Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Millikin's premiere large instrumental ensemble offers students a rich experience in collaborative music making. The MSWE tours frequently and performs often in schools throughout the Midwest. In 1985, 1992, 2000, and 2012 the MSWE was featured at the Illinois Music Educators Association Conference. In 1994 and 2009 the ensemble performed in Indianapolis at the Music Educators Association North Central Conference. They also traveled to New York, NY where they performed under the direction of Frank Battisti, Conductor Emeritus of the New England Conservatory of Music.
In 1998, 2001, and 2005, the Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble toured throughout the Dominican Republic for a musical outreach program, where they performed multiple concerts. Members of the MSWE performed in Santo Domingo and La Romana, and spent time demonstrating instruments to young students in public and private schools. They also sponsored a drive for used instruments in the Decatur community and donated many instruments to students in the DR.
The Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble has released three CD recordings: Postcard from the Prairie (2002), Tempered Steel (2003), and A Tribute to John Philip Sousa (2005). These were produced by Millikin University's student-run record label, First Step Records.
The Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble is directed by Dr. Corey Seapy. Dr. Gary Shaw led the MSWE from 1982-2019.
2019-2020 Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Dr. Corey Seapy
Corey Seapy is a dynamic conductor and educator who has spent over ten years maximizing the artistic potential of a wide variety of ensembles. His versatility has allowed him to work with wind ensembles and orchestras of all ages and ability levels. He is committed to sharing meaningful repertoire, and has led works by historically significant composers including Bach, Beethoven, Copland, Grainger, Holst, Mahler, Mozart, Strauss, Stravinsky, and Varése. As a champion of new music, Dr. Seapy has recently commissioned works by Robert J. Bradshaw, Garrett Gillingham, Stefanie Lubkowski, and Daniel Morel, and has premiered over a dozen student compositions.
Dr. Seapy currently serves as Director of Bands at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, where he joined the faculty in Summer 2019. Recent highlights with the Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble include three world premieres, collaborations with composers, soloists, and dancers, a chamber mini-series at local breweries (“Beerthoven”), live streams, recordings, and a “virtual ensemble.” Prior to arriving at Millikin, he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory where he served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and studied conducting with Steven D. Davis. While in Kansas City, Dr. Seapy worked closely with composer Robert J. Bradshaw to premiere The Cost of Compassion, 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. In addition to his conducting and scholarly work, he assisted with all bands activities, including organizing and hosting the biennial National Conference for the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) in 2017.
Dr. Seapy also holds a Master of Music degree in Conducting from Ithaca College (NY), where he studied with Stephen Peterson, Cynthia Johnston Turner, and Jeffery Meyer. As a graduate assistant, he worked with the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble among other groups, gave conducting recitals, and assisted with conducting classes. He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Gordon College (MA), where he studied conducting with Gerald Dolan, David Rox, and Kenneth Phillips, and clarinet with Bill Kirkley.
Prior to living in the Midwest, Dr. Seapy conducted and taught in Massachusetts, where he served as Music Director of the Charles River Wind Ensemble, an auditioned adult group in Metro-Boston, and as Director of Bands at Ipswich High School. Earlier positions include Orchestra Director at Ipswich High School, Conducting Fellow with the Senior Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble at New England Conservatory, Assistant Conductor of the Gordon College Wind Ensemble, Conductor of the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, and Director of Bands at Georgetown High School. He has led award-winning student ensembles in venues such as Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, and on tour in England and Florida.
Dr. Seapy’s awards include Third Place and Honorable Mention awards from the American Prize in Conducting (College/University Division) and a Finalist designation from the American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance (Community Division). Guest conducting appearances include the District 214 Band Festival, Orchestra on the Hill, Adirondack Mountain Club Music Retreat Orchestra, and MMEA Western Junior District Band, along with many visits to universities and high schools. He presented a poster on Electroacoustic Analysis and Steven Bryant’s Solace at the 2018 CBDNA Southwestern Division Conference, a session on his website at the 2019 CBDNA National Conference at Arizona State University, and will present a digital session on conducting at the 2021 Indiana Music Education Association Conference. Dr. Seapy’s article on wind repertoire with ties to Ithaca was published in the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Journal, and he produced a collage concert to honor the 100th Anniversary of the WWI armistice in Kansas City in 2018.
Dr. Seapy currently resides in Decatur, where he loves to study music and spend time with his wife, Chelsea, a fellow musician-educator, and their excitable dog, Koji.
Corey Seapy | Director of Bands
Live performance of Radiant Joy by Steven Bryant in 2019:
Live antiphonal performance of Intrada 1634 at the 2019 Collage Concert:
Live performance of Shenadoah by Omar Thomas in 2020: