Michael Austin Miller

Writer, Composer, Conductor, Church Musician, Educator

About Michael

Michael Austin Miller,  originally from Charleston, South Carolina, now resides in Snohomish, WA, a suburb of Seattle, where he has been the Director of Music at Christ the King Lutheran Church since his move to the Pacific Northwest in October 2007.  He also is the Artistic Director of the Bainbridge Chorale on Bainbridge Island, WA, a short ferry ride from Seattle.  He is also Composer in Residence for reSound, a Northwest Chamber Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Stephen Marshall-Ward.  In 2009, he became a Professor of Music at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, where he directed the Concert Choir and taught other courses as needed.  He left Trinity in 2015 when the college began closing its doors.  The School officially closed in 2016. 


He has held choral and instrumental teaching positions from elementary through the university level and has served as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for school, church, community and regional honor choirs.  Among the roles he has held, he most enjoys working with volunteers who participate in music ensembles for the love of music and the sense of community that such ensembles provide. 


He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree with an emphasis in both Instrumental and Choral Music and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Winthrop University,Rock Hill, SC where he served as Undergraduate and Graduate Conducting Assistant to the Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Robert Edgerton.   Additionally he has done postgraduate work toward a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington.

He has sung under noted conductors Peter McCoppin, David Lowry, David Tang, Simon Carrington, Kenneth Fulton and Geoffrey Boers.  He has participated in workshops and master classes with such figures as The King’s Singers, Patrick Liebergen, Russell Robinson, Martha Shaw, Michelle Weir, and Robert Bode.  For ten consecutive years, he attended a Chamber Choir Festival with Clinician, Simon Carrington, the co-founder and twenty-five year member of The King’s Singers.

Ever the student, he had the great fortune of observing S.C. All-State Choir rehearsals of noted choral conductors Anton Armstrong, Andre Thomas, Eph Ely, Diane Loomer, Jo-Michael Scheibe, and Jing Ling Tam, Z. Randall Stroope to name a few.


A highlight of his career has been directing the Winthrop University Jazz Voices, one of the premier ensembles in the southeast, upon the retirement of its founder and his mentor, Dr. Robert Edgerton.


Community Choirs:

He credits the enjoyment of conducting community choirs to the ten wonderful years directing the Lancaster Chamber Choir in Lancaster, SC.  He has also directed Impromptu! of Charlotte, North Carolina, a select vocal ensemble featured at numerous community events including the Charlotte Singing Christmas Tree, and the Rock Hill Community Choir, of Rock Hill, SC, which he co-founded.  While an undergraduate student, he served as the Rehearsal Conducting Assistant for York County Choral Society, preparing Bach’s Mass in B minor.  In the summer of 1997, he prepared the choir for the Charlotte Choral Society’s “Summer Jazz Sing” conducted by the renowned Jazz Music Educator, Gene Aitken.  He has guest-conducted Charlotte’s Main Stage Choir and the Rock Hill Ecumenical Chorale.  From April 2008 to September 2010, he directed the Snohomish County Windjammer Barbershop Chorus.


Composition:

In November 2017, Oxford University Press published his piece, Virga Jesse Floruit in the publishers Sacred Music series.  The original version of this piece was performed and recorded by reSound and is available for purchase through Itunes.  It can also be viewed in thisYouTube Clip.


The piece is available for purchase.  Click Here


Morningstar Music Publisherswill publish his piece, Hands of God, in 2018.  


Michael has studied Composition with Seattle-based composer, John Muehleisen.  Former teachers include Dr. Lauren Whiteman and Dr. Bruce Thompson.  He has studied Choral Arranging with Dr. Robert Edgerton, and has taken lesson for Instrumental Arranging from Bob Cotter. 

    

The professional music fraternity, Phi Music Alpha, published Brotherhood and Duty,” written by Miller, in its 1998 Centennial Edition Sinfonian Songbook.


Awards: 

In 1999, he was awarded Lancaster (SC) County School Districts Great Teachers Award; an award given annually to one teacher who has less than two years of classroom experience.  In 2010, he was awarded Trinity Lutheran College’s Excellence in Teaching award.  This award is given by the college to one professor annually. 


Affiliations:

The professional music fraternity, Phi Music Alpha, ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), ALCM (Association of Lutheran Church Musicians), ASCAP, Chorus America, MENC (Music Educators National Convention) and the music honor society, Pi Kappa Lamba.