Experienced, Exceptional Conductors

Dr. Ben Hawkinson is the Assistant Professor of Music at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. There, he conducts Collegiate Chorale, along with Vocal Jazz groups One Voice and Bluebop. Previously, Hawkinson served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Whittier College in Southern California where he taught the College Choir and Chamber Choir. At Texas Tech University, he was an instructor and graduate teaching assistant. There he conducted the University Choir, Matador Singers men's chorus, taught courses in vocal pedagogy, conducting, and choral techniques and conducted the world premiere of J. Todd Frasier’s opera Breath of Life. Hawkinson is an active clinician, presenter, and researcher. Recent presentations include the Texas Choral Director's Association convention on Renaissance and Baroque performance practice with accompanying teaching strategies, Arizona State University’s Freedom Conference on Music and Social Change, Northern Arizona University’s student ACDA Chapter on Time Management for teachers, and is continuing research on the vocal improvisation practices of the late Italian Renaissance. Dr. Hawkinson holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from Texas Tech University, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Northern Arizona University.

Beth Holmes currently conducts the Millikin Women, a choir comprised of 80 selected singers, and serves on the Millikin voice faculty. Under her direction the choir hosts an annual Women's Choral Festival on campus, takes an Illinois tour, and performs for the popular Millikin Christmas Vespers and other annual concerts. Beth is an active guest conductor, directing District and All-State festival choirs and Convention Honor Choirs throughout the Midwest. Recent appearances include Women’s Honor Choirs on the 2010 Regional ACDA convention in Minneapolis, as well as state ACDA conventions in Illinois, Florida, and Minnesota.  A graduate of Kansas State University, Beth subsequently completed a Masters in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University. She served as the Artistic and Musical Director of the Millikin University Children & Youth Choir Program for 7 years, conducting its premiere ensemble and coordinating a staff of conductors, managers, and Millikin student interns. She has served as ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair for Women’s Choir in both Iowa and Illinois, and maintains a private voice studio in her home.

Dr. Brad Holmes is the Director of Choir Programs at Millikin University in Decatur, IL.  Prior his appointment at Millikin, Dr. Holmes was Associate Director of Choirs at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  During this time at Millikin, Dr. Holmes has overseen the growth of the choral program to four traditional choirs and a variety of smaller vocal ensembles involving more than 250 students and a nationally recognized choral staff.  Choirs under his direction have sung in every state but Alaska.  The more than 300 festivals and workshops conducted by Dr. Holmes include All-State choirs, regional ACDA honor choirs, district festivals and church music clinics throughout the United States.  Internationally, his choirs have toured to 35 countries.  He was a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University for two academic terms, working primarily with the Choir of Clare College.  He returns to England frequently for conducting engagements and choral workshops.  Other international guest-conducting opportunities have taken him to Continental Europe, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.  Dr. Holmes’ compositions are published by First Step Publishing, Santa Barbara Music Press and Morning Star Publishers.  Additional arrangements may be found at Bradholmesmusic.com.