Elijah Miller Plays His Way into His Future

Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon


   Elijah Miller graduated from Boyd County last week in the top 20 of his class with a GPA of 3.96. He has spent his senior year much like the rest of his high school career. He alternates time between the cross-country track, church, completing taxidermy projects, and following his interest in the music that he intends to turn into his career.

   As a longtime member of Boyd County’s cross-country team, one of the highlights of his high school career was the team placing second in this year’s state championship meet. While Elijah himself has placed at state, the team has fallen a little short, and the second place finish was a huge moment for all of them this year. He was once again chosen for the All State cross-country team and was the KOVCCT champion. Elijah did not return to the track team this year because he had too many obligations with the music that he intends to turn into his future.

   During his senior year of high school, Elijah was a member of both the Beta Club and the National Honor Society. Both of these things require volunteer hours. His mother, Connie Miller, states that Elijah prefers to do more behind the scenes volunteer work. He leads the musical part of the worship service every week at church and has even been asked to come to another church as a guest to help raise money for charity. When it snows, Elijah goes up and down the hollow where he lives helping neighbors shovel out their driveways. He was also there to help set up for home cross-country meets this school year, as well as staying afterward to help take everything down.

   Elijah and two of his friends formed a jazz trio. They refer to themselves as the Boyd County Jazz musicians. The three of them volunteered their time at the Our Night to Shine Prom for teens with special needs last month. They played jazz music while the children were being announced into the prom and also while they were eating.

   Elijah has been recognized as a distinguished leader by the Whitlock Memorial and as a Governor’s Scholar. He spent five weeks last summer at Murray State University learning how to be a better leader.

   He and a friend have formed a jazz duo called Wind and Wire that occasionally plays at Blazer’s Restaurant. Elijah also plays at Crisp’s in Flatwoods every Tuesday evening.

   His skill on guitar has earned him a spot on the All-District Jazz Band and the All-State Jazz Band the past two years. He is a chosen member of the Jazz All Stars of Central Kentucky and the Marshall High School All-Stars Jazz Band. He plays with the Boyd County High School Jazz Band and they were one of only two bands in the state chosen to play at the Kentucky Music Educator’s Association.

   Elijah was also chosen for All-State Choir, but due to scheduling conflicts, had to choose between choir and band. His parents credit choir director, Aaron Bowling, for helping Elijah improve his vocals and band director, John Johnson, for helping him grow musically and teaching him to play in a band setting while still allowing him to play solo. Elijah recently played in the pit orchestra at the Paramount Arts Center under Johnson, who was the music director for the night.

   Elijah will pursue a degree in music with a minor in business this fall at Morehead State University. The Governor’s Scholar program provided him with full tuition to MSU and he will get an Alumni scholarship because his father, Scott Miller, graduated from there and is the current music director. He also got a small music scholarship from the university as well.

   In addition to the scholarships meant solely for Morehead State University, Elijah was also the recipient of the very first Don Payne memorial scholarship for music, the Jordan Emmons scholarship for cross-country, the Vanatter Memorial Scholarship, the Daughters of the American Revolution citizenship award for Boyd County, and the John Philip Sousa music award which is a big deal for him because his father won the same award in high school.

   Elijah’s mother states that they do not buy any of his musical equipment. He funds it all himself through yard work and his interest in taxidermy. He even wanted to show off his taxidermy interest on his graduation cap by putting a stuffed possum complete with open mouth and teeth on his cap. His parents wouldn’t allow that, but he did manage to sneak out of the house with a stuffed squirrel on his cap. He told his mom that he was the highlight of graduation and everyone laughed when he walked in. She said she was glad that he at least chose something without a bunch of teeth in an open mouth.