About the Program

The Millikin University percussion studio and ensembles represent one of the finest undergraduate programs of its kind. Through a diverse selection of degree programs and course offerings, we are committed to providing students with the training and facilities necessary to achieve success in the professional world. Percussion studies at Millikin University are designed to develop the whole musician--artistically, intellectually, technically--through the integration of theory and practice. Our goal is to develop the highest possible level of musicianship and an appropriate proficiency in performance, teaching, technology, or arts management depending on the curriculum of study chosen by the student.

  • Millikin is a small comprehensive undergraduate university where approximately one in four students major in the fine arts (300+ 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 96%.
  • Millikin’s tuition rate is comparable to other regional institutions of similar quality.  Generous Academic Merit Scholarships and Talent Awards are available.

For more information visit our Percussion Ensembles page.

Facilities
Studio

  • 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 including a Recording studio; Mixing studio; Video editing suite; Electronic percussion studio; and Computer lab with 20+ iMacs, various software and keyboards. As MU is an Avid Learning Partner, ProTools certification to "Expert" level is possible.

Faculty

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Brian Justison is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Percussion Studies at Millikin. His responsibilities include directing the chamber and world percussion ensembles and teaching courses in percussion pedagogy and drum set styles. His students include winners of the MTNA National Solo Percussion Competition, the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition & two Downbeat Awards. 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 Millikin Faculty JAzz Ensemble and 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). His Jazz Drumming Workbook is distributed by First Step Publishing.

Dr. Jeremy Brunk is Assistant Professor of Music at Millikin. His teaching responsibilities include applied percussion, percussion methods, composition, music theory, ear training and assisting with the percussion ensembles. He regularly performs with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and Illinois Symphony Orchestra as a timpanist and percussionist, also giving solo and chamber recitals, master classes and clinics across Illinois.  He has premiered works by James Romig, John Stafford, Carolyn Bremer, Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz; and appeared in residencies for Steve Reich, Vinko Globokar, Pauline Oliveros, Annea Lockwood, Christian Wolff, and NEXUS.  Dr. Brunk holds degrees in percussion performance from the University of Illinois (D.M.A, 2007), University of Oklahoma (M.M., 1999) and Millikin University (B.M., 1997). Dr. Brunk has composed music for the Millikin Percussion Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Dance Now! Ensemble Miami, and Interlochen Summer Dance Ensemble, as well as solo percussionists Richard Kurasz and Eric Hines.   His three books of Préludes for solo marimba are published by Edition Svitzer, and were developed over many years of working with his students, supported by a Research and Artistic Achievement Award from Millikin.  His percussion ensemble works for the Millikin Percussion Ensemble have been performed at PASIC in 2003 and 2008, and are available on their most recent CD releases.

Curriculum

Applied Curriculum Themes
Definition of Requirements
Year-End Assessment Form
Percussion Handbook

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