Feb. 20, 2024

NDSU professor receives lifetime achievement award


The NDSU Challey School of Music is proud to announce that Jo Ann Miller, director of choral activities and University Distinguished Professor, was awarded the Weston H. Noble Award for Lifetime Achievement in Choral Arts from the Midwest Region of the American Choral Directors Association. 

The Weston H. Noble Award for Lifetime Achievement in Choral Arts is given every two years to an outstanding choral conductor within the Midwest ACDA, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. 

As a member of the ACDA for decades, Miller acknowledges it as one of the most influential organizations of her career. She has witnessed many conductors receive the Weston H. Noble Award over the years and was truly honored when she was presented the award at the Midwest ACDA regional conference on Feb. 9 in Omaha, Nebraska. 

“I’m grateful and humbled to be among so many wonderful conductors who have received this award,” she said. “I’ve been blessed with so many great students whose talent, commitment and musicianship have made music-making a joy.” 

Michael Weber, the associate director of choral activities at NDSU, is thrilled that his colleague received this recognition. 

“Dr. Miller is passionate about quality choral literature from all periods of the choral canon,” Weber said. “She’s a master teacher who is dedicated to her students, values her role as a mentor and works hard to create a nurturing environment.” 

One of Miller’s former graduate students, Isaac Lovdahl, shared that she has been one of the most important mentors of his life, both professionally and personally. 

“She has continued the tradition of choral excellence that was established by her mentor, Dr. Edwin Fissinger, and elevated the choral program at NDSU to an international spotlight,” Lovdahl shares. 

Current NDSU student, senior and music education major Ashley Johnson says that Miller equips her students with the tools that will give them a lifetime of enjoying music.

“She has past students who are successful in every area of the music field, from performing to conducting to composing,” Johnson adds. “She has touched the lives of every student who has entered her classroom, and those students will carry on her legacy for decades to come.” 

Miller has been the director of choral activities at NDSU since 1989. She plans to retire in May 2024. To learn more about Learn more about Miller’s professional background and accomplishments on the Challey School of Music website

Categories: Faculty, Awards
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