WMU News

March 13 recital is Miller's WMU premiere

March 5, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Andrew Miller, the new tuba and euphonium professor in the WMU School of Music, will present his first faculty solo recital Wednesday, March 13, beginning at 8 p.m. in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. Admission is open to the public free of charge.

Among the works to be performed by Miller are the standards of the solo tuba repertoire: Ralph Vaughan Williams' Concerto for Tuba, Paul Hindemith's Sonata for Tuba and Piano, and John Williams' Concerto for Tuba.

The Vaughan Williams composition was the first concerto written for tuba. It was premiered in 1954 and remains as the standard requested at many symphony auditions. In Miller's words, "The popularity of the Vaughan Williams work is most likely due to its beautiful second movement which is often performed on other instruments. Most of the time tubists 'steal' music written for other instruments, but in this case, we have something of such high caliber that others want to perform it."

The John Williams concerto is quickly gaining popularity. Known as the composer of the music for the Star Wars movies and of the Olympic Fanfare, Williams wrote the concerto for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, who premiered it in 1985. Miller describes the work as "a technical tour de force from beginning to end that features the tuba's high register and flexibility."

The Hindemith sonata is regarded by some as the greatest piece ever written for the instrument, possibly due to the composer's significant reputation. The work will be performed on the contrabass tuba in C, whereas the other works will feature the bass tuba in F. The C tuba is the instrument used most often in high school bands, while the F tuba is smaller and more soloistic.

Says Miller, "Since this is my first recital at WMU, I thought I would pull out the two big standards for tuba [Vaughan Williams and Hindemith] and compare or contrast them with the new standard [John Williams]. Overall, it's going to be a good time!"

Miller is a former faculty member of the Boston Conservatory, where he had two students win the school's concerto competition in his four years of teaching. His successful private studios in Illinois and Massachusetts sent several students to district and all-state conferences. Miller has given master classes in Otaru, Japan and at several universities in the United States, including Baylor, Penn State, Clemson, Jacksonville and Furman.

Tours with the Paramount Brass Quintet have taken Miller throughout the United States and Japan and have resulted in the release of two CDs. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Illinois Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Boston Ballet Orchestra, among others.

Miller earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from DePaul University, and has done doctoral studies at Boston University.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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