Jo Ellen Miano
Professor of Music Emeritus
Jo Ellen Miano is Professor of Music at SUNY Plattsburgh, where she coordinates the choral and vocal activities of the Department of Music. She conducts the Concert Choir and teaches private voice lessons, as well as a variety of classroom courses. She is also the faculty sponsor of the Champlain Valley Voices Internship.
Active as a choral and eurhythmics clinician, Miano offers workshops locally, nationally and internationally at both the public school and university levels. Her longtime interest in the study of rhythm through body movement and gesture prompted her study and certification in Dalcroze eurhythmics at Carnegie Mellon University. Her certification thesis, “Using Eurhythmics to Deepen Musical Understanding in Youth and Adult Choirs,” examines how the rhythmic movement component of Dalcroze Eurhythmics can be used with choral warm-ups and for exploring musical concepts during rehearsal.
Miano enjoys producing, conducting, music-directing or otherwise collaborating on staged productions. Recent projects include The Drowsy Chaperone (2017), Oklahoma! (2015), Carousel (2012), South Pacific (2007), Amahl and the Night Visitors (1999, 2001, 2014), Dido and Aeneas (2010), several Madrigal Dinners (1997, 1998, 2000).
Also active as a vocal soloist, Miano most recently has performed as soprano soloist with Champlain Valley Voices (Schubert’s pre-Mass in G and Vivaldi’s pre-Magnificat). She performed Rachmaninov’s “Vocalise” on pre-The Blue Hour, an evening of poetry and music, with Jun Matsuo at the piano. Deeply interested in sharing knowledge about the voice, Miano was the administrator of the Rockwell Blake International Voice Masterclass (2014), hosted by the Department of Music.
Miano was guest clinician and conductor at the Choral, Voice & Piano Festival 2013 in Trinidad — a collaborative project of the SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Music and the University of Trinidad and Tobago and Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism. During the week-long festival Miano led middle-school, high-school and community choral clinics, judged a vocal competition, led a voice masterclass, performed a faculty recital with Plattsburgh colleague, Dr. Karen Becker, and UTT faculty, and prepared for the Grand Finale concert at the Lord Kitchener Auditorium at the National Academy for the Performing Arts. Miano and Becker have subsequently returned to Trinidad and Tobago (2016) to continue nurturing the relationship with gifted young pianists, vocalists and choristers.
Miano conducted the mixed chorus in the Essex All-County Festival (February 2016). She has presented eurhythmics application sessions for both elementary and high school levels at the 1998 New York State Winter Conference of NYSSMA. She enjoys conducting NYSSMA Zone 6 All-County choruses, as well as Zone 4 and Zone 6 Area All-State Mixed Choruses. Miano conducted the Suburban Council HS Chorus in the Albany NY area (2010). She conducted NYSSMA Zone 6 Area All-State Mixed Chorus (2009). Miano conducted at several Vermont music festivals, including the Mixed Chorus of the Vermont Northwest District Musical Festival (2009) and the Mixed Chorus of the Champlain Valley District III Music Festival (Burlington, Vt., in 2005 and 2008). She also participated in the initial New York State School Music Association pre-1998 P.E.A.K. Festival, a state project that focuses on the creative process within the elementary classroom music program.
Miano collaborates with many dedicated area school music teachers, including working with choirs in their rehearsal settings throughout the year. She designed a large project in which she worked with area school children on the modern premiere of the Mozart pre-Mass with Toy Instruments, an 1802 arrangement (Paul Wranitsky) of Mozart’s pre-Mass in C Major for conventional and toy orchestra. She also worked with a children’s chorus for the performance of Rutter’s pre-Mass of the Children (2008).
Beyond her interests in choral and vocal studies, Miano teaches a variety of courses at SUNY Plattsburgh. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Boston University, a Masters of Music in conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dalcroze eurhythmics certification from Carnegie Mellon University. She served as chair of the Department of Music from 1999-2007. She is the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2007). Most recently, Miano studied voice for a number of years with operatic tenor Rockwell Blake.