Brandon Hollihan, DMA
Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities
Over the past fifteen years, Dr. Brandon Hollihan has enjoyed a varied career as a conductor, singer, church musician, and educator, and serves at Carson-Newman University as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. As a conductor, he has participated in the Norfolk Festival, the Chorus America Conducting Academy (Fullerton, CA), and served as a conducting fellow with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, where he made his orchestral conducting debut. Major choral works performed include Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Faure’s Requiem, Arnold Schoenberg’s “Friede auf Erden,” multiple cantatas by J.S. Bach, and Steve Reich’s acclaimed chamber work, Tehillim, which he performed at the University of Notre Dame in collaboration Third Coast Percussion, a Grammy-winning ensemble from Chicago. Dr. Hollihan has also sung professionally with Opera Columbus, South Bend Lyric Opera, and Ensemble/Concept 21 in South Bend under the direction of Dr. Carmen-Helena Tellez. As an educator, Dr. Hollihan taught in Columbus City Schools, Ohio, in instrumental music at Beechcroft High School and then vocal music at Whetstone High School. Prior to Carson-Newman, he also taught classes in aural skills and music education at Indiana University-South Bend and Bethel University, conducting the wind ensemble at the latter institution. As a teacher, he has always placed an emphasis on the program’s quality over its quantity and “maximizing” the gifts that students bring with them into rehearsal and performance. Dr. Hollihan has also worked in church music his entire professional career and is the music director at First United Methodist Church in Jefferson City. Dr. Hollihan earned his Bachelor’s in music from the University of Notre Dame, dual Master’s degrees in choral conducting and vocal pedagogy from The Ohio State University, and his DMA in choral conducting from the Sacred Music Program at Notre Dame. He has scholarly articles published in the Ohio State Online Music Journal, Choral Director, and The Choral Scholar & American Choral Review. His dissertation, “Rehearsal and Performance Issues in Steve Reich’s Tehillim: Unlocking the Process,” focuses on the singing and conducting challenges the minimalist structure of Tehillim presents. Dr. Hollihan lives in Knoxville with his wife Dr. Junghwa Lee, who is a staff pianist at Carson-Newman.