Millikin University is a fantastic place to learn. Take it from me! I grew up in Decatur, and never thought much about Millikin until I went there. The musical training I received there was incredible. For my first three years, Dr. Timothy Schmidt was my voice teacher. Tim is a wonderful man, a great singer, and a fabulous voice teacher. It was a very sad day for me when he took a job Southeast Missouri State University, but I could only be happy for him to be moving onto another chapter in his career. Lucky for me, in my final year, I was able to study voice with Terry Stone, the Director of Millikin’s Opera Theatre program. Terry is passionate about teaching; this was evident as a cast member in the operas, and even more so as a private voice student. It was very fortuitous that I was able to be taught by these two great men during my time at Millikin.
The Millikin Opera productions were a great learning experience for me. While I was studying, there were two full opera productions each year. The first production was done in conjunction with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, held in the 1,903 seat Kirkland Fine Arts Center. Having the opportunity to sing with an orchestra was a great thing as a young singer; it gave me a huge amount of inspiration to continue on with my studies and get to do it more often!
As of now, three full opera productions are staged each year. The Fall Opera is produced in partnership with the New Brunswick Early Music Festival summer immersion course. The summer production is revised, restaged and presented with a full cast of Millikin University students in Perkinson Music Center’s Kaeuper Hall. The Spring Opera is a full-length production held in the newly renovated Albert Taylor Theatre in early February. In late spring a third production is presented in Kaeuper Hall. This one-act opera is selected, directed and produced by members in the Opera Workshop class under the supervision of the Opera Workshop faculty.
While at Millikin, I lived in Millikin University area housing provided by Derrick Bradshaw of Quality Home Locator. This is a great company that has a large amount of student housing within a few blocks of campus and The DISC. His houses are all newly renovated; a far cry from the dirty, worn out places where many of my friends lived! Derrick is a great person to rent from, and he is quick to fix anything that might break in the home (which doesn’t happen often in these newly remodeled homes). Quality Home Locator offers very competitive pricing which I definitely miss, now that I’m gone!