As Director of Choir Programs at Millikin University, Dr. Brad Holmes conducts the University Choir and the Millikin Men while overseeing a multi-tiered program of traditional choirs and a variety of vocal ensembles led by a nationally recognized choral staff.
Choirs under Dr. Holmes’ direction have sung in every state but Alaska and in thirty-six countries. He was a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University for two academic terms and has returned to the UK for multiple guest-conducting engagements, choral workshops and tours. Other international invitations have included engagements in Continental Europe, China, Korea and Japan. Domestically, Dr. Holmes has led over three-hundred choir festivals and choral clinics including twenty-seven All-State choirs, regional ACDA honor choirs, district festivals and church music clinics throughout the United States. His compositions and arrangements are available from Santa Barbara Music Publishers and Morning Star Publishers.
Annual tours have made The Millikin University Choir a familiar presence in concert series across the United States. Additionally, the choir has traveled internationally throughout Continental Europe, into Russia and across the United Kingdom. While visiting China, the choir made concert excursions to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Twice they have toured the Caribbean including stops in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, the choir visited the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (2014) and Spain (2017). They embark on a tour of Sicily in 2020. The choir has recorded seven CDs on Millikin’s First Step Records label.
The Millikin University Choir has gained national recognition, due in part to seven invitations to perform at national and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). The choir has been at the forefront of the ‘tonal diversity’ movement exploring vocal approaches rooted in historical precedence, national custom and folk-music traditions. In this way, the choir seeks to create a separate sound for each piece in its repertoire.
Dr. Holmes received the M.M. degree in conducting from the University of New Mexico and the D.M.A. degree in choral music from Arizona State University. Prior his appointment at Millikin, he was Associate Director of Choirs at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.