David Nelson Miller died unexpectedly of a heart condition on January 23rd. He was born in Portland, Oregon to Mary (Essig) Miller and Robert L. Miller in 1955. His younger days were spent in Portland, Port Townsend, and Clatskanie, Oregon where he graduated from high school in 1973. A lifelong musician and lover of music, Dave received his bachelor’s in music from the University of Oregon and did graduate work in music composition at the University of Southern California. After his time in Los Angeles, he lived in Seattle; Ananda Village, California; Assisi, Italy; Portland and Beaverton, Oregon.
Dave wrote and arranged music all his life, and his career in music reflects that passion: early jobs at Tower Records and Johnson Sheet Music were followed by years of composing, arranging and performing music for Crystal Clarity Publishers and the Ananda community. A proud member of ASCAP, his works include classical pieces both large and small, many arrangements, and choral music. His music was distributed and performed around the world. Recent choral pieces were written for the Pacific Youth Choir, Ananda, and Pacific University.
At Ananda, David collaborated on many albums including The Mystic Harp, Secrets of Love, and Meditations for Piano. Ananda Cello is a digital album arranged by David for cello ensemble. Another example of David’s published work is his album Quiet Christmas. These are all published through crystalclarity.com
In 2000, David returned to Oregon and a job at the Oregon Symphony. For nearly 20 years he lived in downtown Portland, a close walk to the concert hall. He enjoyed his work behind the scenes creating promotional materials and concert programs. For several years he was pleased to be asked to create and arrange pieces for the symphony’s annual children’s concert where his sense of humor and delight in bringing music to children were appreciated by many.
Dave was a gentle and loving soul, always friendly and open hearted. His ready wit was never far away, as was often seen in the notes and poems shared with family and friends. He nurtured his nephews’ interest in music: holding Quinn in his arms at his first Oregon Symphony outdoor concert, introducing Quinn and Robert to the Pacific Youth Choir, and attending Robert’s many piano recitals. David was devoted to his family, whether babysitting the nephews, caring for his aging mother, or acting as the family historian.
Dave is survived by his brothers and sisters-in-law, Steve and Leslie (Hildula) of Portland, Jeff of Beaverton, Oregon, and Greg and Mary (Horrall) of Portland; nephews, Quinn and Robert; and many close friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; uncle Leonard; and aunts, Betty Lou and Lorraine.
A celebration of life service is scheduled for 1 p.m., Sat., Feb. 4, 2023 at the Ananda Temple, 4855 SW Watson Ave., Beaverton, OR 97005. There is also a video of an earlier Ananda service at https://youtu.be/PnV7WSTF4uU.
Remembrances in lieu of flowers can be made to Ananda at anandaportland.org/donate.