This year’s Distinguished Teaching Award Committee has reviewed and selected the 2019-2020 DTA recipient, Phoenix College’s very own Dr. Kenny Miller.
Dr. Miller is the coordinator of voice studies at Phoenix College and is the Director of the Honors Program as well. He conducts the Phoenix College Concert Choir, ProCantus Chamber Singers, the Phoenix Community Choir, and enCoro. Dr. Miller also teaches History of Western Music, Choral Conducting, and Conducting Methods. He began as adjunct faculty in the fall of 2006. In 2008 he became OYO and finally residential faculty in 2011. Dr. Miller has a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, a Master of Vocal Performance and Pedagogy, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance. He specialized in British Art Song written between 1914 and 1955 during his Doctoral studies but also extensively performed oratorio and other art songs throughout his performing career.
In addition, Dr. Miller is the executive director and co-founder of the vocal ensemble Helios: a modern renaissance, with whom he also sings tenor. Additionally, he is the executive director and founder of ArtSong Rising, which is a consortium of singers dedicated to the performance of art song throughout the State of Arizona. Formerly, he was an assistant conductor and singer with the Grammy Award-winning ensemble The Phoenix Chorale. He performed on the album Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil which won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance in 2016. Two of PC's voice instructors, Dr. Nina Garguilo and Dr. Josef Curtis, also sang with him on the album. He also sang on the highly acclaimed album Northern Lights, released in 2012, which reached top positions on the Billboard and Gramophone Charts.
Even though he has a full schedule -both at Phoenix College and extracurricularly- he has made a profound impression on his students. One student, kept anonymous, wrote:
"Dr. Miller is not just another teacher. He is a teacher, adviser, department head, and mentor to a lot of, if not all students following the Music Education path. The classes I attend of Dr. Miller's are never wasted time in my mind. The classes are not just listening to a professor talk or working on a singular project. The classes constantly keep me engaged and are constantly changing in what we are doing. Dr. Miller gives students the chance to lead and step out of their shell. As a music education major, our end goal is to teach, to be in front of a group of others and engage them in something. To be given the chance to begin doing this is something beyond what any other director would be willing a student to do. I know that I am able to ask questions, not only about class materials, but questions about being a decent human, and be given time out of his day to make sure we know what we are capable of and to help us achieve our highest capabilities. Along with being an advisor for music students, he runs the Honors program. This brings the rest of Phoenix College over to the music building. It lets us feel like a part of the school and stay up to date with what is going on, rather than being the building tucked away in the corner. This is a major shift from years before and I am so glad Dr. Miller has made this shift happen."
Congratulations to Dr. Miller for this award; his involvement in Phoenix College is leaving a legacy, impacting lives, and leading others to do the same.