Mr. Miller's Opus

By Seth Schmidt

 

The rhapsody of melody of Chris Miller’s 43-year
music teaching career is reaching a final crescendo.

For Miller, putting down his baton as Tracy Area High
School’s band director, the rhythms and harmonies of his lifelong
vocation include:

• The rat-a-tat beat of 100 parades.

•  The overtures of 200 concerts.

• The anthems of  two score and more Memorial Day programs.

• The jaunty pop tunes of 800 pep band performances.

• The bouncing rifts of hundreds of Minnesota Rouser renditions.

• And enough Pomp & Circumstance performances to know the score by heart.

“That’s always a special one,” Miller reflects.

But on this day, in the waning days of the school year, face of TAHS’s band program talks mostly about his students.  Miller had begun cleaning out his office, and with it, an accumulation of senior pictures dating from 1995.

“I can remember the names of most of them,” he muses. “Looking at their faces, you remember things that happened, music that we played, and things we did as a band.” 

He hopes his students have good memories about their years in band, a better appreciation of music, and instrumental skills that some will use throughout their adult lives.

“I’ve  had an awful lot of good students in band over the years,” Miller reflects.  “I’ve really enjoyed working with them.”

Tracy has been a good place to teach, he adds, in part, because the community values band.

“For most of these kids, someone, somewhere along the line has told them that it is important for them to be in band.”

 

For more on this article, see this week's Headlight-Herald.

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