Community rallies together to honor band student

by Emma Fitzhugh | editor-in-chief

As a way to commemorate a former band student, the Tom Miller Music Scholarship was developed and is now available to seniors who are interested in pursuing music in college.

“The Tom Miller Scholarship was set up in his [Tom’s] memory. It is; I guess the goal of it is to give a student from Johnson [a] $2500 to $5000 scholarship…to a senior that’s gonna study music in college every year,” senior band student Brandon Arlington said.

This scholarship was founded by Miller’s parents, and band will be hosting an event in which all of the proceeds will go towards funding this scholarship opportunity.

“In March, on March 5th there’s gonna be a Chamber Ensemble dinner night. I’m actually planning that, so it’s gonna be here at Johnson in the cafeteria at 5 [PM],” Arlington said. “We’re gonna be catering Willie’s burgers. There’s gonna be Chamber Ensemble’s from Johnson and Reagan coming to perform with the event. It’ll probably be about three hours long; 5 to 8.”

This event will be open to all students, and includes a meal ticket as well as additional items that can be purchased, such as t-shirts with a personalized logo.

“The event on March 5th is entitled ‘Miller’s Melodies.’ It is a music festival co-coordinated by Johnson and Reagan band students. We are going to have chamber ensembles perform during the event. We are going to sell meal tickets and t-shirts to raise money for the scholarship fund,” junior band student Audrey Payne said. “It is a scholarship fund created by Mr. Carson Miller and Mrs. Pati Miller in honor of their son’s passing. Tom was going to be a composer after high school, so the scholarship will be given to a student who majors in music in college.”

Miller's Melodies logo
The logo for the Chamber Ensemble event entitled “Miller’s Melodies” was designed by senior band student Caroline LaChance, and will be featured on t-shirts and flyers.

The logo was designed by senior band student Caroline LaChance, who is among five students who are primarily in charge of running the event, which includes Arlington, Payne, senior Hayden Greiman, and senior Michael Mesa. Four Reagan students are also involved in planning this event as well.

“The logo will be on the T-shirts and are on posters around the school. By the way, this event is entirely run by a staff of students. We are the ones who grew up with him, so we are the ones who will lead the charge in remembering him,” Payne said. “The goal is to make this an annual event. We are certain that the start time is five. We think it will be finished by eight but we haven’t finally decided on an end time yet.”

While it is unclear at this time whether this event will become an annual occurrence, the goal of this music festival seems to be to remember the life of a fellow band student, and also provide an opportunity for another student to continue a beloved legacy.

“Since Tom loved music so much, we felt it was appropriate to honor him with something he loved. That’s why chamber ensembles will be performing and why we named the event ‘Miller’s Melodies,’” Payne said. “I’m looking forward to celebrating Tom’s life with people in and out of the band program that knew him, both from Johnson and Reagan. Celebrating life instead of mourning death is the goal of the evening. I hope we can raise money to help out a talented musician while bonding with our peers from another school.”

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