Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Milligan music chair honored with regional Arts Achievement Award

Dr. Kellie Brown conducting

MILLIGAN, Tenn. (June 27, 2023) — Milligan University professor and Area Chair of Music Dr. Kellie Brown was recently honored by the Arts Alliance Mountain Empire (AAME) as the 2023 recipient of its Arts Achievement Award for Arts Educator. The Arts Achievement Awards recognize living individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts in the region.

In addition to her excellence as a performer, conductor and music educator, Brown was recognized by AAME for her award-winning writing that includes scholarly books and articles in addition to essays about faith, family and literature.   

As an internationally recognized authority on music during the Holocaust, Dr. Brown speaks frequently at academic institutions and conferences around the world and has written extensively on the subject. Her most recent book, “The Sound of Hope: Music as Solace, Resistance and Salvation during the Holocaust & World War II,” was praised by The Washington Post, which declared it “succeeded admirably in bringing together in one volume so much important research.” Her book also received one of the coveted Choice Outstanding Academic Title awards.

“I am honored to receive this award from AAME,” said Brown. “Their tireless work to advocate for the arts and artists in our region remains vital. I also want to acknowledge that I stand on the shoulders of so many important teachers and mentors in my life, without whom, my successes would not have been possible.”

Dr. Brown is a highly knowledgeable and respected teacher who has impacted thousands of music students from preschool age to adult during her 30-year teaching career. She remains a committed arts advocate in the community and is the recipient of numerous other awards for her teaching and contributions to the arts.

She has taught at Milligan since 1998, applying her extensive and broad expertise to a range of curricular offerings including violin and viola applied study, music history, music education methods, orchestral conducting and worship arts. She is frequently seen as a conductor on the stage of Seeger Chapel or in the orchestra pit of the Gregory Center, where her excellent leadership brings music and theatre alive for audiences.

Dr. Brown studied violin performance and music education at Furman University and East Tennessee State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in music education. She also holds a master’s degree in violin performance from Appalachian State University and a doctoral degree in higher education administration, with an emphasis in music administration, from East Tennessee State University.

Recipients of the AAME’s Arts Achievement Award may include artists; arts educators in schools, colleges and universities; arts advocates and volunteers; and administrators of arts institutions. Arts Achievement Award winners are nominated by the community and selected based on artistic excellence, perseverance, commitment and sustained contributions to the arts and the cultural community. To learn more about Milligan University’s Music program offerings, visit

Posted by Stephanie Schmitz on June 27, 2023.