Ward Miller (b. 1978) grew up in Loachapoka, a small farming community near the city of Auburn, Alabama. He earned his bachelors of music education from Auburn University in 2001, where he served as webmaster, arranger, and an undergraduate teaching assistant with the Auburn University Marching Band. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2003 with a masters in Trombone Performance. While in the Phoenix area, he served as a part time assistant and clinician with the Paradise Valley High School bands, the Mesa Community College Wind Ensemble, and the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestra. He taught public school in Alabama for three years, serving as Director of Bands at Andalusia High School and at Pleasant Grove High School. In 2006 he accepted a graduate teaching assistantship at The University of Iowa, where he studied with Dr. Myron Welch in Band Conducting. While at Iowa, he also worked as a teaching assistant with the Hawkeye Marching Band, where he wrote, taught, and conducted multiple arrangements and halftime drills. He also conducted the Iowa University Concert Band, and earned the 2008 outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Miller graduated in 2011 from the University of Iowa with his D.M.A. in Band Conducting.
From 2008 through 2013, Dr. Miller was the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of South Alabama, in Mobile. While at South Alabama, Dr. Miller founded to 230-member Jaguar Marching Band, overseeing all recruiting, teaching, and writing for the band. In addition, he directed the basketball pep bands. His teaching duties included Marching Band Techniques, Brass Methods, Trombone Quartet, Symphony Band (the second concert ensemble, auditioned and approximately 65% music majors), and undergraduate conducting. He also guest conducted the Wind Ensemble, the school’s top instrumental concert ensemble.
Dr. Miller served as the Musical Arranger, Drill Writer, and Assistant Director of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in New York City from 2006 through 2018. He was the director of the All-Star Band at the 100th annual Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, D.C. He has appeared as a guest conductor and clinician to multiple concert honor bands throughout the United States. His marching band arrangements have been performed at competitions, including in Bands of America regionals, by high schools and colleges across the country. His arrangements have been performed at regular season and bowl games by the marching bands at Auburn University, The University of Hawaii, The University of Illinois, The University of Iowa, The University of Kentucky, The University of Louisville, The Ohio State University, and Youngstown State University. He has served as an adjudicator at marching and concert band assessment in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, and New York.
From 2014 through 2019, Dr. Miller served as the Brass Caption Head for the World Class Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps of La Crosse, WI. Every year under his leadership, the hornline has placed in the top 12 and made finals. The hornline achieved “Box 5” scores in the regular season and in finals in the 2017-2019 seasons. In 2018 and 2019, the hornline and drum corps placed in the top 8. He oversaw the brass ensemble and staff, recruited for the horn line, and administered the Blue Stars brass audition camps throughout the country. In addition, he traveled with the corps for the majority of their tour. In addition to his work with the Blue Stars, Dr. Miller has also served as the Brass Arranger and an instructional consultant for Minnesota Brass, a distinguished and storied all-age drum and bugle corps based in Minneapolis, MN. He also arranged for the 2019 Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.
His arrangements have been published by the DevMusic Company, and he is a published composer with the Tuba-Euphonium Press. He has had articles published in the Alabreve (Alabama’s state music education journal), the Illinois State Music Educators Journal, the Journal of Band Research, as well as regular articles in School Band and Orchestra Magazine. He is an associate member of College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), the International Trombone Association (ITA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He holds memberships in Pi Kappa Lamba national honorary music society, and Golden Key national honorary society. He currently resides in Minneapolis, MN where he spends his time arranging and composing, and working as a music education consultant clinicing and judging bands.
R. Ward Miller, D.M.A.