An engaging performer and passionate educator, Andy Miller’s interests in classical percussion, non-Western percussion traditions, improvisation, composition and dance accompaniment have led to a broad range of artistic practices across a variety of genres. Currently, the Music Director in the Dance Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he teaches courses in music, sound design, and digital media in addition to creative collaborations as a dance musician and composer.
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Andy holds degrees in percussion performance from Wright State University (B.M., Alumni of the Year 2014), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (M.M., Swanson Family Percussion Fellow) and is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University. He has also taught percussion at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music (Fall 2017), Olivet Nazarene University (2012-2017), and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (2014-2017).
As a dance musician, Andy has accompanied Kirstie Simson and members of the Mark Morris and Trisha Brown Dance Companies and his collaborations as a composer-performer with contemporary choreographers have received performances in New York, (Maria, Gibney Dance Center, Movement Research at the Judson Church) Illinois, (Piece.piece. Krannert Center) and Colombia (Fracture, IX Festival Santander en Escena).
Navigating the diverse world of percussion with technical and musical precision, Andy has performed in North America, South America, and Asia, bringing a broad knowledge of the percussive arts to bear in performance, pedagogy, and research. He has been a featured percussion concerto soloist with the Indiana University Orchestra (Pataruco, Concerto for Venezuelan Maracas and Orchestra), University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra (The Glory and the Grandeur), and the Wright State University Wind Symphony (Gillingham: Concertino for 4 percussion and winds). He has played with orchestras throughout the Midwest (Peoria Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Champaign-Urbana Symphony) and has held residencies at many summer festivals (Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, Atlantic Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, Troublesome Gap).
Committed to the performance of contemporary music, Andy has commissioned and premiered many new pieces for percussion and has worked with composers such as Ken Thompson, Robert Paterson, Jon Supko, Juri Seo, Vin Calianno, Rodolfo Acosta, Johann Hassler (Colombia), José Martinez, Juan Camilo Vásquez, and Quinn Collins. Andy’s recent project as a consortium leader for Monologue IV by José Martinez was selected to be the required repertoire in the final round of the the 2018 Modern Snare Drum Competition.
Andy specializes in Afro-Colombian, West African, and Afro-Brazilian folkloric music and has had the opportunity to study with and perform alongside master musicians such as Bolokada Conde (Les Percusion de Guinée), Francis Lara (Latin Grammy award winning, Gaiteros de San Jacinto), and percussionist Michael Spiro (Wayne Wallace Quintet, and Jorge Alabe (Oba Oba). He was awarded a prestigious Fulbright fellowship to Colombia in 2011, where he studied Afro-Colombian folkloric music with Ferney “La Wey” Segura, Francis Lara, and Jorge Sepulveda. In the summer of 2015 Andy was awarded the Graduate Presser Award to continue this study of Afro-Colombian percussion, focusing on the Bullerengue genre with master Emilsen Pacheco in the small seaside town of San Juan de Urabá.
When Andy is not performing or teaching, he enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, and woodworking in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife, harpist Erin Brooker-Miller.