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By Vernor Rodgers
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SEQUESTERED SERENADING SERVICES OFFERED

By Vernor Rodgers        

Amid the stress and frustrations triggered by the COVID-19 shelter-in-place decrees, people can come up with ways to keep themselves emotionally fit as well as productive, spreading good will.

Andrea Miller, an Orange County-based singer / songwriter, has come up with a way to share her talent even now as the venues in which she usually performs are shuttered.

During the last week of April, Miller posted on her Facebook fan page what she called “sequestered serenading services.” Essentially Miller is offering to take requests for songs that she will sing and use the resources of social media platforms to present these performances.

About week three into her shelter-in-place existence, Miller, who specializes in jazz and standards songs, realized that she needed to keep her voice in shape.

“I was thinking, what can I do from my apartment to contribute any way I could and so I thought of this idea,” Miller said. She added that she has performed at nursing homes, where she encounters enthusiastic audiences. “They’re just so appreciative, and they usually know all the words, because I’m singing all the standards. So I thought: What if I offer my serenading skills to people that are sequestered like I am. It was an epiphany that came to me in week three, out of complete boredom, and desperation of: What am I gonna do?”

So Miller posted the following on her Facebook fan page:

"SEQUESTERED SERENADING SERVICES" 

I am a professional jazz singer and recording artist and have lost all my work and income due to COVID-19. Like so many others, I am self-quarantined and alone in my apartment. I would like to offer my singing skills (free of charge) in the form of personalized serenading to people in need, especially those who are sick, completely isolated, lonely and afraid. I take personal, specific song requests or can provide a list of songs to choose from. I can either upload a video of me singing the song or sing it live via Facetime, Skype or Zoom. If you or a loved one is in this situation please send me a direct message and let me know the name of the person to serenade, their favorite song and how you would like me to send the video or set a time for a live exchange. If elderly people do not have the technology, I am happy to do a singing telegram over a landline phone. I hope to brighten someone's day by singing their favorite song!

Song suggestions: Amazing Grace, What a Wonderful World, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I Wish You Love, Smile, The Glory of Love, Skylark, Dream a Little Dream, Imagine, Let it Be and list goes on!

As of April 30 she had nearly a two dozen requests.

“It’s really cool,” she said. “It’s really kind of rewarding.” She said she is usually doing a song requested by one person for another. “It’s usually for someone whose loved ones are sick or in a nursing home.” She reiterates she is offering the service for free.

Miller at one time had  opened for the late Al Jarreau, and most of her gigs are in smaller venues.

Miller was trained in first soprano opera from age 12 to 17. “I had played Annie in a musical when I was 11 and my future voice teacher was in the audience and she came up to me afterward and said, I think you’ve got a lot of natural talent, and I would love to be able to teach you.”

She learned how to use her voice properly, how to breathe and other skills.

She then discovered R&B and pop but eventually found jazz, but it all started with classical.

Miller was 5 years old around Christmas when her dad, who was a musician – he played clarinet and saxophone and was band teacher – heard her sing  “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and he told Miller’s mon, I think we have a singer on our hands. Although her mother dismissed this initially, Miller, according to her father, already was singing with vibrato and perfectly in tune.

“I think it started early and I have just always known, I’d always sing,” she said.

After doing an album “Perfect Day,” around 2005 that was not legally released, she was asked to sing at a wedding. People involved in the wedding had connections to KJAZZ, the Southern California jazz station. Her singing there, along with presenting “Perfect Day,” helped get her songs aired on the station.

“It was one of those ‘who you know’ stories,” Miller said.

In addition to her discography that includes “Maybe Today”, “II By II”, “Andrea Miller Featuring the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra”, “Soulful Dream”, "Imagine - EP", “Fly Like an Eagle – EP” and “Andrea - EP”, Miller has also performed songs on soundtracks of such movies as “Star Trek Beyond,” “Zootopia,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and "Jurassic World.”

Miller earned a bachelors degree in fine arts in theater from USC.

Despite her opera training, she has no desire to perform in operas, citing too many rules to follow. So when she discovered jazz, she knew where she wanted to go.

“Artistically there is no limit to your creativity and there’s no rules, ultimately, if you think about it. It’s the perfect art form where I can never get bored and can continually express myself and grow.”

Andrea Miller’s web site is www.andreamillersings.com/

She also has a Facebook fan page and there are several streams of her on YouTube of her performances on stage.


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