From classical to country, Mahler to mariachi, arranging to acoustics, marches to movies, the Who to woodwind quintets and everything in between, J. G. Miller, a Colorado native, started out his life born into a family of music-loving medical professionals.
Determined to become a biochemist, he found his way to the University of Rochester, originally intending to major in pre-med studies and horn performance at the Eastman School of Music. After realizing spending hours in a lab was not as enjoyable as spending hours in a practice room, he changed his majors and graduated with Academic Distinction and Performer's Certificate honors in both Music Performance and Music Education. He completed a Master of Music degree and then moved to the Los Angeles area to pursue freelance work and received Doctoral of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California with emphases in Music Industry Copyright Law and Collegiate Pedagogy.
He is proud to serve his country and currently serves as Staff Sergeant in the Musical Ambassadors of the Army, The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus after completing Basic Combat Training at Ft. Jackson, SC in 2013.
Prior to joining the United States Army, he has performed and recorded with a myriad of different ensembles such as British rock group The Who as their brass section leader for the 2012-13 tour of Quadrophenia and More, Mariachi del Sol de Mexico, La Sinfonica Nacional De Las America, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Chamber Orchestra, Cornell Chamber Music Society, the Center for 21st Century Music, Allerton Barn Festival, and numerous Los Angeles regional orchestras and major motion picture recordings.
He can be heard on film scores such as “Oblivion,” “Monsters U,” “Parental Guidance,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and “Snow White and the Huntsmen.”
He has garnered numerous awards, premieres, and achievements for performances, education, and community outreach, including Ensemble Musica Nova's Latin Grammy Nominated recording of “Barcelonazo” by Jorge Liderman and "La Musica" by La Sinfonica Nacional De Las America. Miller has performed solo at the 36th International Horn Symposium in Valencia, Spain in the European premiere of "Remembering 9/11" by Steven Morrell, as well as winners of the Eastman Concerto Competition performing Schumann’s Konzerstücke with the Quattro’Hornis. He has been a two-time finalist at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition with the AZG Woodwinds Quintet and the Los Angeles Horn Quartet. He was also a finalist at the 2009 MTNA conference for chamber music. In 2008, he narrated a lecture-performance on the closing concert of the 40th International Horn Symposium in Denver, Colorado. He was also a performer at the “12-12-12 Concert for Hurricane Sandy Victims”at Madison Square Garden, which reached an audience of over one billion people.
Recognized by the city of Tucson and the University of Arizona for his unique approach to music education, Miller’s presentation “Homage a M. de Falla: Performers Connecting with Their Audiences” won him with the University President’s Award for Community Outreach in 2007. He also was awarded the 2011 Brandon P. Merhle Award for Distinguished Service at the University of Southern California.
He maintains an active teaching and master class schedule: he has taught all age groups at the Colburn Horn Camp and has been a staple at Kendall Betts Horn Camp serving as teacher and administrator on staff for almost a decade.
He also has an interest in the acoustics and the design of horns, spending five summers trying to not hurt himself while working as a horn repair/building technician and sales representative for Lawson Horns. He has attended several national and international symposiums representing Lawson Horns.
An advocate for unaccompanied horn and brass ensemble music, Miller's challenging arrangements and compositions have been performed both in the US and Europe, and have been met with praise by virtuosi Hermann Baumann, Radovan Vlatkovic, and the American Horn Quartet, in addition to recongition by General Keith Alexander and Major General George Franz, US Army. He enjoys additional work as a professional copyist, and serves as Vice President of Veritas Musica Publishing (ASCAP), founded by American composer Wayne Lu.
He plays on a Lawson 804G Prototype "Ultra-Lite" horn, along with a Paxman 40L Pre-85 descant model exclusively on Lawson mouthpieces.
His influential horn teachers include Peter Kurau, James Thatcher, Daniel Katzen, Kendall Betts, and Erwin Chandler. Kendall Betts and Bruce Lawson also served as his mentors while apprenticing at Lawson Horns.