Miller Selected to Guest Conduct United States Coast Guard Band Posted on October 15th, 2018 by

James Patrick Miller, the Douglas Nimmo Professor of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, will have the honor of  leading the United States Coast Guard Band in concert November 18.

One of the country’s premier military ensembles, Miller was selected by Lieutenant Commander Adam Williamson to guest conduct the performance at the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Academy’s Leamy Hall. “We look for the best conductors, period,” Williamson says. “We have one of the best collections of musicians in the world who make up one of the best wind ensembles in the world, and we look to partner with people who we are highly confident we can have a great collaboration with. James Patrick Miller meets that criteria.”

In addition to Miller’s skill as a wind band conductor, Williamson says his unique background, which includes vocal music, makes him an especially great fit for the role. No doubt he’s a phenomenal conductor and musician with an extraordinary personality; on every front he’s a good match for us in this capacity.  But one of the things I like to look for in a guest conductor is some sort of broad experience, and with James’ intense vocal background, it gives him a fairly unique perspective into the wind band world,” he says.

Miller was able to select his own program, which will include David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4, John Philip Sousa’s “Minnesota March”, and Dmitri Kabalevsky’s “Overture” to Colas Breugnon. However, the highlight for Gustavus music supporters will be the performance of 2007 Gustavus graduate Katherine Bergman’s “Dream Machine”. Bergman’s piece was originally commissioned by the Gustavus Wind Ensemble for performance at the 2016 College Band Directors National Association Conference. This will be the first time the piece has been performed by the United States Coast Guard Band, which will provide another national stage for Bergman’s work. 

Miller says this is an incredible honor for any musician, and he is thrilled to take the healm. “I look at these organizations
and their conductors as true heroes and models of artistry, education, and performance,” he says. “For Lieutenant Commander Williamson to extend an invitation to lead an entire subscription concert with the USCG Band, to me, is one of the highest professional honors I will receive in my life.”

The performance will be livestreamed using a link available on the USCG Band’s facebook page the week of the concert. Please check there for further details closer to the date.


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