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Musician Chase Miller to be featured at Lunch with the Arts

By PAUL STANSBURY

Contributing writer 

Art Center of the Bluegrass kicks off the new decade with an engaging program of clarinet music, featuring Stanford native Chase Miller. Miller is the featured presenter for Jan. 15’s Lunch with the Arts program.

Miller, a performing artist and teacher, is director of Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra’s MusicWorks. Prior to that, he was education coordinator for the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. As a performing artist, he has played his clarinet throughout the United States, Italy, and Ireland.

Miller will play a variety of pieces to demonstrate what the clarinet can do. The audience can expect to hear a range of clarinet compositions from classical works to the tango. After each piece, Miller hopes to engage the audience in a dialogue about how the music affected his listeners.

“As musicians, we are brought up to insure we are evoking a response,” says Miller. “It is important to understand what the listener perceives.”

In his early years learning clarinet, Miller had limited resources to allow him to pursue his music. That is why MusicWorks is so important to him.

He says, “This program is all about opportunities versus obstacles. As a child growing up, I struggled to find resources and opportunities, although I did have the support of my family and nuclear community. I could not fathom the opportunities that MusicWorks participants receive. Ours is the only El Sistema program in Kentucky. The participants who range from 7 to 15 years of age are provided eight hours of rehearsal per week. They receive free tickets to the Lexington Philharmonic. MusicWorks is designed to provide a community around a group of kids which will nurture their musical development.”

Miller has earned degrees from the University of Kentucky and University of Arizona. In 2014, he won the University of Kentucky Concerto Competition. That same year, he was a finalist in the National Society of Arts and Letters Woodwind Competition. In 2016, he won the concerto competition at the Bay View Music Festival. In 2017, he was selected as a finalist in the concerto competition at the University of Arizona and third-prize winner in The North International Music Competition.

An active educator and teaching artist, Miller has a private clarinet studio in Lexington and presents with guest sectional work at schools in the Central Kentucky area. He says, “My goal as a teacher is to cultivate critical thinkers, musical explorers, and problem solvers. The journey through a career in music is one that is extremely demanding, spontaneous, and immeasurably rewarding. The first step is to spark an interest.”

Miller spends his summers traveling to musical festivals and education clinics both in the United States and internationally. Chamber music festivals he has participated in include Fresh, Inc. in Wisconsin and the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, Michigan. Internationally, he attended the Opera and Chamber music festival of the Music Academy International located in Mezzano, Italy, followed by a week-long concert tour in Ireland with the Esker Festival Orchestra.

More information: artcenterky.org; chaseclarinet.com.

SO YOU KNOW

The upcoming Lunch with the Arts calendar at the Art Center of the Bluegrass includes: Tom Myers/nature photography, Feb. 19; Woodford Theatre Singers, March 18; Jim Tacket/dulcimer maker, April 15; Paul Muth/pottery demonstration, May 20. Contact Niki Kinkead for information about becoming at sponsor, at niki@artcenterky.org.

IF YOU GO

Lunch with the Arts, featuring Chase Miller, will be noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Art Center of the Bluegrass. Cost is $5 at the door.