The Millikin University Choir
The flagship of the Millikin choral fleet, the University Choir features 43 upper-class students from a variety of majors. Membership in the choir places high demands on students who travel extensively throughout the United States representing the university in a variety of settings. In recent years, the choir has also toured internationally to Spain, Ireland, Scotland, England, China, Taiwan, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. The Millikin University Choir has gained national recognition, due in part to six invitations to perform at national and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Their performances have fostered new conversations in response to their approach to tone, style and programming. The choir has six recordings on Millikin's FirstStep Records label.
Dr. Benjamin Hawkinson, Director
Dr. Benjamin Hawkinson is the Associate Director of Choirs at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. There, he conducts Collegiate Chorale, along with Vocal Jazz groups OneVoice and BluBop. 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.