Music

Make music at Millsaps

Millsaps College offers rigorous musical training programs within a broad liberal arts experience. We provide instruction to students of all ability levels through private lessons, ensemble performance, diverse course topics and professional development opportunities. Our faculty not only encourage student musicians to learn how to master their craft, but also continually ask the question “Why?” — coupling practical knowledge and skill with curiosity and critical investigation.

Featured Courses

Here is a sampling of a few courses that might pique your interest.

MUSC 1000 Integrative Music Theory I
Reinforce the skills needed for a comprehensive understanding of tonal music. We develop musicality through theory and analysis, aural skills, historical contextualization, modeling, performance and composition.
MUSC 2160 Protest & Propaganda:The Power of Music
An investigation into the ways music has been used to persuade, inspire, and mobilize. With a primary focus on American protest music since the 1930's, this course will also examine how music has been a tool for the propagation of abhorrent ideas, both in the US and around the world.

Degree Options

Discover your degrees, minors, concentrations and certification options available for this field of study.

Minor in Music

7.6% Growth in Job Demand for Music Majors

Music careers are expected to grow 7.6% between 2016 and 2026.*

Digital Landscape Opens New Doors

Digitization of the music industry and social media opened new doors that give music majors a better advantage at establishing careers.

Millsaps Singers Open to All

The Millsaps Singers is the oldest and largest performance group on campus. It is open to all students, regardless of major or previous choral experience.
* 2023 College Factual

Our distinctive strengths

Millsaps College offers rigorous musical training programs within a broad liberal arts experience. In keeping with the Millsaps vision and mission statements, the music faculty encourages students to participate in community engagement and outreach, and to explore ways to bring their work to the public.
  • Millsaps performance ensembles provide numerous opportunities for music majors to shine.
  • The Music Department offers professional development opportunities with teaching fellowships and the community music school at Millsaps College, vocal and keyboard fellowships and Internships, and Millsaps Ford Fellowships.
  • Study abroad opportunities in Italy, Taiwan, London, Prague and Vienna.
  • Millsaps’ location in Jackson, Mississippi, which is midway between the Mississippi Delta and the city of New Orleans, provides ample opportunities to connect with the roots of American music.

Music Ensembles

Millsaps Singers

The Millsaps Singers is the oldest and largest music performance organization at the college. Membership in Singers is open to all students, regardless of major or previous choral experience. The choir performs a variety of repertoire for the college and community, and prepares at least one choral orchestral program annually.

The Millsaps Singers typically perform a fall concert, a Christmas concert and two spring concerts. Music for Singers includes a highly diverse repertoire of masterworks, international and ethnic works, and recent additions to the choral repertory.

Special opportunities are available to students through our affiliation with professional performance organizations in the metropolitan Jackson area. The Millsaps Singers have collaborated with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in MSO’s performance of Francis Poulenc’s Gloria, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “The Resurrection” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. The Millsaps Singers rehearse Tuesday and Thursday from 11:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. and on Friday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact Jonathan Trotter.

Chamber Singers

Chamber Singers is the elite vocal performance ensemble at Millsaps College, and its membership represents the most dedicated students of vocal music on campus. The choir was formed in 1993 with the stated mission of bringing choral presentations of high quality to United Methodist congregations in Mississippi. Through the sharing of music we strive to strengthen the ties between Millsaps and communities throughout our state and beyond.

In addition to their local musical outreach, the Chamber Singers tour both nationally and internationally. The choir has been heard in Ireland, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, England and Greece. Closer to home the choir has traveled to New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville and Chattanooga.

The Chamber Singers perform sacred and secular repertoire from all musical eras, with a particular focus on a cappella works. Auditions are open to members of the Millsaps Singers and each Chamber Singer receives a scholarship for their efforts. Rehearsals are on Monday and Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Jonathan Trotter.

The Millsaps Percussion Ensemble

The Millsaps Percussion Ensemble performs a variety of repertoire from classical arrangements through contemporary and world works. Student percussionists are afforded the opportunity to gain experience on a variety of instruments.

Jazz Ensemble

Millsaps College Jazz Ensemble is an eclectic group of young vocalists and instrumentalists, both majors and non-majors, who are willing to explore and expand their musicianship and improvisational skills by performing works from the traditional jazz standards repertoire, as well as today’s popular music. Musicians of all skill levels are invited to join this popular group. The Millsaps Jazz Ensemble performs for functions both on campus and in popular venues around Jackson. For more information, contact Jason Mathena.

Major Pep

Major Pep, or the Millsaps Pep Band, performs for home football and basketball games throughout the school year. This ensemble is open to all student and Millsaps community musicians who have previous band experience and general enthusiasm for noise. Major Pep enjoys an undefeated home record as the loudest pep band in the Southern Athletic Conference.

Gain hands-on experience

The Music Department offers many professional development opportunities. From teaching fellowships within Millsaps Conservatory of Music, the community music school at Millsaps College, to vocal and keyboard fellowships and internships with area churches and Millsaps Ford Fellowships. The Music Department offers study-abroad opportunities in the following areas: Italy tour with Millsaps Singers; Taiwan; London; Prague and Vienna. Senior Thesis/Capstone Project Undergraduate Thesis allows all music majors to explore a research topic based on their personal interest in music, working closely with one of our music professors. All applied music lessons and ensembles allow students to experience the art of music making. This experiential-learning component in music allows students to realize the application of music knowledge through performance-based skill sets. Applied music lessons and ensemble participation is required of all music majors, minors and certificate of performance students.

Pathways

Our curriculum emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking skills essential to any career (and therefore any Pathway), as well as scientific writing and experimentation skills that may be especially critical to students interested in the Arts, Culture & Communications Pathways track.

Study Abroad

The Performing Arts Department is closely aligned with the college’s award-winning study-abroad program and offers international study opportunities in London, Prague and Vienna, Italy, and Taiwan.

More About the Degree

Recent Career Placements

  • Head of the Music Program at Wells APAC in Jackson Public Schools
  • Performing Artist at the Los Angeles Opera
  • College and university professor positions
  • Owner of music production business in Beijing, China.

Postgraduate Study

  • The Juilliard School
  • The Curtis Institute
  • NYU Film Composition Program
  • University of Southern Mississippi
  • University of Mississippi
  • Louisiana State University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Kansas
  • University of North Carolina — Greensboro
  • University of Southern California

Careers of Recent Graduates

  • Music Education
  • Choral and Instrumental Conducting
  • Composition
  • Performance
  • Music Production
  • Marketing, Journalism and Management
  • Neuroscience & Music
  • Music Therapy

Related Areas of Study

  • Neuro- and Cognitive Sciences
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Self-Designed Major
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies and Sociology/Anthropology
  • Art/Studio Art

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Latest News

Q&A with Victoria Gorham

Millsaps was a transformative institution for me. I always knew I wanted to teach at a liberal arts college like it when I finished graduate school.

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Millsaps Approves New Majors and Master’s Programs

Millsaps Approves New Majors and Master’s Programs

Keeping with our vision to produce informed, creative-thinking and versatile people who are career-ready, Millsaps College recently expanded its curriculum by approving six new majors for undergraduates and two new master’s degree programs.

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