The Music Department at 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 encourage student musicians to not only learn how to master their craft but also ask the question "why," coupling practical knowledge and skill with curiosity and critical investigation.

With participation from roughly one-quarter of our campus population, the Department of Music at Millsaps constitutes a dynamic creative environment that unites tradition with innovation. This is reflected in the variety of course offerings and performance ensembles, which range from choirs and chamber ensembles to instrumental jazz and experimental music.

Private instrumental music instruction is available for all students and at all levels of study, from beginner to advanced professional, from top musicians in the Jackson area, including members of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. Lessons are available for piano, organ, voice, guitar, violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, and percussion.

Music at Millsaps also offers several annual international study opportunities and is closely aligned with the College’s award-winning study-abroad program. At the same time, Millsaps’ location in the heart of Mississippi’s capital city facilitates cultural participation and the freedom to connect with the roots of American music. Our international reach combined with the strong ties to our local community situate the Music Department at a cultural crossroad where ideas and creative works intersect.

  • Cheryl W. Coker—Millsaps College

    Cheryl W. Coker

    Associate Professor of Music

    601.974.1425 | Email


    BMEd, MM, University of Southern Mississippi; DMA, University of Minnesota

    "My early passion for music began at the age of three, when my parents presented me with a toy piano. Since we lived in a small apartment, a "real" piano was not available until I was ten. Before that time, I continued to play regularly on the little instrument, developing musical skills and a growing appreciation for "making music," however that could be accomplished.

    "My philosophy of teaching reflects the title Adventures in Singing, a text written by Dr. Clifton Ware, one of my voice teachers. Encouraged at Millsaps to follow his passion, Ware began his journey at Millsaps when he majored in philosophy. He has since published several books about singing and teaching.

    "Students of voice at Millsaps bring diverse backgrounds and abilities to their study. This diversity gives me the opportunity to guide each student in exploring his or her unique potential, working together to discover his or her passion in music while finding his or her voice. A liberal arts setting provides interaction that connects disciplines within the voice studio, as conversations are initiated about philosophy, psychology, anatomy, acoustical physics, history, poetry, communication, and drama. Not all my students are voice majors, and these topics of discussion can be related to the study of voice.

    "The passion for making and sharing music continues to expand with each new student as we begin our journey of adventures in voice together. And the toy piano that started everything for me? It sits today in my studio as a reminder of my own personal journey."

  • Carol Durham—Millsaps College

    Carol Durham

    Adjunct Instructor, Organ

    601.974.1422 | Email


    BM, Mississippi College; MM, University of Tennessee

    Carol Durham holds a bachelor of music in organ from Mississippi College and a master of music in organ from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She is organist at Morrison Heights Baptist Church, performs on the harpsichord, and is active in professional music circles. She teaches at Belhaven University and Millsaps College.

  • Alejandro Encinas—Millsaps College

    Alejandro Encinas

    Adjunct Instructor, Violin and Viola; Ensemble in Residence

    601.974.1422 | Email


    MM, University of Southern Mississippi

    Alejandro Encinas is a true citizen of the world. He was born in Peru, but his passion for music has taken him to Russia, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Germany, Japan, France, and finally to the United States, where he has lived and worked in Oklahoma and Mississippi. At the beginning of his international career he studied violin in Moscow and worked as a violinist with orchestras all around the world. But it was the viola that truly captured his heart and on which he earned a master’s degree in performance at the University of Southern Mississippi. He taught violin and viola at the Ponca City public schools in Oklahoma, supporting one of the most important string programs in the country.

    As Director of Education of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, his goal is to work closely with the Jackson public schools, attract new audiences, and add his personal perspective to the education program at the MSO. To date, Alejandro’s career as a professional musician includes his participation in important festivals and institutions, including the International Tour, I Musici Estensi from Italy (viola), the International Tour, Arpeggioni Chamber Orchestra from Austria (viola), and the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. He was the Assistant to the Concertmaster at the Symphony Orchestra at the Cité Université in Paris, France, and at the Orquesta Filarmónicain Lima, Peru. He participated in the Mercosur Festival Juvenil de Orquestain Argentina as a violin teacher, and at the Universidad del Atlantico in Barranquilla, Colombia, he was a professor of violin and viola. At the Filarmonica del Caribe, he worked as Teacher and Director of Education, in charge of children’s concerts and pedagogical projects, and he conducted conferences and taught Music Appreciation (in Spanish). He also was the Artistic Director of the Asociacion Cultural Despertando Talentosin Lima, Peru, as well as the Personnel and Recruiting Coordinator at the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. In Russia, he was the manager of the Chamber Orchestra Astraxan, and the president of the Russian-Hispanic Community Association.

  • Gayle Entrekin—Millsaps College

    Gayle Entrekin

    Adjunct Instructor, Flute

    601.974.1422 | Email


    BM, MM, Rice University

    Mississippi native Gayle Entrekin joined the music department at Millsaps College in 2011 as adjunct flute instructor. She has played 2nd Flute with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and 2nd Flute and Piccolo with the Mississippi Opera since September 2000. Other orchestral performances have been with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans and the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra in Indiana.

    In June 2016, Gayle completed her 25th year of teaching music classes at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, where she continues to work with adults, adolescents, and children.

    She obtained her bachelors and masters degrees in flute performance as a student of Albert Tipton from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. After graduate school, she studied for four years with the eminent British flutist, Geoffrey Gilbert, at his home in DeLand, Florida.  Patti Adams, flutist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, has also been a mentor. Her music education training was received at Indiana University in Bloomington.

  • Taylis Fernandez—Millsaps College

    Taylis Fernandez

    Adjunct Instructor, Cello; Ensemble in Residence

    601.974.1422 | Email


    A native of Cuba, Taylis began her studies in Havana. By the age of 15, she was already a member of the prestigious chamber ensemble Ars Longa, which toured in Mexico and Colombia. In 1998, Ms. Fernandez recorded the CD Eco de las Indias, which won an important award in Europe. In the US, she has been a member of the Tulsa Symphony in Oklahoma, and the Fort Smith Symphony in Arkansas, and she was principal cellist of the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra for three years. She is an active member of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

  • Ken Graves—Millsaps College

    Ken Graves

    Adjunct Instructor, Clarinet and Saxophone

    601.974.1422 | Email


    BM, University of Cincinnati; MM, University of Cincinnati

    Ken Graves, Principal Clarinet of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra since 2010, has collaborated with leading musicians of today including Sir Neville Marriner, Leon Fleisher, James Conlon, John Williams, Paavo Jarvi, and Leonard Slatkin. He has performed chamber music with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and has appeared with the Colburn Chamber Music Society.

    Ken has participated in nationally recognized music festivals such as the Music Academy of the West, the National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, and the National Orchestral Institute. He received his bachelor of music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and his master of music degree from the University of Southern California. He has also attended the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.

    Originally from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Ken began his clarinet studies at age 11. He made his orchestral solo debut at age 15, performing Crusell’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as the winner of its concerto competition. His principal teachers include Yehuda Gilad and Richie Hawley.

  • Rachel Heard—Millsaps College

    Rachel Heard

    Associate Professor and Chair of Music; Director, Millsaps Conservatory of Music

    601.974.1420 | Email


    BM, MM, The Juilliard School; DMA, Rutgers University

    Rachel Heard, associate professor of music at Millsaps College, is active as performer, teacher and adjudicator for music organizations around the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Far East, and South America. She combines her experience on both the fortepiano and modern piano to present recitals, lectures and demonstrations of the application of period performance practice to interpretation today.

    As an active performer who loves to teach, Heard’s primary goal is to build a community of scholarly musicians eager to share their knowledge—not only on stage, but also as future scholars and teachers. “When performing and studying the great masterpieces of the past, I have always felt it was my duty to respect the composer’s wishes as much as possible, reading the score carefully and studying its historical and social context. Otherwise, these amazing works of art will not be properly understood and, in some sense, will truly cease to exist. Likewise, I feel it is my duty to share my knowledge with the next generation of musicians in order to continue the traditions that were passed on to me. I was especially fortunate to study with some of the most important pianists and fortepianists of the 20th century.”

    In recognition of her commitment to teaching and performing, Heard has received numerous grants and commendations, including the 2008–2009 Millsaps College Outstanding Young Faculty Award. Professionally, she has been an active member of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) for over 25 years, and from 2008 to 2010 she served as president of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association (affiliated with MTNA). Her three solo fortepiano recordings featuring the works of Haydn and J. C. Bach can be found on the NAXOS label. See HAYDN: Piano Sonatas Nos. 43, 44 and 47 / F Minor Variations, BACH, J.C.: Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 5 (Heard), and BACH, J.C.: Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 17 (Heard).

  • Wayne Linehan—Millsaps College

    Wayne Linehan

    Adjunct Instructor, Trumpet

    601.974.1422 | Email


    BME, The State University College at Fredonia, New York; MFA, The State University of New York at Buffalo

    Wayne Linehan holds degrees from the State University College at Fredonia, New York (bachelor of music in education) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (master of fine arts in trumpet performance), and is currently working on his doctor of musical arts degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. Mr. Linehan has been an active performer since securing the position of Second Trumpet with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in 1983, performing with Capital Brass, MSO Brass Quintet, Mississippi Opera, Meridian Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and the International Ballet Competition Orchestra. He has also played with the Chattanooga Symphony, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and the Missouri Chamber Orchestra (MOSSPAC).

    Before moving to Jackson, Wayne played with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (extra trumpet), the Buffalo Pops Orchestra (principal trumpet), Johnny Mathis (lead trumpet), and the New York production of Camelot with Richard Harris (principal trumpet). Mr. Linehan is also an adjunct professor of music at Millsaps College and at Mississippi College where he teaches brass methods and trumpet lessons, and directs the Jazz Ensemble.

    In addition to performing, Mr. Linehan has a diverse conducting background and has been Music Director and Conductor of the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra since 2001.

  • Jason Mathena—Millsaps College

    Jason Mathena

    Director, Jazz Ensemble; Adjunct Instructor, Percussion

    601.974.1422 | Email


    BME, Auburn University; MM, University of Louisiana—Lafayette; DMA, University of Southern Mississippi

    Dr. Jason Mathena is director of the Jazz Ensemble. He is also currently instructor of music and assistant band director at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi. Before coming to Co-Lin and Millsaps, Mathena taught at Southwest Mississippi Community College for three years.

    In addition to teaching, Mathena maintains a rigorous performance schedule as a member of the Mississippi Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, and Meridian Symphony. From the vibraphone, he leads two jazz combos, the Vibe Doctors and the Plus 1 Jazz Trio, both of which perform regularly in the metro Jackson area. He has many years of experience on drum set in many different professional settings, such as rock bands, jazz bands, and musicals, and currently freelances in that capacity in central and south Mississippi. Besides ensemble playing, Dr. Mathena has presented numerous recitals both academic and public and has also performed a soloist with various ensembles.

    Jason Mathena holds a DMA in Percussion performance and Pedagogy with secondary emphases in Music Theory and Music History from the University of Southern Mississippi; an MM in Percussion Performance from the university of Louisiana—Lafayette; and a bachelor of music education from Auburn University. His primary percussion teachers have included John Wooton, Jeff Prosperie, She-e Wu, Troy Breaux, Greg Byrne, Harrell Bosarge, Bud Berthold, Glenn Carter, Kent Morrow, and William Hochkeppel.

  • H. Lynn Raley

    H. Lynn Raley

    Associate Professor of Music

    601.974.1423 | Email


    BM, Southern Methodist University; MM, University of Cincinnati; DMA, Rutgers University

    Lynn Raley has performed across the United States, and in Canada, The Netherlands, Taiwan, and Thailand. He has presented solo concerts of contemporary music in Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, and New York and given concert-talks on contemporary music at numerous colleges and music schools, including the Juilliard School, Rice University, Westminster Choir College, Anderson University, and the Taipei National University of the Arts. His commitment to the music of our time has brought him engagements at the Santa Fe and Florida international festivals of electroacoustic music, the renowned NewMusicNewCollege series in Sarasota FL, and contemporary music festivals in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee.

    Dr. Raley was a Fulbright Scholar in 2012-13, teaching at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, and performing solo concerts around the island that showcased new scores by both American and Taiwanese composers. In 2015, he performed at the Burapha Music and Performing Arts International Festival in Thailand with baritone James Martin. In the U.S., he has performed with the Houston Symphony under Akira Endo, Cincinnati Philharmonia under Gerhard Samuel, Rutgers Summerfest Orchestra under Carl St. Clair, and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra under Crafton Beck. Chamber music collaborations include the José White and Amabilé string quartets.

    Last year Raley released two world premiere recordings on the Nimbus label in the space of four months. Critic Kate Wakeling in the BBC Music Magazine wrote about his solo album Maëlstrom: Contemporary American Piano Music “Rich in colour and contrast, Maëlstrom is a welcome collection of contemporary piano music by four distinguished composers. Thoughtfully complied and skillfully performed by Lynn Raley, the album places challenging new works alongside more accessible and vibrant pieces…[This is] a highly commendable release, offering rich insight into contemporary American music for piano.” Raley can also be heard in contemporary solo and ensemble works on the Leonarda and Capstone labels.

  • Jason Carl Rosenberg

    Jason Carl Rosenberg

    Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

    601.974.1427 | Email


    BA, New College of Florida; MA, PhD, University of California, San Diego

    Jason Carl Rosenberg (b.1979; Ph.D. in Music from UC San Diego) is an acclaimed composer, conductor, and music cognition researcher. Having worked in Switzerland and Singapore for several years, Dr. Rosenberg is active in several contemporary music scenes in the U.S. and abroad, and seeks to link these communities through collaborative projects and innovative programming. His concert music uses contrapuntal inventiveness and rhythmic vitality to create rich environments of “power and persuasion…and violence” (Herald Tribune). His music also features an interaction with historical models, especially from the Renaissance and Baroque, through an idiosyncratic artistic practice based on evocation and transformation. Rosenberg has been a selected composer at several festivals, including the Royaumont Abbey and the Acanthes Festival, and has received the Salvatore Martirano Award and the Foro de Música Nueva Composition Prize.

    Dr. Rosenberg’s research explores musical and linguistic syntax. His on-going collaborations with cognitive neuroscientists at Tufts University, University of Maryland, and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands investigate whether language and music rely on shared cognitive mechanisms. Recent projects at Tufts University have expanded his research to include the role of constraint upon musical and linguistic expectancy.

    Dr. Rosenberg is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Millsaps College and is the Artistic Director of MEME, the Mississippi Experimental Music Ensemble.

    Visit Dr. Rosenberg’s website at

  • Marta Szlubowska

    Marta Szlubowska

    Adjunct Instructor, Violin; Ensemble in Residence

    601.974.1422 | Email


    BM, Peabody Conservatory of Music; MM, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

    Marta Szlubowska is the Concertmaster of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since the 2004–2005 season. She is also a highly acclaimed soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and teacher. A native of Warsaw, Poland, Ms. Szlubowska gave her first public performance at the age of seven at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall. At thirteen, she was chosen to represent Poland on a tour to Great Britain, performing as a soloist with the Szymanowski Liceum Orchestra. In 1983, as a winner of the Joseph Maddy Scholarship, Ms. Szlubowska came to the United States to study at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she received a bachelor of music degree in Performance, and an artist's diploma. She earned a master of music degree in Violin Performance, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and served as a teaching assistant of the world-reknowned concert violinist, Charles Treger. Ms. Szlubowska's other distinguished teachers included Janusz Szok, Charles Libove, and Berl Senofsky.

    Ms. Szlubowska has been awarded many prizes, including first prize in the Yale Gordon International Concerto Competition, and the Murbury Concerto Competition in Baltimore, Maryland. She has won second prize at the Bryan International String Competition in North Carolina, as well, as honorable mentions at the Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poland, Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium, and the Sibelius International Violin Competition in Finland. In the U.S., Ms. Szlubowska has appeared as a soloist with the Mississippi Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Germantown Symphony, Olympia Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Bellevue Philharmonic, Beyond the South Chamber Orchestra and many others.  Ms. Szlubowska has given numerous performances at the Tanglewood, Interlochen and Meadowmount Music Festivals, as well as the Colorado Music Festival and the Vermont Mozart Festival. She has served on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival, Marrowstone Music Festival, Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, and Utah Music Festival. She has performed under the baton of Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood, and Alexander Schneider at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. She has appeared at the prestigious Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the Community Concerts in California. Ms. Szlubowska has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Judith Glyde, Kevin Kenner, Julius Baker, Gerhardt Zimmerman, Harvey Felder, Alex Klein and many others. She has performed in masterclasses for such world-reknowned violinists as Ruggiero Ricci, Henryk Szeryng, Martin Chalifour, Burton Kaplan, Aaron Rosand, and many others.

    Between 1992 and 1999, Ms. Szlubowska held the position of assistant professor of violin at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, where in addition to teaching she was the First Violinist of the Regency String Quartet. Between 1998 and 2004, Ms. Szlubowska held the position of Concertmistress of the Tacoma Symphony and later the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and was invited to perform numerous concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of such renowned conductors as Edo de Waart and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. In June of 2009, Ms. Szlubowska toured Hungary, Austria, and Czech Republic performing as a soloist and as part of the Duo Vivace (two violins) with her daughter, Julia Kirk. Since 2009, Ms. Szlubowska has performed and given many masterclasses in Colombia, Peru, and Chile. While performing and teaching in South America, Ms. Szlubowska has been a part of a special project that brings talented young musicians to the U.S. in order for them to receive the education and opportunities they deserve. Ms. Szlubowska is one of the founding members of the Trio Appassionato (violin, cello, piano), the Mississippi Fine Arts String Trio, and the Ensemble Polonaise (all-in-one-family quartet). Passion for dance music, especially the tango, drew Ms. Szlubowska toward becoming the Concertmistress of the Tango Rendezvous Ensemble dedicated to performing the music of the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla (Alejandro Drago—leader violinist and arranger).

    Ms. Szlubowska is currently on the faculty of the Millsaps College (as a member of the Mississippi Fine Arts String Trio, the Trio in Residence) and the Millsaps Conservatory of Music in Jackson, Misssissippi.

  • Danuta Szlubowska

    Danuta Szlubowska

    Adjunct Instructor, Piano

    601.974.1422 | Email


    MM, Chopin Music Academy

    Danuta Szlubowska, an award-winning Polish pianist and pedagogue, received her Masters of Music in Piano Performance degree from the prestigious Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, Poland.

    Mrs. Szlubowska and her husband, Janusz Szlubowski, have performed as a duo, the Szlubowski Piano Duo, at such prestigious venues as the Bartok Seminar in Budapest, Hungary; the Slupsk International Festival in Poland; the "Jeunesse Musical" Festival in Czestochowa, Poland; the Chopin Seminar and the Warsaw Autumn International Festival for Contemporary Music in Warsaw, Poland; the International Piano Seminar in Weimar, Germany; and others.

    In the United States, she has performed at venues including the Governor's Mansion in Olympia, Washington; Peabody Conservatory of Music Concert Series in Baltimore, Maryland; the La Crosse Center, Wisconsin; University of Washington School of Music, Seattle, Washington; Festival South in Hattiesburg, Mississippi; as well as the Millsaps College, Hinds Community College, and Belhaven University in Jackson and Raymond, Mississippi.

    Mrs. Szlubowska currently teaches piano at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. She has been a sought-after pedagogue for more than 40 years and has achieved much success with her students. While still teaching in Poland, many of her students won awards in Europe and the United States.

    In addition to being part of the Ensemble Polonaise, Mrs. Szlubowska performs regularly in a violin/piano duo with her daughter, Marta Szlubowska, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra's Concertmistress. Mrs. Danuta Szlubowska and her family live in Jackson, Mississippi.

  • Jonathan Trotter

    Jonathan Trotter

    Interim Director of Choral Activities

    601.974.1426 | Email


    BA, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; MM, University of Mississippi; PhD candidate, University of South Carolina

  • Jimmy Turner

    Jimmy Turner

    Adjunct Instructor, Guitar

    601.974.1422 | Email


    BME, MM, University of Southern Mississippi

    Guitarist Jimmy Turner has performed extensively across the South and Midwest. He has performed with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Mississippi Opera, and is often heard on Mississippi Concert Hall on Public Radio of Mississippi (PRM). Mr. Turner is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, where he maintains a private guitar studio and serves on the adjunct faculty Millsaps College. Currently, Mr. Turner also teaches music classes at the Madison Branch of Tulane University and a Guitar Workshop through the Millsaps College Summer Enrichment Program. He has also taught at Wesley College, Mississippi College, Holmes Community College, and Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

    He has been an adjudicator for the Mississippi Federation of Music Clubs and the American String Teachers Association. He has also performed with the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra and has been the guitarist for New Stage Theatre in Jackson since 2010.

    Mr. Turner received Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has performed in master classes for Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Jorge Morel, and Adam Holzman.