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. The MSWE 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 traveled to 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.  The MSWE 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.

After over three decades under the direction of Dr. Gary Shaw, the Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble is now led by Dr. Corey Seapy.

About the Conductor

Corey Seapy is a dynamic conductor and educator, who has spent the last decade 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 and Stefanie Lubkowski, and has premiered over a dozen student compositions.

Dr. Seapy was recently appointed Director of Bands at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, where he joined the faculty in Summer 2019. Prior to this appointment, 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. Recent performances in Kansas City featured works by Grantham, Pann, Poulenc, and Stravinsky. Dr. Seapy 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. Alongside his conducting and scholarly activity at UMKC, Dr. Seapy assisted 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).

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 David Rox 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 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). Guest conducting appearances include the Orchestra on the Hill, Adirondack Mountain Club Music Retreat Orchestra, MMEA Western Junior District Band, and Lakes Region Junior High Music Festival, along with many rehearsal clinics at universities and public schools. He presented a poster on Electroacoustic Analysis and Steven Bryant’s Solace at the 2018 CBDNA Southwestern Division Conference, and a session on his website,, at the 2019 CBDNA National Conference at Arizona State University. His article on wind repertoire with ties to Ithaca was published in the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Journal, and he recently wrote narration for and produced a conservatory-wide collage concert to honor the 100th Anniversary of the WWI armistice in Kansas City.

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

Corey Seapy | Director of Bands