Miller Remembered For Contributions To Local Music, Arts Scene

Lucille Miller is pictured playing a Wurlitzer baby grand piano in the Lucille Ball Little Theater lobby. Photo still from video courtesy of the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown

Lucille Miller passed away Monday, following a life of service to her community as a renowned pianist and accompanist in the area.

Miller accompanied productions for the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown and the Junior Guilders, for local high school musicals, for entertainment at local nursing homes and a variety of other venues throughout her lifetime.

Before retiring in 1992, Miller worked for The Post-Journal for 31 years. In 1982, Miller and Helen Merrill founded the Jr. Guilders organization. According to the Lucille Ball Little Theater, Miller volunteered for over 35 years, working with local youth and traveling across both the United States and Europe with her children’s theatre group.

The Lucille Ball Little Theater shared a tribute honoring Miller’s decades of community service after receiving news of her passing this week.

“It is with great sadness we share with you that our beloved Lucille Miller has passed away,” they said. “Lucy’s involvement with the theatre spanned decades. She volunteered her time and immense talents to countless musicals, not only playing for rehearsals and performances, but also assembling and conducting many pit orchestras.”

Lucille Miller was a beloved musician in the Jamestown community. Her countless contributions to the community represent the legacy of an outstanding individual who volunteered her time to develop the talents of the next generation. Photo courtesy of Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown

The Lucille Ball Little Theater described Lucille as “one of a kind” and said she will be “greatly missed” by each of the lives she touched during her time as an accompanist and inspiring member of the Jamestown community.

Courtney Grey, a member of the Junior Guilders at the Lucille Ball Little Theater, said she will “never forget” the lessons “Aunt Lucy” taught her during her time with the Junior Guilders.

“She was one of the kindest, caring souls I knew,” Grey said. “She was so committed to this community, and I know she will be terribly missed.”

Cameron Hurst, another Jamestown musician, wrote an inspiring tribute in honor of Miller, detailing how much of an impact she made in his life during his time at the Lucille Ball Little Theater.

“Ask any musician and, chances are, they’ll smile when they talk about the accompanist they worked with most often,” he said. “For hundreds of Jamestown-area musicians, that person was Lucille Miller, and we are all better for it. In the years following my involvement at Little Theatre, it was never a surprise to see Lucy around the community, and the genuine smile and hug she’d greet me never once lost its luster.”

Lucille Miller is pictured with Melanie Gritters at a 2017 Mozart Club meeting. Miller played the piano during the meeting as Gritters performed.

As an active member of the community with decades of service to future generations of musicians and performers, Miller received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lucille Ball Little Theater, as well as the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Rotary Club. Miller was also a member of First Presbyterian Church and the Mozart Club.

“It is with deep sadness we learned of the passing of local music legend, Lucille Miller,” the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation wrote in a statement. “A role model of love and support to many children whose talents in music and dance she helped nurture, Lucille was a dedicated volunteer at Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown and Jr. Guilders of the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown.” ?


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