University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
April 4, 2012
Contact: Alice Jackson, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6639

USA Jaguar Marching Band Director
to Direct Cherry Blossom Parade Band

Dr. Ward Miller
Dr. Ward Miller   

Dr. Ward Miller, director of the USA Jaguar Marching Band, will direct the All-Star Band for the historic 100th Anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C., on April 14.

The All-Star Band will feature more than 300 students from multiple states performing as the showcase group in the 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. parade through the nation's capital. In addition to the band, the parade will include giant helium balloons, magnificent floats, specialty units, celebrities and special production numbers.

This year's spectacle marks 100 years since Tokyo, Japan, gave 3,000 cherry trees to be planted around Washington’s Tidal Basin. Through the years, the annual blooming of the cherry trees has become one of the city’s largest tourist attractions, spanning up to five weeks each spring when the blossoms burst into colorful bloom.

Miller, who joined the University in 2008, was selected because of his ongoing success at USA and for his previous experience as musical arranger and co-director of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, another national parading honor band.

“It's a tremendous honor,” said Miller. “I’m looking forward to representing our University as we work with these fine students from across the county."

Miller earned his doctorate in band from the University of Iowa. He received his master’s degree in music education from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., and his bachelor’s degree in music education from Auburn University.

He served as assistant wind ensemble director at Mesa Community College in Phoenix, Ariz., and director of bands at two high schools, including Andalusia High School, Andalusia, Ala.

Miller has also been brass clinician for the Phoenix Symphony Guild, clinician for numerous high school marching and band concerts, and the marching band arranger for high schools and colleges across the nation.

He is a published composer through the Tuba-Euphonium Press, and he is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the International Trombone Association, Music Educators National Conference, Golden Key National Honor Society and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.


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