JC Music’s John Miller Memorial Solo Competitions

2009 Educator of the Year Award

The JC Music John Miller Memorial Solo Competitions were presented in collaboration with the Yale University school of music. Students have always had the opportunity to audition for Regionals and All State for a chance to be named one of the prestigious state ensembles. However, they have had little opportunity to compete against each other as soloists, live on stage in front of a panel of prestigious judges along with the opportunity to win cash prizes.

John Miller

The John Miller Memorial Solo Competitions

John Miller was the Manager of Community Programs at the Yale School of Music, as well as the Director of the Yale Music in Schools Initiative, and the Director of the CMEA Southern Region.

He was a very close friend both of JC and of JC Music, and he worked closely with JC Music on improving music education throughout Connecticut.

John Miller Memorial Solo Competitions

JC’s Remarks in Memory of John Miller

John was the first teacher to be named “JC Music Educator of the Year” back in 2009 while he taught at John C Daniel’s School in New Haven. He was an outstanding musician, an amazing teacher and above all a great friend – a man who no one could dislike!

His desire for better music education was an amazing driving force which he relentlessly pursued. We spent many more hours in my office at JC Music and in his office at Yale discussing music education than I will probably ever spend with anyone else. John was always thinking several years ahead and when John had a plan set in his head, he made sure it happened. He was certainly the most inspiring musical friend I’ve ever had.

John asked me to visit him in his Yale office just a few days before his passing to discuss CMEA and our Yale collaborations for the coming year. On that same day, John asked me if I would get all of the JC Music Educator’s of the Year together to start an annual event. He also heard that I take educators out to play golf and he asked me if he could be the next one I took to the greens.

This is an absolutely tragic loss for his family, his many friends, the entire staff at JC Music and for the state of Connecticut as John was a rising star! My memories of John’s laugh, smile, positive attitude and friendship will always be remembered fondly. My deepest condolences to his family.-JC Caillouette, Store Owner & President

Memorial Solo Competitions

2010 Solo Competition Results

Grand Champion: David Lassila (Flute) from Amity Middle School, Bethany

Second PrizeConnor GarretFrench HornGreat Oak Middle, Oxford
Third PrizeMatthew ProcterFluteWeston Middle, Weston
Fourth PrizeDivya BanaFluteHenry James Memorial, Simsbury
Fifth PrizeJeremy Simmons-TelepFluteEast Hampton Middle, East Hampton
Sixth PrizeRaymundo MoralesClarinetJohn C Daniels, New Haven
Seventh PrizeKevin LopezClarinetJohn C Daniels, New Haven
Eighth PrizeCristina RodriguezFluteMauro-Sheridan Magnet School, New Haven

2011 Solo Competition Results

Grand Champion: Daniel Giebisch Cello Amity Bethany Middle School

Second PrizeJuliana SharpViolinWooster Middle School, Startford
Third PrizeJames TowneFluteKing Philip Middle School, West Hartford
Fourth PrizeJeremy SimmonsFluteEast Hampton High School
Fifth PrizeCarlton BurnsCelloTwo Rivers Magnet School, East Hartford


  • Thomas C. Duffy – Yale University, Director of Bands
  • Greg Bell – Great Oak School, Oxford – Director of bands and JC Music’s 2010 Music Educator of the Year
  • Robert Smith – Music Director, Foote School, New Haven. CMEA High School String Chairman
  • Andrew Maust – Music Director, Augusta Lewis Troup School, New Haven.
  • Veronica Germain – Director of the Central Connecticut Civic Youth orchestra and String teacher in the Farmington Schools since 1992.


Grand Prize – $500 Cash Award
2nd Place – $200 JC Music Gift Card
3rd Place – $100 JC Music Gift Card
4th Place – $75  JC Music Gift Card
5th Place – $50 JC Music Gift Card

2012 Solo Competition Results

WinnerShira BedfordWoodbridge – Hopkins SchoolCompetition I (5-8)
Runner-upNathan HellmuthRocky Hill – Two Rivers Magnet SchoolCompetition I (5-8)
WinnerJuliana SharpStratford – Bunnell High SchoolCompetition II (9-12)
Runner-upGunnar MollFarmington – Farmington High SchoolCompetition II (9-12)