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Writer Philip Roth has written that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, and then He gave Irving Berlin…“White Christmas.”
And what is an American Christmas if not defined by this exquisite musical poem about friends, family, and fresh white snow enveloping an American neighborhood? It can be convincingly argued that America’s fervent embrace of Christmas as more than simply a Christian holiday really does date from Bing Crosby’s casual 1942 delivery of this most celebrated and successful of American songs.
In that spirit embracing all faiths, Fred Miller’s Lecture-In-Song: AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS is a celebration for all those in attendance: the mystery and beauty of the ancient carols, inspirational poems, epigrams, quotes, words of wisdom, the cheerful, zesty modern songs of the Christmas and wintertime we all knew as American kids, the magic, the anticipation, the deep reflections on our blessings.
The program is highlighted by a marathon sing-along that reminds us all once again what Christmas continues to mean to us as Americans.
If you would like to engage Fred Miller for one of his Lectures-in-Song, please contact him directly at any time. For a full listing of all Lectures, click here.
Fred Miller’s Lectures-In-Song comprise a series of solo programs, each an historical, anecdotal and musical profile of some great personality or important aspect of American Popular Song. These Lectures are delivered by singer/pianist/narrator Miller at the piano, and each reflects his lifetime passion and appreciation for great music. He studied classical piano in his hometown of Albuquerque from ages 7-15 but early on gave up any notion of music as a profession. At that time, Fred assumed a musical career was either one devoted to the rigid discipline of classical music or being a freewheeling rock star, and he accurately decided he had no aptitude for either. However, at age 22, upon hearing Ella Fitzgerald sing Cole Porter, he found his calling and life’s mission.
Through the Seventies and Eighties, Miller studied and absorbed in minute detail the life and times and songs of nearly all the great American composers and lyricists who thrived during Broadway & Hollywood’s Golden Age between the two World Wars. In 1987, he founded Silver Dollar Productions in order to produce operettas, dramas, musicals and small cabarets. Silver Dollar Productions required ensemble casts, props, costumes and, most significantly, the challenges of publicity and selling tickets, and for a dozen busy years, the company presented an unbroken string of varied and highly lauded performances.
In 1999, Miller was simultaneously underwritten by both his local Hunterdon County Library and the Art Alliance of Philadelphia to present a series of six solo Lectures-In-Song, each devoted to one of the premiere Broadway/Hollywood songwriters: George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, and Harold Arlen.
In presenting history, biography and psychology while sitting at a piano singing the superlative songs of his heroes, Miller has found a single performing medium that utilizes most of his intellectual and musical passions.The list of Lectures-In-Song that began with six in 1999 is now more than seventy(and growing!), a joyful tribute to the boundlessly rich field of American Popular Song.