Lessons & Carols to feature new carol written as a tribute to Chapel Choir Director George Miller
| By Molly Robey
A Loyola graduate commissioned a carol to honor George P. Miller, ’76, as he celebrates 35 years at the University this year. The world premiere of the piece will occur during the 31st Annual Festival of Lessons & Carols at Loyola on Dec. 6.
John Oghia,’07, commissioned this new setting of “Lullay, My Liking” from British composer Philip Stopford to honor Miller, who has worked at Loyola since 1985 and founded the Chapel Choir that same year.
"We all have individuals in our lives who have played an instrumental role in our formation and growth,” said Oghia, who was a member of the Chapel Choir and an economics major at Loyola. “As a student at Loyola, I had the privilege of meeting and working closely with George—an experience that changed my life forever. I’m deeply grateful to him and I could think of no better way to celebrate his 35th anniversary than through music.”
“Lullay, My Liking” is a contemporary setting of a 15th century text written as a first-person account from Mary, who is rocking baby Jesus to sleep. The carol is scored for choir, organ, string quartet, and brass and is roughly five minutes in length.
“Commissioning a noted composer to set an original carol is a unique process, one that has taken over a year. This is a very generous gesture on John’s part—a very kind gift and token of appreciation,” said Miller, who is associate director of the office of Campus Ministry. “Of the nearly 1,000 women and men who have passed through Loyola’s Chapel Choir over the years, there are those former students who have become dear lifelong personal friends. John is certainly in that number.”
In his role as associate director of the office of Campus Ministry, Miller oversees liturgies, directs the Chapel Choir, leads retreats, and supervises the wedding coordinator at Loyola. He earned his bachelor’s degree in theology from Loyola and additional degrees in music education and vocal performance from Towson University. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Vocal Pedagogy and Conducting from the University of Maryland. He has held leadership positions with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. His passion for music and singing has given him the opportunity to perform with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and the Baltimore, Washington National, and Annapolis opera companies.
Lessons & Carols will be held on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at 5 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 410-617-2222 or 410-617-2768. If you are unable to attend, a livestream will be available.
The candle-lit service, which features music and scripture reading to celebrate the Advent and Christmas season, is a signature event for Loyola and begins the Christmas season on campus. Miller will lead the Chapel Choir and guest artists through a performance of seasonal music incorporating a range of musical styles and traditions.