Millikin’s School of Music announces new conducting, teaching appointments

Hawkinson named director of choral activities; Widelitz to lead Collegiate and Treble Choirs

Campus in summer
  • Dr. Benjamin Hawkinson

        Millikin University School of Music Director Brian Justison announced on Aug. 9 that Dr. Benjamin Hawkinson has been named director of choral activities at Millikin. Currently assistant professor of music, Dr. Hawkinson will serve as conductor for Millikin’s flagship choir, the University Choir, as well as Millikin’s premier vocal jazz ensemble OneVoice and the tenor-bass True Blue Chorale.

    • Since my arrival three years ago, I have been blown away by how much the students and alumni care for Millikin — and with good reason! The strength of our community and our traditions of choral excellence have made me a proud member of the Millikin family. It is an honor to step into this new role, and I look forward to continuing to share the music and talents of our incredible students
    — Dr. Benjamin Hawkinson,
  • Justison also announced a new addition to Millikin’s School of Music faculty — Nate Widelitz will serve as conductor of the Collegiate Chorale and Treble Choir while also teaching classes in conducting and music education. 

    “I’m thrilled to be joining such a robust program at a time of such exciting change, and I’m looking forward to forging a path ahead with my students that is responsive to the times we’re living in,” said Widelitz, who has taught music throughout the U.S.

    Nate Widelitz

    Widelitz has traveled to three continents as a singer, conductor, scholar and teacher and is deeply committed to high-level music-making and the education of young musicians. He has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Los Angeles’s Disney Hall and Hollywood Bowl, Singapore’s Esplanade and Osaka’s Izumi Hall under the batons of Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Möst, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Bramwell Tovey, Nicholas McGegan, Masaaki Suzuki and Helmuth Rilling.

    Widelitz has also conducted choirs in Salzburg Cathedral; participated in masterclasses with Max van Egmond, David Hayes and Erwin Ortner; prepared choruses for Helmuth Rilling, Carl St. Clair and Sir Gilbert Levine; and earned numerous television and film credits throughout his career.

    “The quality and integrity of our vocal ensemble programs is paramount to the continued success of Millikin’s School of Music. I am thrilled to welcome these new appointments,” Justison said.