The music program at Milligan produces life-long learners and lovers of music, as well as accomplished performers. Milligan’s music faculty consists of knowledgeable and experienced musicians who also are dedicated and caring educators whose focus is helping students achieve their musical goals.

Students can pursue music in a variety of degree programs such as Music Performance, Music Education, Musical Theatre, and Worship Leadership. Elective music courses that enrich the liberal arts education are also available. Throughout each academic year, students have the opportunity to perform and tour nationally and internationally with numerous vocal and choral ensembles and with the orchestra and other instrumental groups.

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

Explore Scholarship Options

The Music Performance Scholarship is a competitive, renewable scholarship awarded to a limited number of students each year who exhibit excellent performance ability and potential as identified through audition. Performance Scholarships are available for concert choir, orchestra, women’s chorale, piano, and musical theatre. Both non-majors and music majors are eligible.

In-person auditions are preferred. If you are unable to attend one of the audition dates below, another date can be assigned to you. In circumstances where an in-person audition is not possible, an audition via YouTube or other video format links will be accepted.

Scholarship Audition Dates
October 27, 2023 (Musical Theatre and Vocal Ensembles only)
January 20, 2024
February 17, 2024


Music Scholarships are competitive, renewable scholarships awarded to a limited number of students each year who demonstrate successful previous experience in music and demonstrate performance skills via an audition. The award amount is determined by a combination of the student’s audition results, program needs, and funding availability. Both non-majors and music majors are eligible.

Priority Consideration

For priority consideration, applicants seeking music performance scholarships should be admitted to Milligan University by January 15 and audition by the end of February.

Music performance scholarships are renewable for a total of four years enrollment and require full-time enrollment during fall and spring semesters. Scholarship recipients are required to maintain academic standards and to participate in music courses and performance ensembles as stipulated by their scholarship award contract.

Audition Requirements

Prospective Pianists & Instrumentalists: Perform 2 pieces of contrasting styles or musical periods

Prospective Vocalists – Perform two memorized songs in contrasting styles that demonstrate your range and versatility. Selections should be from musical theatre, opera/operetta, or art song repertoire (in any language). Both selections should be accompanied, and an accompanist will be provided. Please bring clean, well-marked sheet music in the appropriate key, organized neatly in a binder.

For musical theatre scholarship requirements, please see

  1. Complete your admissions application to Milligan.
  2. Complete the performing arts scholarship application and indicate your preferred audition date.
  3. Review the audition requirements above for your specific instrument.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

All scholarship awards from the music program become part of the total institutional package offered by the university to the student. Click here to learn more about other scholarship and financial aid opportunities.


Concert Choir

Dr. Noah DeLong, Conductor

The Milligan Concert Choir is an auditioned ensemble that proudly upholds a long tradition of choral excellence within the Christian liberal arts context of the university. In the past, the choir has performed at the invitation of the President at the National Prayer Breakfast and also on international tours to England and Mexico.  In addition, the choir has been invited to sing at the North American Christian Convention, the Conference on World Evangelism-National Missionary Convention, and at the Tennessee State Conference of the American Choral Directors’ Association.

In recent years, the choir has maintained an active performance schedule on campus and throughout Northeast Tennessee. Also, the choir travels frequently throughout the United States, with recent tours to Washington, D.C., and the mid-Atlantic as well as Chicago and the Midwest. In addition, the choir regularly collaborates with the Milligan Orchestra, the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of the Mountains.

Women's Chorale

Kelly Davenport, 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.


Dr. Kellie D. Brown, Conductor

Since its founding in 1999, the Milligan 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 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 University 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, Poor Valley Pilgrims by Evelyn Pursley-Koptizke, and Genesis by internationally renowned composer Kenton Coe.

String Quartet

Cheryl Fitzgerald, Director

The Milligan String Quartet is an auditioned chamber group featuring the university’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.


Dr. 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 university at churches, civic organizations, and university 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.

Guitar Ensemble

James West, Conductor

The guitar ensemble performs a variety of repertoire at many on-campus performances and is open to students of all ability levels.

Success Story

Ben Davenport earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education with K-12 music licensure from Milligan in 2015. During his time at Milligan, he participated in a variety of ensembles, including Concert Choir, Heritage, and Herd Mentality. He also received a national award for his leadership in Milligan’s chapter of NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and was one of only two students selected to participate in a conducting masterclass at the Tennessee Music Educators Association annual conference in Nashville.

After graduating from Milligan, Ben earned a Master of Education degree from Arkansas State University and an Ed.S. from Union College. He currently works as a K-8 General Music Teacher for Washington County (TN) Schools where he has been recognized by numerous awards, including “WJHL Educator of the Week” and the Grandview Elementary 5-8th grades Teacher of the Year Award. He was also awarded a $6,000 grant to incorporate technology into the music classroom. In addition, he served as an adjunct member of the Milligan music faculty in 2019.


Professor of Music; Area Chair of Music

Assistant Professor of Music

Kelly Davenport
Adjunct Instructor of Music, Director of Women's Chorale

DeLong, Noah
Professor of Music

Cheryl Fitzgerald
Adjunct Instructor of Music

Adjunct Instructor of Music

Adjunct Instructor of Music

Suzi Redman
Adjunct Instructor of Music

James West
Adjunct Instructor of Music

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