Miller caps off senior year with third All State

Mike Moore photo
Glenrock High School senior Jossilyn Miller turns a page of music while singing in the school’s band and choir room Jan. 14. Miller will be making her third trip to All State Music at the beginning of next week in Gillette.

Mike Moore

By Mike Moore

Most choir students have left for the day. Empty rows of seats, unused music instruments and stark black music stands fill the expansive, yet, empty Glenrock High School band and choir room.
That is, until a voice strongly projects out from behind music instructor Jeremy Huck’s piano at the front of the room.
The voice is powerful, soothing and confident. It’s a gift GHS senior Jossilyn Miller has worked tirelessly throughout her life to perfect.
For most her age, singing is simply another interest to be involved with during the school day. For Miller, this something she wants to do for the rest of her life.
You can tell by the way each lyrical note fills the room as she sings.
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed during her four years of high school. Coming up next week, she will accomplish a feat very few of her peers have done in the past as she heads for her third All State Music gathering in Gillette Jan 20-21.
It’s easy to see how she arrived at this chapter as soon as she starts talking about music. Her enthusiasm is infectious.
“Singing has been a big part of my life since I was little,” she said. “I will keep music in my life as long as I live.”
“Those are the kids that make it a challenge to teach,” Huck added. “Not because of lack of attitude, effort or talent, but because it’s hard to challenge them enough. She makes it fun to show up everyday because she is so interested in what you’re saying and doing that she wants to do more of it.”
Huck described Miller as, “a top notch student with tons of ability.”
Her first experience with a choir came in fifth grade and she just kept going. Upon entering high school, she was selected for the high school honor choir, sticking with it until it dissolved shortly thereafter during her sophomore year.
“That was kind of sad,” she reflected.
Having a chance to join between 150-200 of the state’s strongest singers, especially as a senior, is the quintessential icing on the cake as she begins preparing for life outside high school.
“A lot of people don’t make it at all - try as they may,” Huck said of the prestigous event. “It’s kind of like being a finalist on America’s Got Talent. Everybody shows up but few make it to the end.”
By this stage of her life, Miller has successfully identified the road she will carve out before her. She doesn’t play sports, there simply isn’t enough time in the day. She’s preoccupied with speech and debate, drama and “her love” – music.
In December, she and her father boarded a plane and left her 2,000 population hometown for the second largest city in the United States – Los Angeles, California. Her dream is to attend a theatre school upon graduation of GHS.
Her first choice is the New York Film Academy, which has locations in New York, Los Angeles and South Beach, Florida.
She applied to the location in Los Angeles and earned a $15,000 scholarship from the school after making the trip last month to a scouting conference featuring various talent agencies.
“I acted, I sang and I did some film scenes and a bunch of different events,” she said. “They liked me, I guess, or enough to give me a scholarship.”
Acting and stage performance wouldn’t require her singing voice very often, but it never hurts to have an extra talent at her disposal.
“I will keep music in my life,” she said. “It’s such a good thing to keep.”
She’s thankful to have a family that not only supports her passions, but propel her to new heights.
“They really push me to do my music, acting and extracurriculars,” she said. “It’s a good thing for me because not a lot of people have that (support).”
The talents she has acquired weren’t handed to her. She had to work for what she wanted and she is starting to see the payoff.
After finishing a full day of school and speech and debate practice, it’s not uncommon for Miller to go home and continue practicing sometimes as late as midnight.
“It’s  non-stop, but it’s what I love and I don’t get tired of it,” she said. “It’s great.”
“She’s the rare student that’s so into this stuff,” Huck said. “Any concept I throw out there - to her, it’s the coolest thing ever.”
Watching her idols on the silver screen and in other forms of media also push the girl to maybe one day make it to that level herself. Seeing someone belt a high note makes Miller want to do the same.
“Of course, if you’re really into music you’re gonna want to try to belt that high note,” she said. “I think what it comes down to is just loving music. I’ve found that if you don’t really love music as much, then you don’t really care as much.”
The one thing that is certain is when All State rolls around, she will be joined by the best of the best within Wyoming. All of them share the same passion.
Working with students on the same level or higher than Miller is a huge benefit.
“We don’t have that here in our little town,” Huck said of the opportunity.
A gathering such as this creates a magical experience. She still looks back to her first visit as a freshman with nostalgic memories.
“The overwhelming emotion and just having so many great voices come together as one to create a big sound is amazing,” she said. “Sometimes I can’t put it into words. It sounds so pure. I would compare it to a drop of honey . . . it just makes my heart so happy.”


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