Conservatory of Music


Millsaps College Conservatory


The Millsaps Conservatory of Music, in conjunction with Millsaps College and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, offers the highest quality music education to aspiring musicians of all ages, regardless of skill level or economic background. It places students in a creative environment that inspires musical excellence and fosters discovery of their unique expressive voice.

Our primary and future goals are to:

  • Provide community engagement between Millsaps Conservatory of Music, Millsaps College, Mississippi Symphony OrchestraMississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the greater Jackson metropolitan area.
  • Serve all who would like to study and understand the art of music.
  • Develop a wide variety of educational programs for students of all ages and levels of study.
  • Offer the highest quality of music instruction available in the greater Jackson metropolitan area.


Private lessons and classes take place on the Millsaps College campus, in the Academic Complex building. Recitals and other musical presentations are held in the 450-seat Recital Hall. The music facilities at Millsaps are excellent, with Steinway and Boston grand pianos in most of the teaching studios and practice rooms, and two Steinway D concert grand pianos in the Recital Hall and a 9-station piano lab for musicianship and group piano study.

Millsaps Conservatory of Music Students 

To register for studies at Millsaps Conservatory of Music, please fill out a registration form, and send to: Millsaps College, 1701 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39210, c/o Rachel Heard, director of the Millsaps Conservatory of Music. At the time of registration, please indicate how you will pay for tuition: 1.) Full tuition for the semester, or 2.) 5-month Bank Draft payment. If you plan on paying the full tuition amount, payment is due by the end of the first week of lessons to ensure your place for the semester. If you plan on paying with the 5-month Bank Draft payment plan, you the first month payment + completed bank-draft form are due by the end of the first week of lessons to ensure your place for the semester. 

If you would like to discontinue your studies at Millsaps Conservatory of Music and you are using the Bank Draft payment plan, you will need to let us know before September 17, 2016 in order to stop payment. The final monthly payment for the fall semester will be December 10, 2016. The final monthly payment for the spring semester will be May 10, 2017. 

Deadline for current and new student registration for 14-week semester of private instrumental or vocal studies is September 23, 2016 in the fall, and February 17, 2017 in the spring. Deadline for 10-week classes and ensembles is September 16, 2016 for the fall semester, and February 3, 2017 for spring semester.

See a campus map.


Chamber Music Camp

The Millsaps College Department of Music offers a Chamber Music Camp through the Office of Continuing Education. For camp schedules, fees and registration, please contact the music department office, 601.974.1422.

The Millsaps College Summer Chamber Music Camp is a weeklong camp for young artists, created to promote and encourage the development of string and piano Chamber music performance. Students who are rising 7th through 12th graders will have the opportunity to work with Millsaps faculty performing artists and members of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, in a supportive atmosphere of collaborative music-making. The daily schedule includes ensemble coaching, classes, rehearsals, master classes and evening performances by the artist faculty.

Chamber Music Coaching Sessions

Prior to camp, each student will be placed in two ensembles, according to his/her level of performance and study. Students will be sent their ensemble music for study and preparation with their private teachers. During the camp, the faculty will work on this special material with each ensemble and in master classes. Ensembles will also be given time to rehearse on their own and as a group during the week.

Admission Requirements

Student performers must have at least two years of experience in private lessons, or instrumentalists must have at least three years of experience in orchestra.


Courses of Study

Millsaps Conservatory of Music offers private and group musical instruction for students of all ages, kindergarten through high school and beyond.

Private instruction is available for most all instruments and voice. Theory and musicianship classes are also available. Please consult course calendar each semester for class offerings and availability.


Extravoixganza! - For Classical and Musical Theatre Singers
Extravoixganza! is a 10-week vocal Master Class/Studio Class starting January 22, 2017. The class is geared toward intermediate to advanced singers familiar with basic vocal technique. It is ideal for the adult vocational music lover as well as aspiring college and advanced high school performers who seek additional instruction and a constructive performance outlet. Find out more about Extravoixganza!

Musikgarten - Cycle of Seasons (ages 3-5)
Celebrate your child’s love of nature and growing independence through musical activities focused on the seasons. Classes are designed to build attention and self-expression. Activities include singing, chanting, moving, listening, musical games, exploring musical instruments, creative movement and storytelling. Find out more, including calendar and tuition. 

Music Theory/Musicianship Classes (offered to  students in 7th-9th grade and 10th-12th grade)
Theory classes will include writing and ear training components to enhance musical communication and analytical skills. Composition lessons will allow students to develop their own musical expressions, and they will present their works at the end of each semester. Find out more, including calendar and tuition. 

Private Lessons Schedule for the Academic Calendar Year 2016-17 will include the following:

Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Guitar, and Voice

  • Calendar includes 28-week lesson schedule from August through May.
  • Parent observation week takes place during the week of October 24 to discuss the progress and share future plans for their child’s course of study. A second observation will be scheduled at the end of the spring semester to review the year’s progress and discuss future plans.
  • Student Recital opportunities are offered throughout the year. Teachers will encourage their students to participate in these recitals for goal setting and in preparation for other festivals organized by local and state music teacher organizations.
  • All students are encouraged to participate in local and state performance evaluations, and other group activities organized by the Millsaps Conservatory.
  • Student performance evaluations are scheduled at the end of the spring semester.
  • Summer Private Lessons – Please consult with your teacher for availability. Students might like to try out a new instrument during the summertime, or to receive extra lessons or training in preparation for the coming year. Payment is based on “per lesson” fee. 

Class and Group Instruction Schedule for the Academic Calendar Year 2016-17 will include the following:

Chamber Music Ensembles:
String Ensembles
Piano and String Ensembles
Piano Ensembles

Theory/Musicianship Classes

Calendar includes 20-week class schedule from September through May. Students may enroll for one semester at a time. A list of current theory classes to be offered for the 2016-17 school year is forthcoming. Ensembles will be formed based on enrollment. The Millsaps College Continuing Education Division offers group music classes in their Community Enrichment Series. Please visit the Community Enrichment website to see a full list of group classes.



Cheryl Coker, voice
BMEd – University of Southern Mississippi, MM – University of Southern Mississippi, DMA – University of Minnesota
601.974.1425 | Email –

Alex Encinas, viola & violin
BM – Gnessin-Institut Moscow, MM University of Southern Mississippi

Gayle Entrekin, flute
BM,  MM – Rice University; additional studies with Geoffrey Gilbert, DeLand, Fl.

Taylis Fernandez, cello
Conservatory Studies – Escuela Nacional de Arte (Havana, Cuba), Undergraduate Studies – Oklahoma State University BM – University of Southern Mississippi, MM – University of Southern Mississippi

Ken Graves, clarinet/saxophone 
BM – University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music, MM – University of Southern California, Conservatory Studies - The Colburn School

Rachel Heard, piano 
BM – The Juilliard School, MM – The Juilliard School, DMA – Rutgers University
601.974.1420 | Email –

James C. Martin, voice 
BM/oboe minor - Illinois Wesleyan University; voice - MM - The Juilliard School; Juilliard Opera Center Fellowship; Professional Operatic Apprenticeship's with Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and L'Opera national du Rhin (Strasbourg, FRANCE)

Lynn Raley, piano
BM – Southern Methodist University, MM – University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, DMA – Rutgers University
601.974.1423 | Email -

Kazuaki Shiota, theory/composition/technology
BM -- University of North Texas
MM, DMA - University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music

Danuta Szlubowska, piano
BM - Elsner Music Conservatory (Warsaw, Poland), MM Chopin Academy of Music (Warsaw, Poland), Post-Grad Diploma - Institute of Music Pedagogy, Warsaw University (Warsaw, Poland).

Marta Szlubowska, violin
Conservatory Studies – K. Szymanowski Music Liceum, (Warsaw, Poland), BM – Peabody Conservatory of Music, AD – Peabody Conservatory of Music, MM – University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Email -

James Turner, guitar
BM, MM – University of Southern Mississippi

Karen Wissel, Musikgarten
BFA - Ohio State University





July-August 22
Pre-Registration: All applicants should use the registration form

August 22
Fall semester lessons begin
Theory and Musicianship Class Placement Test - for more information, please call 601.942.8839.

September 5
Labor Day Holiday

September 6
Fall semester classes and ensembles begin

October 8
Student Recital
AC Recital Hall

October 10-11
Millsaps College Fall Break

October 24-28
Parent observation week

November 12
MCM student recital
AC Recital Hall

November 19
Music Forum of Jackson/Millsaps College
Sonatina-Sonata Festival

November 23–27
Thanksgiving Break

December 10
First semester ends

December 12–January 8
Christmas Holiday

January 9
Spring semester begins

January 16
Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday

January 23
Spring semester classes and ensembles begin

January 28
All-Baroque Recital
AC Recital Hall

March 13-17
Spring break

March 18
Student Recital
AC Recital Hall

April 14-16
Easter Weekend – No classes scheduled

April 29
Spring Recitals
AC Recital Hall

May 2–4
Student Evaluations

May 17
Second Semester Ends



Step 1

Fill out the registration form completely. Return to Millsaps Office of Continuing Education, Academic Complex Building Room 100, or send the form to Millsaps Conservatory of Music, c/o Rachel Heard, Millsaps College, 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS, 39210. Along with the registration form, please submit one of the following:

  • Payment of full tuition amount, or  
  • Complete the MCM Bank Draft Authorization to sign up for the 5-month payment plan.  Return the form with the first month’s tuition payment to Millsaps Office of Continuing Education, Academic Complex Building Room 100, or send to the form to Millsaps Conservatory of Music, c/o Rachel Heard, Millsaps College, 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS, 39210.

Step 2

After receiving the registration form and tuition payment, MCM will contact each student with information regarding registration and teacher placement. At this time, students will also receive teacher contact information for all classes or private lessons. Private lesson times will be arranged between students and teachers. Tuition payment will not be deposited until all lesson and class arrangements have been made. 

Step 3

Once a lesson or class/ensemble confirmation is received by the director, tuition payment will be deposited.

Find further information about tuition.



For Private Lessons, Musicianship Classes, and Chamber Ensembles

As part of the registration process, tuition fee for private lessons can be paid in one of two ways:

1. In full at the beginning of each semester in August and January.

2. Using the 5-month bank draft payment service, with the first month’s payment due in August (and January for new students) at the time of registration, and the 10th day of the subsequent months by bank draft - i.e., September, October, November, and December for the Fall Semester; and January, February, March, April, and May for the Spring Semester.

Payment can be made in full by check or credit card, or using the 5-month bank draft payment service. Checks should be made out to Millsaps College and sent to: Millsaps Conservatory of Music, c/o Rachel Heard, Millsaps College, 1701 North State St, Jackson, MS, 39210. If a student decides to discontinue lessons at the conclusion of the fall semester and has selected the monthly payment plan, the Millsaps Business office must be notified in writing to stop bank draft payment for the spring semester. A $50 fee will be charged for any returned checks or bank drafts. 

Semester Tuition for Private Lessons

14-week semester (Fall and Spring)
  Full Semester Tuition 5 Monthly Payments
30-Minute $560 $112
45-Minute $700 $140
60-Minute $840 $168






Semester Tuition for Musicianship Classes and Chamber Ensembles

Classes and Ensemble tuition must be paid in full at the beginning of the semester.

  Per Semester
Musicianship Class (10 weeks) $200
Small Group Ensembles (10 weeks) $250





Attendance Policies

1. Students are expected to regularly attend all lessons, classes, and ensemble rehearsals, and must notify the teacher 24 hours in advance of any absences. Since the teacher has reserved a weekly lesson or class time for each student, the teacher is not required to make up a lesson missed by the student due to illness, vacation, schedule conflict, etc. If a teacher has time available during their regular teaching hours, a courtesy make-up lesson may be offered, but only at the discretion of the teacher.

2. If a teacher cancels a lesson/class or if MCM closes for any reason, a make-up lesson/class will be offered. In addition, a credit is not available for make-up lessons or classes that are agreed-upon and then missed by the student.

3. When illness is involved, please be responsible. Students should not attend lessons, classes or rehearsals if they are ill and/or contagious. If a teacher determines that the student is too ill to have a lesson, they have the right to send the student home.

4. Exceptions to these policies will certainly be considered in the rare case of serious illness or other emergency situations and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Withdrawal Policy for Classes or Lessons

Students and parents who register for lessons or classes at the Millsaps Conservatory of Music must commit to continuing their studies for the full semester.

Withdrawal by the student from lessons or a class can only be made before the conclusion of the fourth week of classes each semester to receive a partial refund (Fall Semester – Saturday, September 24, 2016; and Spring Semester – Saturday, February 11, 2017). Students will be responsible for paying for the number of lessons received up until (and including) the fourth week of the semester. After the fourth week of classes, students will be responsible for the entire semester of tuition. If a student decides to discontinue lessons at the conclusion of the fall semester and has selected the monthly payment plan, the Millsaps Business office must be notified in writing to stop bank draft payment for the spring semester.

Millsaps Conservatory of Music will discontinue lessons under the following circumstances:

1. Non-payment, or late/insufficient funds payment of tuition.

2. More than four lessons missed without a valid excuse.