Dale J Miller, Director of the Center for Guitar Studies
Dale has been playing guitar for 45 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music in guitar performance from the University of New Mexico, where he studied with Cuban guitarist Hector Garcia. Dale’s formal training continued with seven years of concentrated study with international performer and recording artist Ricardo Iznaola. He has been on the faculty of Colorado College since 1992. He is the instructor of classical guitar, mandolin and director of the guitar ensemble.
Dale is known primarily as a solo classical guitarist, but he has also taught banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle, reflecting an interest in American history and folk traditions. After graduating from UNM, he played professionally with the group Juniper, an original folk and bluegrass band out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This diversity has placed him in a number of unique performance settings. He appeared on guitar and banjo with the Colorado Springs Symphony for Virgil Thomson’s “Plow that Broke the Plains.” He also appeared in UCCS Theater Works production by John Steinbeck, Dylan Thomas, Truman Capote, and Charles Dickens. Dale was chosen by Colorado Springs composer Kevin McChesney to be the guitarist in his world debut performances of “Suite for Guitar, Handbell Choir and Chamber Orchestra” in 2007.
Dale has released two CD’s. In 1999, he debuted “A North Star Christmas,” an instrumental collaboration with Richard Greene of North Star Studios; ten years later, he released “Odds and Angels,” his first solo guitar album.
Dale co-authored a book on music theory with Charles P. Cabell called “Chordially Yours: Making Sense of Harmony,” which was published by Impavide Publishing in 2000.
Neil Hesse, Guitar Instructor
Neil joined the team in July 2014 as a guitar instructor for both children and adults. Originally from Arizona, Neil picked up the guitar in high school and has studied under Dale for ten years. Neil has a B.A. in Music from Colorado College. At that time he was also a member of the famed Steven Scott Bowed Piano Ensemble and the Colorado College Guitar Ensemble.
Sarah Turner, Voice/Piano/Songwriting Instructor
Sarah graduated at the top of her class at Forerunner Music Academy. She has a four-year degree in
Songwriting with minors in Voice and Piano, and has been teaching for 3 years. A passionate songwriter, Sarah has composed many pieces of music and is in the process of recording her second CD. One of her songs won a directors award for outstanding music and lyrics.
Sarah teaches musicians and vocalists of all ages, whether or not they have previous experience in these areas. She strives to determine the individual needs of each student and teach in ways that will ensure their success. To those who feel they are unable to sing, Sarah emphasizes that the voice is a living instrument and that singing can be learned. As with any instrument, training and practice are the keys that allow students to shine as vocalists.