The youngest of four siblings, Tim Miller, music performance senior has always been regarded as the
By Jonathan Woon
special one because of his magical touch on the strings of a violin.
Born on Aug 9 1988, Tim Miller was raised in Arkansas City by his parents Kurtis and Sharon Miller. “I
was really impressed and proud at the same time of this child of mine,” said Sharon when she
discovered Miller’s musical talents back then when he was in fourth grade.
At a young age, Miller started engaging to world of music. He sang together with his dad and visited
various churches to perform. Even though Miller’s musical abilities were apparent back then, it was not
until the age of 9 that Miller had his very first private guitar lesson. “I toyed around with instruments
and I wanted to play the violin so badly. My parents on the other hand thought the guitar would be a
better instrument to learn,” said Miller. He learned the guitar despite a lack of interest. Miller’s love for
the four-stringed instrument rekindled in the summer of 1999 when he was 11 years old. The school’s
instrumental program started and Miller signed up for the orchestra without any hesitation.
Miller vividly recalls his inspiration to play the violin. He read a book called “Unfinished Dreams” which
tells the story of a young lad who played the violin. “It impacted me enough to make me want to play,”
he said. Just like any other musician, Miller treasures his first violin bought by his parents at a music
store in Ponca City, OK for $300.
During middle and high school, Miller was frustrated with the orchestra as people around him were not
able to play simple music. After performing Seitz No. 5 in an audition with Dr. Daniel Stevens, assistant
professor of strings music, Miller enrolled into the music program offered by Southwestern. The picture
changed completely at Southwestern when he saw the level and ability of others. “I was really frustrated
with how far behind I was,” Miller said.
Dr. Timothy Shook, chairman of performing arts division said that there is significant improvement in
Miller’s performance through hard work and much practice with help from faculty after enrolling into
the music program at Southwestern College. “Tim is always an A student and shows dedication through
his preparation for class. He also shows up for every class,” he said. When asked about the future that
he foresees for Miller, Shook said that he sees Miller involved in music in many ways such as private
teaching, performing, technology, and composition.
Today, Miller is the concertmaster of the South Kansas Symphony, a member of the advisory board for
South Kansas Symphony and plays first violin for the Williams’ String Quartet. Miller studied with
renowned violinist Chun To Jun Liang Du of the Seattle Symphony and Burton Kaplan at “Masterworks
Music Festival, Winona Lake, Indiana 2010” and “Magic Mountain Music Farm, Morris, New York 2009”
respectively. He is also the champion of the Music Academic Competition in Independence, Kansas
(music history and music theory 2003-2006).
Jonathan Woon is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at