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Miller, Ward

Ward Miller (b. 1978) grew up in Loachapoka, a small farming community near the city of Auburn, Alabama. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree 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 master's degree in trombone performance. He taught public school in Alabama for three years, serving as Director of Bands at Andalusia and Pleasant Grove High Schools. In 2006 he accepted a graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Iowa, where he studied band conducting with Dr. Myron Welch. Dr. Miller graduated in 2011 from the University of Iowa with his DMA 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. 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 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, as well as at the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. His arrangements have been performed at regular season and bowl games by university marching bands throughout the United States. He has served as an adjudicator at marching and concert band assessments in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Utah, and Wisconsin.

From 2018 to 2023, Dr. Miller served as the Education Director for Youth in Music, a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization that hosts marching band events and clinics throughout the upper Midwest.

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, Wisconsin. Every year under his leadership, the hornline has placed in the top twelve 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 eight. 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, the Louisiana Stars, River City Rhythm, and the Govenaires.

Dr. Miller is nationally certified by the National Federation of State High School Associations to adjudicate musical events. His arrangements and compositions have been published by the DevMusic Company, and he is a published composer with 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 currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he spends his time arranging, composing, and working as a music education consultant clinicing and judging bands.


Predicting the Future: How Error Prescience Can Aid Detection - Music Education

In this session, we discuss the error detection cycle and focus on predicting common errors that occur throughout the wind band. It is through error prediction that we are able to correct errors before they occur in the repertoire. This can be accomplished through incorporating these common errors in the warm-up sequence or isolating the most probable errors in the repertoire.

What I Didn’t Hear: Detecting Errors in the Rehearsal Setting - Music Education

When novice directors step up on the podium, they are many times met with a “wall of sound.” They know there are things that did not sound right, but they don’t know where to begin. In this session, we approach error detection through a systematic approach which allows the director to have a plan before they start rehearsal.

Preparing for Teacher Licensure: Learning to Detect Errors - Music Education

The majority of teacher licensure exams require the teacher candidate to complete a section on error detection. While this is an important skill for any future band director to possess, it is often hard to practice. In this session, we discuss strategies for listening and detecting errors.