Rhea E. Miller

Rhea E. Miller

Rhea Miller graduated from Albion College in 1919 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. She entered the field of public school music at the Township High School in Metamora, Illinois. She became Supervisor of Music in the Marshall, Minnesota Schools in 1922. In 1924, she entered the University of Michigan to complete her A.B. Degree.

Rhea Miller moved to Saginaw in 1926 to teach vocal music and piano in the Saginaw Public Schools. For 13 years, she served as Music Supervisor, and for 26 years, was Director of Music Education. She was a long-time Board Member and President of the Saginaw Community Concerts Association, and served on the Board of the Saginaw Art Museum.

In 1987, Miss Miller received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from SVSU. Miss Miller established the Rhea E. Miller Concert Series at SVSU to bring outstanding musical artists to the campus, because she believed that music students need to hear and interact with such fine musicians as a critical part of their education. In her characteristic generosity and dedication to music, she then asked the Music Department what was most needed, and the answer was scholarships. The Rhea E. Miller Music Education Scholarship program was established.

Miss Miller inherited her parents’ dairy farm and always kept a supply of Miller’s Ice Cream on hand to entertain her visitors. She was humble about her accomplishments and exceptional philanthropy. When she learned SVSU was to name the Recital Hall in her honor shortly before her death in February 1997, she was very excited, but said, “I’m not worthy of that.” All at SVSU respectfully disagree.

Over the span of her distinguished career, she touched many lives, introducing them to the appreciation of music. Through the Concert Series and Music Education Scholarships, she will continue to touch lives and inspire music students for generations to come.