School of Music

Music as a Foundation

The School of Music opened its doors on September 5, 1903 with the opening of Millikin University. The school had five instructors led by Hermann Kaeuper, its first director.

Originally housed in Shilling Hall, the Music Department expanded rapidly until every possible usable space for music instruction and practice was occupied.

In 1910, the Trustees of the Millikin Estate announced the construction of two buildings, including one to house the School of Music. Mr. Kaeuper led the design and construction of the facility, from the doorknobs and windows on the practice rooms to the seaweed insulation placed in the walls.

The renovations and expansion of the original music building began in 1998 and were completed in 2000 as part of the Advancing the Vision capital campaign. C.D. and Pat Perkinson donated $8 million towards the campaign, the largest single gift in university history. In recognition of their generous donation, the building was renamed the Perkinson Music Center.

Hermann Kaeuper

Hermann H. Kaeuper was the first Director of the Millikin University Conservatory of Music serving from 1903-1913.

battalion band

The Battalion Band was the first organized band on campus. They performed concerts on campus and marched in parades. The band was renamed in 1909.

piano class

One of the first classes of Keyboard Studies Students in their Shilling Hall classroom. Hermann Kaeuper is standing in the back of the room.

conservatory lobby

The new Conservatory of Music lobby area, February 1913. Many of the original architectural details were preserved and utilized in the building's renovation and expansion.

kindergarten class

The Kindergarten Class meets in a classroom in the Conservatory of Music. The Kindergarten was a unique feature of the Conservatory, it began in 1914 and offered music classes to children from age three to seven.

glee club poster

Men's Glee Club, the predecessor to the Millikin Men, was a popular performing group on campus until the 1930s.

girl band

This unidentified photograph shows an all-girl band, ca. 1940s.

jazz band

Roger Schueler leads the Millikin Jazz Band.

Shueler joined the faculty in 1964 when the jazz studies department was in its infancy and the jazz band in its second year. Under his leadership the band toured the Middle East, South America, Central Europe, Central America, and Jamaica. It was also the first band to reach the finals of the National Intercollegiate Jazz Festival in two successive years. Schueler led the group until his resignation in May 1986.

Perkinson construction

Construction on the Perkinson Music Center continues. Renovation of Kaeuper Hall is can be seen in the right side of the photo.

new pianos

New pianos arrive for use in the renovated school of music. An anonymous donation made it possible for the school of music to become one of a small number of Steinway Schools in the country.

C.D. and Pat Perkinson

C.D. and Pat Perkinson, donors of $8,000,000 that made the renovation of the School of Music possible. Pat Perkinson was a member of the class of 1945.


This page created Oct. 3, 2001
Last modified: March 21, 2005
Copyright: Millikin University Board of Trustees