(As told by: Eugene Thamon Simpson Ed.D: I came to Glassboro State College as Music Department Chairman on January 26, 1975. My recollection of what happened before that is based only on what I heard from Professor Clarence Miller, my colleague in the department.)
The first president of the New Jersey Chapter was Clarence Miller of Glassboro State College. Miller served two 2-year terms. I have no knowledge of the initiatives that he promoted or sponsored.
Clarence Miller, Professor Emeritus, Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), graduated from Mount Union College in Alliance, OH, received his MM from Marshall University and did post-graduate work at Westminster Choir College and Columbia University.
Finishing a tour of duty in the US Army in Bremerhaven, Germany, he joined Glassboro State Faculty in 1956 where he founded the Concert Choir, taught voice, conducting, and chaired the vocal/choral division at various times. The GSC Concert Choir quickly became known throughout the state, singing for three governors’ inaugurations, and becoming known as The Governor’s Choir. He also had substantial involvement with the NJ Opera, having done Othello with Metropolitan Opera soprano Licia Albanese, Verdi’s Requiem, and Mefistofele by Boito with Met Opera bass Jerome Hines. He finished his tenure at Rowan in 1992 after 36 richly productive years and then joined the Gloucester County Community College faculty for five years. Miller served twice as ACDA state president and was one of four conductors chosen to assist in preparing a national 200-voice choir for the nation’s bicentennial at Interlochen Music Camp in 1976. His choirs performed for regional and national MENC and ACDA and NATS conventions. He was a member of all three organizations.
He received numerous awards including a citation from the NJ state assembly for outstanding service to choral art and a Distinguished Service Award from NJMEA. He was a member of Phi Mu Alpha honorary music fraternity and Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity and the Phi Kappa Lambda music honor society, and various professional and civic organizations. He was on the Institutional Review Board at Wills Eye Hospital/Philadelphia and had been inducted into the Chapel of the Four Chaplains. His influence on choral music in the state is legion. He was an Elder and former choir director at First Presbyterian Church in Pitman, NJ, and was an avid gardener.