Sarah Miller has been teaching composition and piano at MacPhail Cente for Music since 1998. She moved to Minneapolis shortly after finishing her Ph.D. in music composition at Michigan State University, and was added to the faculty of MacPhail Center for Music the very day she introduced herself to Janis Weller and Karen Zorn who were in charge of classes and individual instruction at the time.
Since moving to Minneapolis, Sarah has received many commissions, including “Fanfare and Dances in Mixed-Up Lydian” for the 2001 Suzuki National Convention, “Kinda Blue-Green” for the Stillwater Area High School Orchestra (through an American Composers Forum fellowship), and “Pentastic Dance” for the MacPhail Suzuki Orchestra. One of her commissions, “Scenes from MacPhail” was premiered at the 2007 MacPhail Music Matters Luncheon, and featured many aspects of Macphail including the Early Childhood Program, and two talented high school soloists with an orchestra. Her most recent commissions were from the Sinfonia Orchestra and from MacPhail Center for Music.
2012 was extremely productive for Sarah. In the spring, she completed a brass quintet for the Beaumont Brass at Michigan State and The Fly, a song based on the poetry of William Blake for soprano, trumpet, cello and percussion. The summer was spent writing the Hans Christian Andersen Suite for the Sinfonia Orchestra that was premiered in March 2013, and was supported by a McKnight grant. During the fall she completed two songs commissioned by MacPhail for the Prelude Singer/Actor Performance Lab that were premiered at MacPhail in January 2013. She also completed two more songs on the poetry of William Blake (The Poison Tree and Spring) and a piece for trumpet and piano (The Tiger’s Dream) that were presented at a sold-out MacPhail Spotlight Concert in February featuring music by five MacPhail composers. Just for fun, she also composed a piano duet, Skating with Elephants, that was premiered at the MacPhail Composition Recital in December
Now Sarah is working on completing a four seasons for SATB chorus based on texts from the weather forecasts of local weatherman Paul Douglas.