Todd Randall Miller is Professor of Music and Chair of Visual and Performing Arts at Lone Star College-Kingwood. As Artistic Director, he has conducted the Kingwood Chorale and Chamber Orchestra since 1996. Under his baton, the Chorale has performed most of the moderate-length choral masterworks dating from the Baroque through the Twentieth Century. Recent performances include Carmina Burana (Orff), Vivaldi Gloria, Rutter Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Rossini Stabat Mater, Duruflé Requiem, Poulenc Gloria, Bernstein Chichester Psalms, and Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs. Lately, concerts have become thematic, programming instrumental works with the choral works to provide perspective. The result is an enthusiastic and more relaxed audience as classical music is de-mystified for the average person. In 2007 he made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut for MidAmerica Productions, leading the 160-voice Kingwood Area Grand Chorus, the New England Chamber Ensemble, and soloists in Mozart's Vesperae Solennes de Confessore.
Miller is also the producer/conductor of the Lone Star College-Kingwood Summer Opera Workshop. His conducting credits there include such standards as Mozart's Da Ponte trilogy, Puccini's Suor Angelica, and
Kingwood Musical Arts Society / P.O. Box 6610 / Kingwood, Texas / 77325-6610 / 281-319-1260 / KingwoodMusicalArts.org
Smetana's The Bartered Bride. Contemporary operas include The Old Maid and the Thief (Menotti), Signor Deluso (Pasatieri), and Susannah and Slow Dusk (Floyd). Miller made his professional opera conducting debut in the Opera in the Heights production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in 2000.
Miller has been fortunate to have worked with several American operatic composers, including Henry Mollicone, Richard Faith, and Carlisle Floyd, who was the subject of his doctoral dissertation. In 2006 Miller conducted a retrospective concert of Floyd’s operatic works (with the composer present for commentary) to celebrate the composer’s eightieth birthday.
Miller holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice and conducting from the Moores School of Music-University of Houston, where he studied under Charles Hausmann, Katherine Ciesinski, Elena Nikolaidi, and Carlisle Floyd. He also holds vocal performance degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of Louisville. A tenor, he also maintains an active singing career, and recent solo performances have included the Houston Symphony, Houston Chamber Choir, and Da Camera Society, and two performances in Carnegie Hall with Distinguished Concerts International.
Miller has been awarded for teaching excellence and was twice the College’s nominee for the prestigious Piper Foundation award for excellence in teaching. He has served as Director of Music at several area churches, currently at First Presbyterian Church-Kingwood.
Alfredo Vélez III is Director of Bands at Lone Star College-Kingwood. He directs the renowned Kingwood Big Band, the Kingwood Community Symphonic Band and also conducts the LSC-Kingwood Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble. In addition to these ensemble responsibilities he supervises all aspects of the band program and teaches courses in music education.
Vélez has held positions as Director of Bands at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Assistant Director of Wind Studies at the University of North Texas, Interim Director of Bands at Texas Christian University and Associate Director at Sam Houston State University. Vélez taught in the Plano Independent School District for 17 years.
Throughout his career, Alfredo Vélez has been widely recognized for his concert, jazz ensemble, and marching band’s performances. The Texas A&M-Kingsville Wind Symphony received extraordinary reviews for their performance at the 2006 Texas Music Educators Conference. He conducted the inaugural concert of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra in Dallas, Texas at the Meyerson Symphony Center. His dedication to advancing the arts is only surpassed by his strong advocacy for music education in the state of Texas.
Alfredo Vélez holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from Angelo State University. Velez is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. Professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators
Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the College Band Directors National Association. He is currently serving as Vice President on the state board of directors for Texas Bandmasters Association, the largest band director organization in the world.
Jay Whatley is Associate Professor of Music at Lone Star College-Kingwood, where he coordinates the applied keyboard, class piano & theory programs. He holds both the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance & Pedagogy, and completed coursework for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance & Pedagogy with Betty Mallard, Martha Hilley & Sophia Gilmson, and in Organ Performance with Frank Speller, at the University of Texas at Austin. Additional study and master classes have been with Jane Abbott-Kirk and William Doppmann (piano) and Lenora McCroskey, Jesse Eschbach, and William Mathias (organ).
In high demand as a collaborative artist, chamber musician, & continuo player, Whatley maintains an active & varied career at the state, regional & national levels. He has performed with such notable choral conductors as Robert Sund, Maria Guinand, Craig Jessop, Charles Bruffy, and Sigrid Johnson. He was recently selected to accompany the 2009 Texas Music Educators Association All-State Men’s Choir under the direction of Larry Kaptein, and also a large festival choir under the direction of Andre Thomas in February 2009. He collaborated with Allen Hightower and the SHSU Chorale in performances at TMEA (San Antonio) and ACDA (Miami), as well as on the Chorale’s tour of Italy. Solo organ recitals include Salzburg’s Dome Cathedral and Bath Abbey; he was guest soloist in a performance of Poulenc’s Organ Concerto at St. John’s
Smith Square, London. Along with Dr. Todd Miller, tenor, Marion Russell Dickson, soprano, and Dr. Shannon Hesse, pianist, he presented a program of new American art song in Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in March 2009.
Whatley is a successful vocal coach and répétiteur, with students repeatedly winning Regional Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and also the coveted Grady Harlan Award from the Texoma Region of NATS. His reputation, especially as an interpreter of recitative, has led him to coach both studio artists and principal leads at Houston Grand Opera, and the occasional visiting Metropolitan Opera soprano.
In addition to his busy career as a performer and teacher, Whatley also serves as organist of Cypress Creek Christian Church, home of The Centrum and The Forum concert halls. Under the direction of Clara Lewis, Minister of Music, the Cypress Creek Community Chorale has performed concerts in Bavaria & Salzburg, and London & Bath. The church has embarked on fundraising to culminate in a large concert organ by renowned builder Manuel Rosales.
As an active member of Music Teachers National Association, Texas Music Teachers Association, and Cypress Creek Music Teachers Association, Whatley is in his first year of a three-year appointment as Piano Competitions Chair for TMTA. He is a frequent adjudicator, most recently for the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Atlanta. He received another invitation to adjudicate at the 2008 World Conference in Dallas.
Jay is a familiar face at professional conferences and conventions. He has presented conference sessions for the TMEA and TMTA, as well as performances at TMEA, TMTA, MTNA, and ACDA. He recently accepted an invitation to join the Oxford Round Table, held at Oxford University, where he will present a paper in July 2009. He is an active member of TMEA, TMTA, American Guild of Organists, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Mensa, among others.
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