Performance Opportunities and Degree Programs

Whether you major in Music Performance, Music Education, Commercial Music, Music Business, Bachelor of Arts in Music, or something else entirely, your opportunities for performance are unlimited at Millikin! You willl play in the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra side-by-side with Millikin faculty and professionals from across central Illinois.

In addition, we feature:

  • A student string orchestra (String Arts Ensemble)
  • A student chamber orchestra (Sinfonietta)
  • Student chamber ensembles

There are frequent opportunities to play sessions in Millikin's state-of-the-art recording studio plus the chance to "earn as you learn" performing for weddings, receptions, banquets and other community and social events.

Numerous Musical Theater, Theater, and Opera productions offer opportunities to perform in pit orchestras and on stage. There are weekly Student Recitals and monthly String Area Recitals. The annual Concerto/Aria Competition selects winners who perform with the MDSO in concert. Every year the Hollis Prize Competition selects the outstanding classical performer in the School of Music. The winner receives a $2000 cash prize and additional performance opportunities.

The Amati String Scholarship

The Amati String scholarship, offered to School of Music students, covers up to full tuition for exceptionally talented string students. For more information on The Amati String Scholarship please click the button below or contact Kim Dial at

More Info

Why choose Millikin for your music degree?

  • Millikin is one of the largest undergraduate music schools in the country
  • We have a 96% placement rate for our graduates
  • Earn your degree in four years, not five like so many other programs
  • Commercial Music majors get "hands-on"experience in the Millitrax recording studio
  • Students get the opportunity to tailor their degree to their special interest: performance, songwriting, arranging, recording technology, or education
  • Traditional business courses, music-specific business courses, and internships prepare students for a career in the business side of the music industry

Our Dean’s Scholarship for Excellence in Music and Talent Awards provide scholarship aid to students of all majors who demonstrate the highest level of performance at their entrance audition. Please contact our Audition Coordinator, Kim Dial at to schedule an audition or a sample lesson.

Audition Requirements

For Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass:

  • Perform two contrasting solo pieces
  • An etude (For violin: Dont Op. 37, Mazas, Kreutzer, or similar; For cello: Dotzauer, Lee, Merk, Schroeder, Popper, Duport or similar)
  • Three-octave major and minor scales for Violin, Viola, and Cello; two-octave major scales for Bass
  • Sight-read selected musical examples

Sharon Chung, viola, Amy Catron, cello, and Mark Tonelli, guitar


Amy Catron


Concert cellist Amy Catron has established herself as one of the leading performers of her generation. She has toured and recorded extensively as a soloist and in chamber and orchestral settings throughout the United States, Europe, China, and Japan. She has appeared as a soloist with Sinfonia da Camera, Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana (BACH), Charlotte Symphony in Florida, Illinois Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Olivet Nazarene Symphony, Illini Symphony, Millikin Wind Ensemble, and Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra.

As a solo and chamber musician, she tackles repertoire ranging from the Renaissance Era to contemporaneity. Her interest in early music led to highly praised appearances as a viola da gamba player and a fruitful collaboration with Illinois’s BACH Orchestra. Catron is also an avid promoter of new music, performing and premiering many works by living composers. Her CD, Particles and Prayer, won a Global Music Award silver medal in March 2019.

Catron has been broadcast live on WILL FM. She performed the world première of Carlos Carillo’s O Casi el Alma for Cello and Orchestra, dedicated to her and commissioned in collaboration with Sinfonia da Camera, on February 13, 2015, at the Krannert Center in Urbana, Illinois. She has also given world premieres and recorded Robert Chumbley’s ParticIe I for solo cello and Particle II for cello and wind Ensemble. In April 2019, she was featured soloist with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra performing Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul.

An active orchestra musician, Catron is currently principal cellist with Sinfonia da Camera and Millikin-Decatur Symphony and associate principal with Illinois Symphony and Illinois Chamber Orchestras. Before moving to the Midwest, she was a member of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra (Florida) and performed with the Akron and Canton Symphonies (Ohio) and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra (Virginia).

In high demand as a jury member and clinician, Catron has taught and performed widely at music festivals, including InterHarmony International Music Festival (Italy), Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Illinois Wesleyan Chamber and Cello Camps, Bands of America, Illinois Summer Youth Music Programs, and the International Chamber Music Festival in Bulgaria, where she was named Artistic Director for 2015. She has also been a collaborative faculty member at Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State Universities. She reviews new publications regularly in the National American String Teachers Association quarterly journal.

Catron studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester (New York) and the University of Akron (Ohio) and is currently pursuing a DMA in Music Education from Boston University (Massachusetts). She is also active in the Suzuki Association of America, American Federation of Musicians, and Music Teachers National Association. Her principal teachers were Michael Haber and Pamela Frame. She has also advanced her studies at music festivals and in masterclass sessions with Paul Katz, Yehuda Hanani, Carter Brey, and with the Cleveland and Kronos Quartets.

Catron currently resides in Decatur, Illinois where she is the String Area Coordinator and Instructor at Millikin University.


Ion-Alexandru Malaimare

Ion-Alexandru Malaimare, a native of Romania, has performed in recitals and concerts in Europe and United States. An integral part of his career development as a musician was winning the scholarship offered by SoNoRoChamber Music Workshops. He participated in masterclasses with renowned artists such as Rachel Barton Pine, Almita Vamos, Ronny Rogoff, Helmuth Nicolai (Rosamunde Quartet), to name a few. 

He participated in numerous competitions and was the 1st Prize winner at the Young Artist Competition of MTNA and the University of Illinois Concerto Competition. With his quartet, he won awards at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition and the New York Artists International Competition, which included an invitation to perform a recital at Carnegie Hall.  He served as Concertmaster of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Principal Second violin of the Heartland Symphony Orchestra, and Evansville Philharmonic, a member of the residence quartet at the University of Evansville, and Adjunct Violin Professor at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Among other activities, he searches to expand his repertoire to include fiddle music of Romania and works from movie soundtracks. He is featured as a member of the music department for the Live Cinema workshop ‘Distant Vision’ of Francis Ford Coppola, broadcasted on July 22nd, 2016. He is interested in expanding his audience beyond the traditional concert hall. He started a TikTok channel (@1violin1bow), and together with his wife, violist YooBin Lee, created a YouTube Channel (The Eight Strings) featuring music videos for viola & violin. Ion-Alexandru plays on an Ultralight violin made in 2019 by the Canadian-American luthier Joseph Curtin.

Sharon Chung

Violist Sharon Chung enjoys an active life as a chamber and orchestral musician in Central Illinois. In addition to teaching at Millikin University she also teaches at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Sharon currently performs as principal viola with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and enjoys playing solo and chamber recitals with her husband, percussionist Jeremy Brunk. Sharon is also an active clinician, teaching at the Chicago Suzuki Institute, Illinois State University’s Viola Day, and at Millikin University’s All-State String Seminar. She has been co-principal viola of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and spent two summers with the National Repertory Orchestra, as principal violist and a featured soloist in Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote. As a chamber musician, she has performed in master classes for members of the Alban Berg, Cleveland, Tokyo, and Pacifica String Quartets.

Sharon graduated magna cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Music degree in performance. She also holds a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, where she studied with Roland Vamos. She is a registered Suzuki teacher and has completed numerous hours of training with notable Suzuki teachers Mark Bjork, Michele George, Alice Joy Lewis, and Pat D’Ercole.