“Music is God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe—a harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere,” said the late Robin Williams. It seems music can connect people and bring them together in ways where simple conversations cannot.
The University of West Georgia campus is host to many musical experiences for all students. One in particular is the Alabama Symphony. Andrew Miller will be performing in the Humanities building on Oct.7 at 8:15 p.m. Along with Susan Hoskins, the duo will present selections from Schumann, Bizet, Wilhelm, Penderecki and Lebedev. The event will take place in the Cashen Recital Hall room 101.
At a young age, Miller found a love for music and continued to perfect his art through education. He continues to share his passion through teaching and looks forward to performing at UWG. Miller first picked up the tuba in the 4th grade by the influence of his band director.
“My band director said I was a natural and that I had the personality that could handle all the good-natured ribbing tuba players receive,” he said. “I just thought it looked cool and massive.”
Miller grew up with many musical influences as a child. Miller recalled sneaking up to his brother’s room and listening to KISS, Van Halen and Aerosmith records.
“My older brother was always playing classic rock. I couldn’t get enough.”
In elementary school, his band director introduced him to artists such as Glenn Miller, Sousa Marches, Spike Jones and tuba recordings.
“His passion for music was contagious, and I honestly believe that’s the true sign of a great music teacher.” said Miller
While working on his bachelor’s degree in musical education at DePaul University in Chicago, Miller got the opportunity to train under one of his musical idols, Gene Pokorny of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For his master’s in performance, which he also received from DePaul, Miller trained under another of his idols, Floyd Cooley of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
After obtaining his master’s Miller won an audition with the Paramount Brass Quintet out of Boston. They performed concerts throughout the United States as well as two tours in Japan.
While in Boston, he was offered a scholarship to work on a doctorate degree at Boston University. After one year he won a full-time job at Western Michigan University where he stayed for three years before joining the Alabama Symphony.
When describing the life of a musician Miller said, “We are the storytellers of sound. In addition, I’ve always told audiences that live music will never be performed the same way twice. That’s what makes live music so interesting and exciting: the unpredictability of the performer.”
Dr. Cale Self, assistant professor of music, met Miller during the spring of 2012 while teaching at a symphonic camp. Self enjoys being an audience member when guest artists perform on campus.
“So much of the time, I’m the one on that stage, playing one of my instruments or conducting one of our ensembles,” he said. “It’s wonderful to be able to get to be just a listener, to hear a great artist perform and be inspired by it.”
Self finds events like this important for the growth of all music and non-music students, including the general public.
“Every human being relates to music in a way that simply cannot be expressed with the words that we use in everyday conversations,” he said. “Music is represented all over our campus at our most important events. Whether it be sporting contests, commencement ceremonies, awards galas or scholarship events, music is that one connection that all of us, no matter our backgrounds, our beliefs or our specialties, can all relate to and unite under.”