The first Wasatch Academy “Concerts in the Conservatory” performance took place the evening of Tuesday, November 10th with a magical performance by world-class artist and former Wasatch Academy student James Oneil Miner to a packed house of attentive students, staff and members of the community. Casting a spell on the assembled students and teachers by taking requests from the audience, James Oneil Miner, performed a thrilling selection of popular favorites from Broadway musicals to familiar hymns. He gave everyone who attended this special occasion a priceless gift, by combining music and storytelling, playing upon request the most beautiful pieces from memory, from well-loved spirituals like “Amazing Grace” to the soundtracks of major motion pictures like Indiana Jones and Born Free, everything from Ragtime to Rachmaninoff.
His professional opinion of our Shigeru concert grand is instructive: “I’ve played all over the world, and have played the best Steinway, Baldwin and Bosendorfer pianos. This Shigeru at Wasatch Academy is one of the most amazing pianos I have ever had the pleasure of playing!” James Oneil Miner was great at communicating to our students and faculty how music can add a larger dimension to our lives, by sharing his musical talent and his penchant for storytelling, and by approaching deeper life issues with his young audience, confessing how he once wanted to quit and how it took courage and commitment to follow his dream.
James Oneil Miner bio:
Fast becoming one of today’s most popular pianists, composers, and entertainers, James Oneil Miner continues an intense recording and touring schedule. Audiences world-wide have enjoyed attending his concerts and have been impressed by his large repertoire of songs. His ability to play spontaneous requests from audience members has thrilled and amazed his listeners. In addition to taking requests, his performances often include imitating famous piano artists such as Liberace, Erroll Garner, George Schering, Floyd Kramer, Marvin Hamlish, and Roger Williams. Like his live performances, his piano recordings help to illustrate his love and enthusiasm for music from all genres and generations.
Miner was recently honored with the prestigious “Instrumentalist of the Year” award from the World Wide Bookseller’s Organization.
His popular debut piano album “Dream With Me” features some of the world’s most loved songs including “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic, “Somewhere in Time”,”Phantom of the Opera”,”Unchained Melody” and “Jessica’s Theme” from The Man From Snowy River. His original compositions on the album include the haunting “Misty Mountain”,”Black Canyon Suite”,”Princess Diana’s Theme” and “Part of Me.”
“Dream With Me Again”, a much anticipated follow-up to his solo debut, is a compilation of songs which have been most requested at his concerts through the years. Some of the titles include “When I Fall In Love”, “Wind Beneath My Wings”,”Unforgettable”, “Stardust”, and “Autumn Leaves”. It also includes the inspiring “First Light” composed by Miner after experiencing the first light of day in Zion National Park.
“Christmas Dreaming” is a big seller during the holiday season. In this dual album collection, Miner features the secular songs Christmas on one CD, and devotes the second CD to the sacred songs of the season. This is music that should be enjoyed in every home during the holidays.