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Todd Miller: Bio

Given a trumpet at the ripe age of two by his grandfather, big band leader Jimmy Dally, Todd Miller was hooked on the shiny, funny-sounding toy before he had the sense to consider rejecting it. The trumpet took a well-deserved hiatus after having its mouthpiece stuck in its lead pipe. In the meantime, pop radio, piano lessons and church choir filled the bill. The trumpet returned to Todd once chaperoned by Gary and Carol McCutcheon, band directors for the Mount Vernon, Ohio schools. Their program nurtured Todd’s inclination to explore jazz and classical music while popular music competed for his attention. A taste for various musical styles was well underway.

Todd has never met an instrument he hasn't liked, so when his father offered him an acoustic guitar, he jumped in, learning his favorite songs by ear and eventually fronting the alternative rock garage band “Strange Brew”, singing and playing guitar. He also dabbled in french horn, played drums for one of the high school jazz bands, sang with the jazz band and played hand bells (and trumpet) in church.

After scoring high marks at competitions and band festivals, it became clear that music was more than an extra curricular activity for Todd. He was selected to play in honors bands, including the Ohio All-State Jazz Band with guest artist, Byron Stripling. By this point, Todd had decided to apply to music schools and chose DePauw University’s Music/Business program. There he studied trumpet with Larry Wiseman in his freshman year and then switched to jazz piano for the remaining three years, studying with Jim Connerley. He was active in big band, jazz combos, concert band, orchestra, choir and the a capella group "Men of Note".

Todd worked as a recording engineer at DePauw to help pay the bills, which sparked another fire at which to gaze. DePauw’s study abroad program led Todd to New York City where he held internships at Passport Recording with Scott Lehrer and The Supper Club with Mark Dittmar. An internship at The Aire Born Group near Indianapolis, IN followed during his senior year at DePauw.

After completing his degree at DePauw, Todd continued to explore, both musically and technologically. Leveraging the skills gained from composition and jazz arranging courses taken at DePauw and his vast array of musical influences, he began writing and recording his own songs. Funded by his day jobs at Florida State University’s School of Music and later Avid, his debut album took form. “As They Crossed My Mind” was released in December of 2006. The album showcases a large musical palate from which Todd creates an eclectic mix of songs.

Since recording his first album, Todd has continued to write, record and perform. Most recently, he's crafted a set of arrangements of some of his favorite jazz standards mixed with jazz-tinged originals. In 2017, expect to see him out and about, on Northeast Ohio stages and beyond.