemble premieres anew work commissioned through the Percussion Music Commission Fund on this program. In sum, these ensembles explore the diverse world of percussion music from the novel to the sublime.
World Percussion Ensemble
The World Percussion Ensemble provides students with the opportunity to explore playing techniques and rhythms from around the world with a special emphasis on Afro-Caribbean music. In addition to offering authentic world music performances, the group's interest in combining elements of western and non-western music has given rise to an eclectic mix of jazz, pop, and world music which has thrilled audiences throughout the region. The group’s first CD, Latin Jazz Project, received a laudable review in Percussive Notes (December 2006). The group’s second release, Global Perspectives, was also met with critical acclaim. Both are distributed through First Step Records. In 2013, the group won a Downbeat Award for "Outstanding Latin Jazz Performance" released its third CD entitled, Simon Says.