Area of Music

Founded on a rich musical heritage and maintained by an outstanding and supportive music faculty, the music program at Milligan seeks to produce life-long learners and lovers of music, as well as accomplished performers and avid music consumers. Participating in music at Milligan also allows students and faculty to experience new levels of worship and service. Students can pursue music in a variety of degree programs including music education, performance, jazz studies, music business, and music ministry. Milligan students in other majors can also elect music courses to enrich their liberal arts education and participate in the many vocal and instrumental ensembles offered.

Scholarships & Auditions

If you plan to major in music at Milligan and/or are seeking a music scholarship, we ask you to audition with the faculty. Auditions will be held on November 21, 2014 and January 31, 2015. To schedule an audition, contact the Music Office at 423.461.8723, or email us for more details.

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Milligan music graduates teach at all levels of music education, serve in music ministry positions, conduct professional music organizations, teach studio music, and perform professionally. Graduates of the music area have pursued further music studies at institutions throughout the United States and abroad.


Concert Choir Fall 2013Concert Choir

Noah DeLong, Conductor
The Milligan College Concert Choir is an auditioned ensemble that performs extensively on campus and throughout Northeast Tennessee and whose members represent a variety of majors from throughout the student body.

In its past, the choir has sung at the invitation of the President at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. The choir travels frequently throughout the United States, most recently touring through Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia in the spring of 2013.

The choir has also toured throughout England, with special performances in Coventry Cathedral and in the Civic Centre of the City of Birmingham. In addition, the choir has been invited to sing at the North American Christian Convention, the International Conference on Missions, at the Tennessee State Convention of the American Choral Directors’ Association, and the choir frequently collaborates with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony of the Mountains.

Women's ChoraleWomen’s Chorale

Anne Elliott, Conductor

Milligan Women’s Chorale is a women’s ensemble singing various styles of music and performing on and off campus. Continuing in Milligan’s strong tradition of women’s vocal ensembles, the Milligan Women’s Chorale was founded in Fall 2008. The chorale performs literature of different styles ranging from sacred to popular. The chorale performs for churches and various organizations in the Tri-Cities area. The ensemble is open to all female students.

Brass Ensemble

Rick Simerly, Conductor

Brass Ensemble is an instrumental ensemble for brass instruments devoted to the study and performance of literature written specifically for brass. The group regularly performs at the annual Milligan Christmas Concert and throughout the region.

Jazz EnsembleJazz Ensemble

Rick Simerly, Director

The Milligan College Jazz Ensemble is an organization devoted to the performance of jazz and pop styles with emphasis on ensemble playing, solo playing, and improvisation. Membership is by audition. The group presents one concert each semester and has performed at the Grove Park Jazz Festival (the opener for Ellis Marsalis), and most recently at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Region IV Festival in Americus, GA. In combination with the Milligan College Theatre Department, they performed an original musical, The Gospel According To Jazz.

Jazz ComboJazz Combo

Rick Simerly, Director

Jazz Combo is the study of jazz and pop styles for small ensembles with emphasis on ensemble playing, solo playing and improvisation as it relates to small group performance.

Milligan College Orchestra 2013-14Orchestra

Dr. Kellie D. Brown, Conductor

The Milligan College Orchestra performs throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and collaborates frequently with professional ensembles and arts organizations, including The Civic Chorale, the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, the East Tennessee Regional Symphony, Mountain Empire Children’s Choir Academy, and the City Youth Ballet. In addition, MCO is the pit orchestra for various opera and musical productions at Milligan College and serves local churches in ministry. The orchestra also champions new works and has performed the world premieres of numerous pieces including Three Genres by John Grubb and Genesis by internationally renowned composer Kenton Coe.

String Quartet

Cheryl Fitzgerald, Director

The Milligan College String Quartet is an auditioned chamber group featuring the college’s premier string players. In addition to performing frequently on Milligan’s campus, this group is also featured throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Civic Band & Johnson City Symphony Orchestra

Civic Band provides students a performance opportunity with the Johnson City Community Concert Band. The Johnson City Symphony Orchestra provides students an opportunity to perform with a community orchestra.


Noah DeLong, Director

Heritage is select a cappella ensemble of eight singers that maintains an active travel and performance schedule. The group, which was founded in 1983, frequently represents the college at churches, civic organizations, and college functions. Specializing in a wide variety of a cappella music, the group performs everything from modern worship music to Broadway, pop a cappella, spirituals, and vocal jazz. Contact Kit Dotson to book Heritage to perform at your church or organization.

Heard MentalityHeard Mentality

Dr. Charlotte Anderson, Director

Heard Mentality is an elite, auditioned men’s a cappella ensemble. They began in 2007 with barbershop and gospel, and now also sing jazz, be-bop, some early music, and traditional men’s glee. They sing for churches, various organizations and functions and sell Singing Valentines every February 14.

Calendar of Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are held in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium of Seeger Memorial Chapel.


August 19
11 a.m.
Seeger Memorial Chapel Classroom
Music Majors/Minors Meeting
August 23
Seeger Memorial Chapel
All-State Prep Clinic


September 12 & 13
3 p.m. (Sept. 12)
Seeger Memorial Chapel Classroom
Music Praxis Exam (Practice Test) & Workshop
September 27
7 p.m.
Mary B. Martin Auditorium
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Patriotic Concert


October 5
5 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
Men in Song Festival Concert
October 11
7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Martin Auditorium
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Johnson City Symphony Orchestra
October 14
7 p.m.
Walker Auditorium
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Music Student Recital
October 18
7:30 p.m.
Walker Auditorium
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Laura Pelon, Women in Music: Someone Will Remember Us
October 25
3:30 p.m.
Mary B. Martin Auditorium,
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Homecoming Concert


November 4
7 p.m.
Walker Auditorium
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Laura Mixon, Junior Voice Recital / Music Student Recital
November 7
7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Martin Auditorium,
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Milligan Orchestra Concert
November 9Biltmore Estate Milligan Women’s Chorale will be singing at Biltmore Estatefor the Candlelight Biltmore tours
November 15
7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Martin Auditorium
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Johnson City Symphony Orchestra Concert
November 21
2 p.m.
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Music Scholarship Auditions
November 24
2 p.m.
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Milligan Jazz Concert


December 4
8 p.m.
McMahan Student Center
Jazz Combos Concert
December 6 & 7
7:30 p.m.
Mary B. Martin Auditorium,
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Milligan College Christmas Concert
December 13
7:30 pm
Mary B. Martin Auditorium,
Seeger Memorial Chapel
Johnson City Symphony Orchestra Concert


Music scholarships are available by audition to new students who apply and are awarded according to talent, academic achievement, and need. Transfer students applying for scholarships must also submit a recommendation from the music department chair of the school from which he or she is transferring.

Acceptance of a scholarship will be a declaration of intent to attend Milligan College and complete all of the requirements outlined in the scholarship contracts. Final allocation of scholarship funds depends on a student’s acceptance to Milligan College.

Please bring your completed audition information sheet with you to your scheduled audition so the faculty can learn more about you.

If you have not yet applied to Milligan College, we encourage you to submit your application before your audition since any music scholarship awards cannot be officially offered until you have been accepted to Milligan College. We also encourage you to complete the early FAFSA estimate.

To schedule an audition, contact Rita Myers, music secretary, at 423-461-8723.

Download a Scholarship Audition Form »

Music Audition Information

The music audition is a time to showcase your talent and hard work to the music faculty and to be considered for scholarship awards. Auditions are formal events in which we want to hear two of your most polished pieces and have a brief interview with you. The two audition pieces should be of contrasting style (Ex. Bach and Schumann; art song and musical theater, etc.) and should be chosen from standard repertoire (see specifics below). Accompanists will be provided for vocalists (No pre-recorded accompaniment is allowed.). Instrumentalists will perform unaccompanied.

The overall impression is important so please dress as you would for a recital or special school performance. We prefer that you audition in person, but if a personal audition is not possible, you may audition by DVD or YouTube link.

Selecting Audition Repertoire

Prospective Pianists and Instrumentalists should perform two pieces of contrasting styles and musical periods from the following periods:

  • Baroque (Bach, Handel)
  • Classical (Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn)
  • Romantic (Schumann, Chopin, Franck)
  • Modern (Debussy, Bartok, Prokofiev, Hindemith)

Prospective Vocalists should perform material from two of the following categories:

  • German Lieder
  • French art songs
  • American or English art songs
  • Broadway/musical theater songs
  • Italian bel canto songs

Prospective Organists should perform a hymn, as you would play it for a congregation to sing, including introduction and all stanzas. You will also perform at least two other organ selections, and one selection to play on the piano.

Music Faculty