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Keyboard Study

Department of Music

 

Steinway PianoA long history of success in keyboard studies at Millsaps was established by Dr. Jonathan Sweat, who during his tenure at Millsaps maintained a department with an enviable reputation for high performance standards.   Our current conservatory-trained keyboard faculty continues this tradition with the understanding that our young artist-musicians must value a rigorous yet well-rounded education.

In keeping with Millsaps College's liberal arts emphasis, we offer music scholarships to both music majors and non-majors. An excellent student-to-faculty ratio allows for personalized attention and study with a highly qualified faculty, all of whom are active and experienced performers.

Studies in piano or organ are available for all students with beginner piano classes for those students who have had little or no background in music, and private studio lessons for intermediate and advanced level students. Learn more about standards for piano performance (PDF) at Millsaps.

The music facilities at Millsaps are excellent, with Steinway and Boston grand pianos in most of the practice rooms, and two Steinway D concert grand pianos and a 41-rank Möeller pipe organ in the recital hall. In addition there are two excellent practice pipe organs and a 9-station piano lab for class piano study.

Our attractive campus is set in an urban center with an array of cultural offerings, from the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Opera, and New Stage Theatre to the quadrennial USA International Ballet Competition. The Bell Piano Concert Series at Millsaps offers recitals and concerts by nationally and internationally known pianists.

Students have regular opportunities to perform in masterclasses for guest artists. Recent guest pianists who have visited the campus include Robert Taub, Lambert Orkis, Constance Carroll, Melvin Chen, Angela Cheng, John Salmon, Alon Goldstein, Anton Nel, William Westney, Nelita True, Joel Sachs, and Cheryl Seltzer; plus jazz pianists Cyrus Chestnut, Orrin Evans, Willis Delony, and Stanley Cowell; and young prizewinners Esther Park, Konstantyn Travinskyy, Tatiana Tessman, Anna Bulkina, and Yoonjung Han.

The keyboard faculty strives to help our developing musicians perform at every opportunity, through appearances on campus (studio repertoire classes, departmental recitals, voice lesson accompaniments, chapel services, etc.) and in competitions through our local, state, national, and international professional musical organizations.

Over the years, Millsaps pianists have been quite successful in annual collegiate competition sponsored by MMTA, capturing awards in Freshman/Sophomore Solo Piano, Junior/Senior Solo Piano, and Concerto categories and the MTNA Young Artists National Piano Competition, every year since 2006:

  • 2006 Piano Concerto - 1st place (Walt Lott)
  • 2007 Fr/Soph Solo Piano - 2nd place (Meagan Malone)
  • 2007 Jr/Sr Solo Piano - 1st place (Walt Lott)
  • 2007 Jr/Sr Solo Piano -3rd place (Rob Stephens)
  • 2007-2008 MTNA Young Artists National Piano Competition -  Mississippi Winner  and Southern Division Honorable Mention (Walt Lott)
  • 2008 Fr/Soph Solo Piano - Honorable Mention (Joseph Richards)
  • 2009 Fr/Soph Solo Piano - 1st place (Clifford Coile)
  • 2010 Fr/Soph Solo Piano - 1st place (Gabrielle Richardson)
  • 2010 Jr/Sr Solo Piano - 1st place (Joseph Muller)
  • 2011 Fr/Soph Solo Piano - 1st place (Andrew Burke)
  • 2011 Fr/Soph Solo Piano - Honorable Mention (Gabrielle Richardson)
  • 2011 Jr/Sr Solo Piano - 1st place (Clifford Coile)
  • 2011 Jr/Sr Solo Piano -2nd place (Jorge Jimenez)
  • 2011-2012 MTNA Young Artists National Piano Competition -  Mississippi Winner  and Southern Division Honorable Mention (Colin McDearman)
  • 2011-2012 MTNA Young Artists National Piano Competition - Mississippi Alternate (Gabrielle Richardson)
  • 2012 Fr/Soph Solo Piano - 1st place (Andrew Burke)

For more information contact Dr. Rachel Heard.