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257 Fine Arts Center
(413) 545-6056
UMass Bands website


James Patrick Miller is Assistant Professor and Director of Wind Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, where he conducts the wind ensemble, symphony band, and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting.

James Patrick Miller

From 2002-2006 he served as Assistant Conductor of Wind Ensembles and conductor of the University Chorale at Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY, where he directed the Wind Symphony, Chorale and Low Brass Choir. His past faculty appointments also include Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY and Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Miller also served as co-artistic director and founding member of the Sapphire Chamber Consort, a professional vocal and instrumental chamber ensemble based in Minneapolis, MN, from 2006-2009.

Very active as a clinician and guest conductor, Miller has appeared throughout the Northeast and the Midwest with public school and festival ensembles. Recent and upcoming engagements include: the All-New England Music Festival High School Band (NEMFA), The Capital Region Wind Ensemble, St. Olaf College Band Day, NYSSMA Area All-State Festivals, Massachusetts Music Educators Western (2010), Central (2011), South Eastern (2012), and North Eastern (2013) District High School Festival Bands, the NYSBDA All-State Middle Level Band, the Connecticut ASBDA concert band, as well as district and large ensemble festivals in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

In 2003 Miller received national recognition by winning the American Choral Directors Association National Conducting Prize at the graduate level, and throughout his career with the Chorale at Cornell University, the choral ensembles at the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary, festivals and public school ensembles, and teaching and mentoring at the UMass Summer Conducting Institute Miller is also in demand as a choral conductor, working diligently to promote a holistic study of the art of conducting from both choral and instrumental perspectives.

Dr. Miller has been involved in the commissioning of more than 30 works for a wide variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles over the last 10 years, and his ensemble's performances have been noted by such composers as Shawn Allison, Karel Husa, James Stephenson, Steven Stucky, Judith Weir and Dana Wilson. Miller's mentors have included Steven Amundson, Craig Kirchhoff, Timothy Mahr, Stephen Peterson, Kathy Romey, Robert Scholz and Scott Tucker.

Originally from Winona, MN, Dr. Miller holds the DMA in conducting from the University of Minnesota where he was named a College of Liberal Arts and School of Music Graduate Research Fellow for the summer of 2008, the MM degree in conducting from Ithaca College, and a BM in music education magna cum laude from St. Olaf College.

Professor Miller has been affiliated professionally with the College Band Directors National Association, MENC, Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association, the American Choral Directors Association, and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and was inducted as an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi at UMass Amherst in 2012 and elected into Pi Kappa Lambda in 2001. Miller resides in South Hadley, MA with his wife, conductor and soprano Heidi Johanna Miller, their daughter, Linnea, and their two rambunctious cats.

Appointed 2009

Dance Department