COVID Response



Area of Music

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.

The faith, arts, and culture calendar features an exciting array of recitals and concerts each year. Milligan students present world premieres and perform with internationally-renowned composers and musicians in addition to collaborating with regional symphonies and participating in professional field work experiences such as at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville.

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.


View all details and course requirements for this program in the Milligan Catalog (links above). The Milligan academic catalog is the official, authoritative source for all academic requirements and policies. Any discrepancies in curricular requirements from other sources will default to the Catalog.

Music events

Find out about all of the music and arts events, most of which are free and open to the public, at www.milligan.edu/arts.




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

Dr. Noah DeLong, 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.

Milligan University guitar ensembleGUITAR 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.


dsc_0347The 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. The award amount is determined by a combination of the student’s audition results, ensemble needs, and funding availability. Performance Scholarships are available for concert choir, orchestra, women’s chorale, and musical theatre.

Music 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, take studio lessons on their major instrument or voice, and participate in ensembles or serve as accompanists as stipulated by their scholarship award contract. (For information and contract requirements for musical theatre, click here »)

2021 Music Auditions

Due to the health concerns associated with COVID-19, Milligan music scholarship auditions for 2021 will take place via a recorded audition.


  1. Complete your admissions application to Milligan.
  2. Complete the music scholarship application.
  3. Review the audition requirements below for your specific instrument.
  4. Email a link to your video recorded audition to music@milligan.edu. This link may be to a YouTube video or to a downloadable video file via Google Drive or DropBox. The deadline for submitting the video link is February 26, 2021.


The music audition is a time for prospective students to showcase their talent and hard work to the music faculty and to be considered for scholarship awards. Auditions are formal events in which the music faculty want to hear two polished pieces. These 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.

Click here for musical theatre audition requirements »


Prospective Pianists and Instrumentalists should perform two pieces of contrasting style and musical periods. The following list is a guide to the historical style periods and some example composers from each.

  • 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.

Other Financial Aid Opportunities

All scholarship awards from the Music Program become part of the total institutional package offered by the university to the student. Other university scholarship and financial aid opportunities can be found at www.milligan.edu/SFS.

Success Stories


Ben Davenport (’15) earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education with K-12 music licensure from Milligan. 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.

Visit & Apply

Calendar of Events

Music Faculty