A Round of “Did You Know” Greg Miller
Greg Miller has just wrapped up his first year at Country Day (and first year teaching, period!) as the director of choirs. He leads choir classes for grades 5-12, provides vocal direction for the eighth-grade musical and Upper School musical, and serves as the fifth-grade advisor. Greg has been a welcome addition to the faculty and staff and has embraced the Country Day community (and vice versa!).
Did you know...a current Country Day parent urged him to apply?
When I finished my master’s degree in 2022, I immediately began looking for teaching jobs in the area. As you can imagine, there are not many in this line of work! Dr. Carlton Monroe [board of trustees member and Country Day parent], whom I met through my professional singing career, called me and recommended that I apply. During my interview, I saw how wonderful the community was and that the program had so much potential. I did not hesitate to accept the job offer.
Did you know…his students might just love his classes as much as he does?
I’m already so proud of the strong foundation the students have set for the program this year. I am still on Cloud 9 because of how well they performed at the end-of-the-year concert. I hear Middle School students, who at the beginning of the year were more tentative about singing and nervous about performing, talk about how much they now enjoy singing. There were a few Upper School classes I had to miss and instead of choosing a study hall, the kids created their own lesson plan and practiced while I was gone! How awesome is that?
My biggest goal is to give kids the tools so they can sing for the rest of their lives. That means giving them the musical techniques to do that, such as reading music, knowing their voices, and teaching them how to analyze the text of the song and understand what it means. It is also important to give students the opportunity to forge meaningful connections through music. When I think back to my own choir experience, I remember the people I performed with more than I remember the music we sang.
Did you know…it's his passion for singing that gets him out of bed in the morning?
I love the opportunity to share what I love with the kids – nerding out about how the voice works and sharing music with them that they normally might not have the chance to hear. I love having the opportunity to build a choir culture that focuses on excellence, vulnerability, fearless creativity, and joy.
Did you know…he has many hobbies and passions outside of teaching music?
I like to say that my interests are an inch deep but a mile wide. I love playing video games; I grew up a Nintendo kid. I like to read and be outside. I enjoy sports a lot – I try to watch every Reds game that I can. I even had the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the Reds game in front of a bunch of my fellow teachers as we celebrated Beth Langenbahn’s retirement. Talk about an unforgettable experience. I also love basketball; I started following the Cleveland Cavaliers after LeBron left so I consider myself a true fan. I also enjoy trying new restaurants and going to all types of events at Music Hall and the Aronoff [Center for the Arts].
Did you know… that he can’t wait for next year?
Some of my plans for next year include adding two new ensembles next year: youth choir in the Lower School for grades 2-4, and an advanced Middle School vocal ensemble. I’m also hoping to have the CCDS choirs perform off-campus in the community and collaborate with other ensembles. If you can’t tell, I feel so lucky to be here and I’m already excited about next year. From the minute I walked in, I have felt so welcomed and supported. The administration and teachers have already helped me accomplish much to elevate the program. The veteran teachers have been amazing to lean on. Country Day really is a special place.