Alumni Profile

Ben Miller '11

Bagpipe Instructor, Musician

Originally from the Lake George area of Upstate New York, I am currently living in Edinburgh, Scotland, having recently completed a master's degree in Scottish Ethnology at the University of Edinburgh's School of Scottish Studies. Since finishing my music degree at Saint Michael's College, I have been a professional bagpipe instructor at the Piper's Gathering in Burlington, Vermont, the Maine Pipes and Fiddle Weekend, and Prince Edward Island Fiddle Camp. In addition to teaching, I have also performed in a number of concerts across the Northeastern USA, Canada, and Scotland.

I am currently involved with several musical projects, including the Edinburgh-based Scottish folk music quartet Larsa and various collaborations with Scottish step-dancer Sophie Stephenson, helping to provide music for her classes and workshops across the country. Since moving to Edinburgh, I have also become a regular member of the city's vibrant folk music scene, and I currently host traditional music 'sessions' with friends across the city throughout the week.

As an academic, I have focused on music theory, musicology and Scottish ethnology, at both the Undergraduate and the Masters level. I write regularly for Piping Today magazine, where my undergraduate music thesis was published during the summer after graduation. I continue to enjoy exploring the intricacies of the musical tradition that I engage with, both as a performer and in the ethnomusicological context.

The Music Department at Saint Michael's College has played a critical role in my education, helping me to develop the multi-faceted approach to music that I have adopted since graduating. The guidance and support I received from the faculty in the Music Department helped me to find the right path in both my academic endeavors and in my career after college. Combining musical performance with academic musical research, informed by my own participation and engagement with the musical community around me, I have found an enjoyable and rewarding way to keep music in the foreground of my life after finishing my studies.

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