July 8, 2019 12:07 PM
Dane Lisser

Meet Millikin University's new Director of Bands Corey Seapy

Corey SeapyCorey Seapy was named Director of Bands for the Millikin University School of Music in March 2019. Starting his appointment as Director of Bands in August 2019, Seapy succeeds Dr. Gary Shaw who recently retired in July 2019 after 37 years with the Millikin School of Music.

A dynamic conductor and educator who has spent the last decade maximizing the artistic potential of a wide variety of ensembles, Corey Seapy's versatility has allowed him to work with wind ensembles and orchestras of all ages and ability levels.

"Corey Seapy will bring a new energy and excitement to Millikin's band program and contribute to all facets of our School of Music," said Brian Justison, director of the Millikin School of Music. "His enthusiasm for music and advancing music education makes us eager to see him working with our talented students and faculty."

In a recent article from the Herald & Review, Seapy shared details on what got him interested in music, the different instruments he plays and his goals as Director of Bands at Millikin.

"I've been passionate about music for as long as I can remember. My mom got me started on clarinet when I was growing up overseas because she and her sisters played that instrument through high school," said Seapy. "I quickly became enamored with all sorts of music, and my love for the art form continues to grow daily."

Seapy completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music and Dance where he served as a graduate teaching assistant and studied conducting with Steven D. Davis.

"I became a middle and high school band director in the Boston area at the age of 21. I taught in the public schools for a total of six years, and led collegiate bands as a graduate student for five more," he said. "I've been honored to work with a wide variety of bands consisting of everyone from sixth-grade students to professional musicians to retirees."

Seapy's recent appearances in Kansas City include performances of works by Grantham, Pann, Poulenc and Stravinsky. He worked closely with composer Robert J. Bradshaw to premiere "The Cost of Compassion," a piece in which music, narration and dance rely on real-time audience input. He also premiered a work by Viet Cuong with the UMKC Saxophone Ensemble at the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Alongside his conducting and scholarly activity at UMKC, Seapy worked with the Conservatory Wind Symphony, Conservatory Wind Ensemble and all Bands Department activities. In 2017, he helped organize and host the biennial National Conference for the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA).

"As a conductor, my primary instrument is the ensemble I get to stand in front of. My serious playing days are probably behind me, but I can still hold my own on clarinet and saxophone, and I play some flute and piano as well," he said.

Seapy added, "I'm extremely grateful to be following in Gary Shaw's footsteps at Millikin, and I look forward to picking up where he left off. My immediate goals are to get to know my new students and colleagues, and to start making and teaching music. I hope to get the band sounding as good as we possibly can sound, and to present engaging and inspiring concerts to the Decatur community. I'm a big fan of collaborating and discovering different ways that students and audience members can connect through music. Lastly, I'd love to contribute to the continued growth of the School of Music. It would be amazing to have two bands in the years to come."

Seapy's recent awards include an Honorable Mention from the American Prize in Conducting (College/University Division) and a Finalist designation from the American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance (Community Division). His guest conducting appearances include the Orchestra on the Hill, Adirondack Mountain Club Music Retreat Orchestra, MMEA Western Junior District Band, and the Lakes Region Junior High Music Festival, along with many rehearsal clinics at universities and public schools.

Seapy holds a Master of Music in Conducting from Ithaca College – New York and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Gordon College.