Anna Maria A. Miller
Anna Maria Andrews Miller is in her tenth year as String and Full Orchestra Director at Croft Middle Design Center. A native Pennsylvanian, Mrs. Miller received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received her Master of Music in Music Education from Boston University.
Mrs. Miller has built a thriving String and Full Orchestra program at Croft. Her orchestras have consistently received superior ratings at regional festivals and performance assessments. They have performed at the Tennessee Music Education Association’s State Festival, the Mayor’s State of Metro Address, the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools Conference, the Educational Leadership Learning Exchange and the National Association of Middle Schools Conference. Their reputation for excellence provided them the opportunity to perform at the 400th Anniversary Celebration of Jamestown in Jamestown, VA where many of her students performed in a side-by-side concert with the Virginia Symphony. Croft’s Full Orchestra and String Orchestra were invited to perform on the stage of The Schermerhorn Symphony Center in the Country Music Association’s All-Star Concert. Several of her students are selected each year for Mid-State Orchestra and many receive superior ratings at Solo & Ensemble Festivals. This year, the Croft Middle Design Center Orchestra is honored by their selection to perform at the Tennessee Music Education Association State Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities Mrs. Miller is Conductor and Musical Director of the Williamson County Youth Orchestra. This group of talented high school musicians from Williamson County and surrounding areas study and perform a variety of string and full orchestra repertoire. Under her direction the orchestra has grown to include over 85 musicians. In addition to their regular concert performances, the orchestra has performed at The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, traveled to Chicago to participate in a clinic at Northwestern University and performs at many community gatherings.
Mrs. Miller is adjunct faculty at Belmont University and serves on several Metro Nashville Public School District committees including Curriculum Pacing and Mapping, District Standards, Textbook Adoption, Standards Assessment, and Contemporary Music Education Professional Development. She has served as an adjudicator and guest conductor at various music festivals and honors ensembles and spent many years as an instructor for the district’s summer orchestra camp. Mrs. Miller continues to perform professionally, serves as choir director at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, and directs a youth Greek dance program.
Mrs. Miller’s professional affiliations include membership in the National Association for Music Education, the Tennessee Music Education Association, the American String Teachers Association and the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association where she served on the Executive Board and as Mid-State Orchestra Chair.
Melissa Edgington, a conductor, musician and performer, began her violin studies at age 8 in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. She attended the University of South Carolina and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with emphasis in Instrumental Music Education. In May 2012, Mrs. Edgington completed her Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from Belmont University.
In South Carolina, Mrs. Edgington taught at the University of South Carolina String Project (1999 – 2003), was a participant in the USC Symphony, the Lake Murray Symphony, and was the full-time orchestra director at Fulmer Middle School (2003-2006). During Mrs. Edgington’s time at Fulmer Middle School, the string program more than doubled, growing from only forty string students to over one hundred. Mrs. Edgington has experience teaching private violin lessons, homogenous violin classes, and heterogeneous elementary and middle school string classes as well as having conducted high school ensembles.
Upon moving to Nashville in 2006, Mrs. Edgington taught music appreciation and music theory at Ravenwood High School in Williamson County. From 2007-2010, Mrs. Edgington was the full time orchestra director at Poplar Grove Middle School. Once again, under her instruction, the string program experienced substantial growth.
Melissa Edgington has served as the Williamson County Junior Orchestra conductor since it’s inception in January 2007. In addition to conducting the Junior Orchestra, she currently teaches private violin lessons and performs regularly around the Nashville area.
When she’s not playing or teaching music, Mrs. Edgington enjoys being a mom to her two-year old daughter, Summer. Mrs. Edgington also enjoys running, hiking, kayaking, the South Carolina Gamecocks and her bunny socks. She loves spending time with her husband and family and is very thankful for everything in her life.
As a music educator, Mrs. Edgington strongly believes in the value and beauty of music. Music provides children with the chance to creatively express themselves while instilling such characteristics as self-discipline, dedication and commitment. Mrs. Edgington strives to be a positive role model for children and hopes to make each child feel needed while awakening their minds to new possibilities. One of her favorite quotes is: ”They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel” (Anonymous). Mrs. Edgington teaches because she wants to share music with others and positively influence the lives of children. Mrs. Edgington hopes to teach children to be passionate about music and grow to love it as she does.
Avery Bright is a musician living in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally from Colorado, Avery spent most of his childhood in the farmlands of the Midwest. He grew up fishing, farming, and fiddling, but he also spent a lot of time and energy studying classical music. Avery earned a Bachelor of Music from the Wheaton College Conservatory in Wheaton, Ill., and now performs, records, and teaches classical music, as well as traditional bluegrass and country styles.
Avery has played with the Huntsville and Paducah Symphony Orchestras, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, modern hymn-writers Kristin and Keith Getty, as well as Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Price, and the rock band Kansas to name a few.