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Jonathan Miller

Jonathan MillerJONATHAN MILLER (1962 – ) is best known as founder and artistic director of Chicago a cappella, a professional vocal ensemble he has led since 1993. He has guided the ensemble through more than 300 concerts and eight commercial CD releases of eclectic, innovative programs. His international accolades include the 2008 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal from Chorus America.

Mr. Miller earned a doctorate in musicology at UNC-Chapel Hill while remaining an active performer in the Chicago area. He was music director at Unity Temple (Unitarian) in Oak Park, Ill., from 1997 through 2006 and has served several other local and visiting choirs as clinician and coach. He has written more than 50 choral works in a variety of genres and languages; his works have been sung at the Pentagon, the Lincoln Memorial, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as countless venues in the Chicago area. He holds as a great honor his role as publisher of the late Max Janowski’s catalogue and is principal guest conductor of Kol Zimrah, the Jewish Community Chorus of Metro Chicago.

Mr. Miller’s life in Jewish choral music began when, at the age of 10, he joined Judy Maslin’s Junior Choir at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, where Max Janowski was director of music. By the time Mr. Miller was 17, he was bass section leader in the Chicago Children’s Choir. In that year, Max Janowski offered him a spot in the high-holiday choir at the Central Synagogue of the South Side Hebrew Congregation. He then spent 15 years in the high-holiday quartet at B’nai Jacob in Rogers Park with Cantor Julius Solomon, who in 1998 invited Mr. Miller to form an octet at Congregation Rodfei Zedek (CRZ). The high-holiday choir at CRZ upholds the tradition of Janowski’s complete a cappella high-holiday liturgy.

Mr. Miller’s continuing service at CRZ includes two years serving as high-holiday cantor, as well as leading Kabbalat Shabbat services, and composing new melodies and choral settings.

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