Hawkins Hall and pond


Jo Ellen Miano

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jo ellen miano 


Jo Ellen Miano is Associate Professor at SUNY Plattsburgh, where she heads the choral & vocal activities.  A conductor and voice teacher, Miano enjoys producing or music-directing concerts, staged productions and other events that celebrate the singing voice.  In Fall 2015, she was chorus master for the Music and Theatre Departments' co-production of Oklahoma! In November, 2014, she was music director for a choral department fully staged production of Amahl and the Night Visitors (American composer Gian Carlo Menotti's opera in one act). The cast was drawn completely from the combined choirs of College Chorale and Cardinal Singers. Mano conducted the combined choirs in a performance of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms (with full orchestra) in April 2015, featuring SUNY Plattsburgh soloists and boy soloist from Beekmantown Middle School. The choral program is in preparation for ChoralFest 2016, which will feature the Fauré Requiem, with student soloists and professional orchestra. Miano coordinates SUNY Plattsburgh's International Voice Masterclass, led by internationally renowned tenor Rockwell Blake. The masterclass program began in August 2014.

Early in the Fall 2015 semester, Miano appeared as guest soprano in "THE BLUE HOUR: an evening of poetry and music," on which she performed Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise" with pianist Jun Matsuo. She appeared as soprano soloist in the Champlain Valley Voices performance of Schubert's Mass in G (December 2015). On September 2012, Miano presented a faculty voice recital, featuring Samuel Barber's song cycle Hermit Songs, with faculty colleague Karen Becker at the piano.  Also on the program was  Schubert's Shepherd on the Rock (assisted by Becker and clarinettist Janine Scherline), Saints-Saens' "Le bonheur est chose legere" (Marilyn Reynolds. violin). 

In June, 2013, Miano was guest clinician and conductor at the Choral & Voice 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.  The week-long festival included middle-school, high-school and community choral clinics, a vocal competition, a vocal masterclass, a solo recital with Plattsburgh and UUT faculty, and preparation for the Grand Finale concert at the Lord Kitchener Auditorium at the National Academy for the Performing Arts.

Miano and SUNY Plattsburgh colleague, Dr. Karen Becker, returned to Trinidad in January 2016 to work with gifted pianists, vocalists and choristers. Miano and Becker conducted voice and piano masterclasses. Miano led a primary school choral clinic and a community chorus clinic.

In May, 2013, Miano was guest conductor on the Champlain Valley Voices & Choral Union 30th Anniversary Concert with professional orchestra.  She featured three of our department voice students as soloists in selected choruses from Haydn's The Creation.

In April, 2012, the College Chorale and Cardinal Singers combined to present a concert version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel.  A collaboration with music faculty colleague Timothy Morningstar, the performance featured outstanding student vocalists and choristers from our music program.  In April 2007, she conducted two performances of the concert version of South Pacific, a collaborative project between the Music Department and Essex Theatre Company.  This production featured two-time Tony-Award winner George Hearn and Leslie Hearn in leading roles, as well as students, faculty & community members, who performed to sold-out crowds in E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium.  

Past productions in which Miano has been involved include
SUNY Plattsburgh's Renaissance Madrigal Dinner (producer & director in 1997, 1998, 2000), Amahl and The Night Visitors--Menotti (music & stage director in 1999 and 2001, music director 2014), Chicago (1997) and City of Angels (music director in 2003). From 1998-2007, Miano was the director of Champlain Valley Oratorio Society (now named Champlain Valley Voices) and Choral Union.  She served as guest conductor for CVV for their Spring 2010 concert, while Artistic Director Karen Becker was on leave.  In support of
this Champlain Valley Voices' semi-staged performance of Henry Purcell's opera, Dido and Aeneas, Miano planned the spring ChoralFest 2010 to be built upon the week-long residency of guest artist Kristine Ciesinski, operatic soprano--in the title role of Dido and Aeneas.  Ciesinski worked with College Chorale and Cardinal Singers, as well as providing an intense week of vocal activities that trained our voice students for participation in a staged Baroque opera.

 Miano is an active choral and eurhythmics clinician and offers workshops locally, nationally and internationally, at both the public school and university levels. Her longtime interest in the relationship between music and physical movement 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 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.  Most recently, Miano conducted the Suburban Council HS Chorus in the Albany NY area in February, 2010. She conducted NYSSMA Zone 6 Area All-State Mixed Chorus in November, 2009.  Miano conducted the Mixed Chorus of the Vermont Northwest District Musical Festival in April, 2009, the Mixed Chorus of the Champlain Valley District III Music Festival (Burlington, VT, January, 2005), and returned there as guest conductor in February, 2008. She also participated in the initial New York State School Music Association 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 area 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 Mass with Toy Instruments, an 1802 arrangement (Paul Wranitsky) of Mozart's Mass in C Major for conventional and toy orchestra.  On the same 2008 concert she also worked with a children's chorus for the performance of Rutter's Mass of the Children.  

Beyond her interests in choral and vocal studies, Miano teaches a variety of courses at SUNY Plattsburgh (see below). Miano holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University, a Masters of Music degree in conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dalcroze eurhythmics certification from Carnegie Mellon University.  She is a voice student with operatic tenor Rockwell Blake.

courses for spring 2016

course advisement period--march 28 through april 8

Advisement for course selection for Summer and Fall 2016 runs from March 28 - April 8.  If you are one of my advisees,
please go directly to your Moodle homepage for instructions about how to sign up online for your advisement time.  

I also serve as advisor to many students who are considering the major, minor or concentration in music.  If you do not have a music advisor assigned to you, feel free to request an advisement time with me. I can get you started and put you in the right direction with a music academic advisor who will serve you well. Contact me by email: joellen.miano@plattsburgh.edu 

I will add you as a guest to the MOODLE group site for sign-ups.

Please see me if you are interested in taking applied lessons in any instrument, but especially for voice.  I  can speak with you about how one gets into one of our applied studios. I also can help you get connected to an applied teacher, if you have specific questions for him or her.

If you have general questions about the music program and would prefer to speak to the department chair, contact Dr. Karen Becker. You can reach Dr. Becker by email and she can either answer your questions online, or she will direct your questions to a specific faculty member, if appropriate. Or she may decide that it would be better to meet with you in person.  

office hours

It's best to make an appointment for your office hour visits with me, since sometimes I need to spend extended time with individuals.  Certainly, you may just try "walk-in," but if another student has reserved time with me, you may have to wait.

Monday          8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
                        1 - 1:30 p.m.   

                       3:30 - 4:30 p.m.    

Tuesday         9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
                        1 - 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday    3:30 - 5 p.m.

Thursday        9:30 - 10:30 a.m. By appointment only.
                        3:30 - 5 p.m. 
Friday             1 - 3 p.m. By appointment only.

Again, it's best to make an appointment for your office hour visits, since sometimes I need to spend extended time with individuals.  Certainly, you may just try "walk-in," but if another student has reserved time with me, you may have to wait.

This page last modified on 05/05/16 .

©2003 Jo Ellen Miano.  For more information about this site, please contact joellen.miano@plattsburgh.edu