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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 music performance 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 College Catalog (links above). The Milligan College 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 College Concert Choir is an auditioned ensemble that proudly upholds a long tradition of choral excellence within the Christian liberal arts context of the college. 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 College 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 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, Poor Valley Pilgrims by Evelyn Pursley-Koptizke, 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.


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 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.

Herd Mentality

Dr. Carrie Klofach, Director

Herd Mentality is a small men’s a cappella ensemble. Beginning in 2007 with barbershop and gospel, Herd Mentality now also sings jazz, pop, Broadway, and traditional men’s glee. They are included in the Homecoming Concert, Christmas Concert, and a Spring Concert featuring the two Milligan a cappella groups.


dsc_0347We are delighted that you are interested in auditioning for a Music Performance Scholarship at Milligan. The Music Program at Milligan awards several talent-based performance scholarships each year to incoming freshmen, regardless of their intended major.

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. 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, Heard Mentality, and musical theatre.

For priority consideration, applicants seeking music scholarships should be admitted to Milligan College by December 1 and audition by the end of February. 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.


  1. Complete your admissions application to Milligan.
  2. Complete the music scholarship application.
  3. Contact Rita Myers, music secretary, at 423.461.8723 or rmyers@milligan.edu, to schedule an audition time AFTER you have completed the above processes (application and music form). See audition details below.

Audition dates for 2020

Friday, January 24

Saturday, February 22

AUDITION Requirements

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.

Click here for musical theatre audition requirements.

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.


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.

Other Financial Aid Opportunities

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

Visit & Apply

Calendar of Events

Apr 18 @ 7:30 pm Milligan College Seeger Chapel, Mary B. Martin Auditorium
*Update* With the college’s response to the coronavirus, Milligan has cancelled the Milligan Orchestra concert previously scheduled for April 18. For almost 40 years, the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and Milligan College have collaborated to[...]
Apr 25 @ 7:30 pm Milligan College Seeger Chapel, Mary B. Martin Auditorium
*Update* With the college’s response to the coronavirus, Milligan has cancelled the production of The Book of Ruth to be rescheduled next year. The Book of Ruth, an oratorio by Italian-American composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, will be[...]
May 2 @ 7:30 pm Milligan College Gregory Center, McGlothlin-Street Theatre
*Update* With the college’s response to the coronavirus, Milligan has cancelled the concert of “Hummin’ and Strummin’ previously scheduled for May 2. Three of Milligan’s vocal ensembles– Herd Mentality, Heritage, and Women’s Chorale, will present[...]

Music Faculty

Dr. Kellie Brown

Kellie Brown

Professor of Music; Sub-Area Chair of Music

Phone: 423.461.8978
Contact via email
Office: Seeger Memorial Chapel 108