The nationally recognized Millikin University Choir will begin its 2018 winter tour with a performance on Thursday, Jan. 11, at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, located at 1411 Cross St. in O’Fallon, beginning at 7 p.m. The concert is free to the public and free-will offerings are accepted.
The flagship of the Millikin choral fleet, the University Choir features 45 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 First Step Records label.
The Millikin University Choir is under the direction of Dr. Brad Holmes, director of choir programs. During this time at Millikin, Holmes has overseen the growth of the choral program to four traditional choirs and a variety of smaller vocal ensembles involving more than 250 students and a nationally recognized choral staff. Choirs under his direction have sung in every state but Alaska and have performed at more than 300 festivals and workshops conducted by Holmes, including All-State choirs, regional ACDA honor choirs, district festivals and church music clinics throughout the United States. Internationally, his choirs have toured to 35 countries.
Holmes was a visiting fellow at Cambridge University for two academic terms, working primarily with the Choir of Clare College. He returns to England frequently for conducting engagements and choral workshops. Other international guest-conducting opportunities have taken him to Continental Europe, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Holmes’ compositions are published by First Step Publishing, Santa Barbara Music Press and Morning Star Publishers.