Julie Anne Miller '06 (Music)

Clef deweller

Julie Anne Miller

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? In addition to practice, it also helps to have a degree from Sac State. Just ask Julie Ann Miller, who credits the University’s nurturing instructors for guiding her to a career in music that recently resulted in a performance at the famed music venue.

Miller focused on both violin and voice at Sac State, and it’s her voice that has drawn all the attention lately. She performed at Carnegie through New York state’s Bard College Conservatory of Music as part of the Osvaldo Golijov/Dawn Upshaw Workshop for Singers and Composers.

The annual event isn’t your standard lineup of opera arias or other classical arrangements.

Miller and another singer, Maghan Stewart, performed an avant-garde piece by Ryan Carter in which the composer created an alien world complete with its own language.

Starting with a warm-up, the piece segued into a vocal “duel” between Miller and Stewart, and included solos for each of them.

“It was quite an experience,” Miller says.

Miller was 16 when she began her education at Sac State as a high school student in the Accelerated College Entrance program.

When she graduated from Horizon Instructional Systems two years later, she stayed at the University. She refers to the University as the root of her success, giving her the kind of personal attention larger schools and conservatories just don’t offer.

She has high praise for professors such as Robin Fisher and Ian Swensen.

“Not only were they teachers, they were mentors as well,” Miller says. “I miss them.”

Another inspiration is Sac State choral director Donald Kendrick.

“He was so supportive and continues to be supportive of me,” she says.

Miller is making the rounds of auditions for music companies and will be studying German with an eye on auditioning for some companies in Germany.

She studied with Patricia Misslin, who has worked with such classical artists as soprano Renée Fleming. And Miller will always remember the encouragement she received from her Sac State instructors.

“If they saw you were motivated, they were there for you,” Miller says. “I feel very blessed to have been at Sac State.”

This article was originally published in the Spring 2008 edition of Sac State Magazine.