Home for Christmas

Whenever University of Kentucky students, staff, faculty, and supporters attend an arts event in Central Kentucky, it’s very common to see a familiar face. On December 14, 2019, the Lexington Philharmonic’s “A Cathedral Christmas” ended up being an impromptu UK School of Music reunion for many. When patrons began entering the Cathedral of Christ the King, they saw several familiar faces within the orchestra as well as the Lexington Singers – Catherine Clarke Nardolillo (DMA, 2013), Margaret Karp (Lecturer of Violin and Viola), Jason Dovel (Associate Professor of Trumpet) and even Andrew Miller (BMME, 2015). After being away from Lexington for a few years, it was great to catch up with Andrew!

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE GRADUATING FROM UK in 2015?

After graduating from the University of Kentucky, I pursued my Masters in Conducting at the University of Louisville which led me to my first position as Director of Choral Activities at Henderson County High School. Although I enjoyed holding that role for two years, I accepted a position as Director of Choral Activities at Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, KY. In this position, I coordinate liturgical opportunities and choral opportunities for my ~50 male choir students. Most of my efforts are focused on creating relationships between college music programs and students at Covington Catholic.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT PERFORMING NEXT TO OTHER UK WILDCATS?

As a result of my participation in UK’s Men’s Chorus and the a capella group, acoUstiKats, I always enjoyed being under the baton of Dr. Johnson. He had such an influence on my education at UK as well as my professional career. Receiving this solo opportunity from Dr. Johnson and the Lexington Philharmonic was beyond amazing as it gave me the opportunity to return to Lexington and perform alongside some of the best vocalists and instrumentalists from around town! Moreso, getting to perform next to Michael Preacely brought back memories from my time at UK because while I was an undergraduate student, Michael was pursuing his Masters in Music. Just like everyone else who hears him sing, I never get tired of listening to Michael’s voice. It was really cool to look out into the orchestra to see so many familiar faculty members from when I was a student at UK – Margaret and Benjamin Karp, Maestro Nardolillo, David Elliott, and more.

WHAT ARE YOUR PROFESSIONAL GOALS FOR THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS?

I plan on staying at Covington Catholic for several more years. My position here allows me to focus on receiving a lot of great teaching experiences while also emphasizing the importance of the performing arts in and around Northern Kentucky. Within the next 10 years or so, I would like to begin a DMA in Conducting or PhD in Music Ed with a goal of teaching in higher education. My dream role is to manage student teachers while working with conducting students.

By Nathan Williams, CFA Recruiting and Alumni Affairs