Donald Miller, who designed and developed the software program VoceVista (Visual Feedback for Instruction in Singing), began his career as an opera singer and voice teacher. Having completed his formal studies at the Yale University School of Music in his native USA, he continued with singing lessons in Milan and Berlin, making stage appearances in both cities. After a further year’s engagement with the Wiener Kammeroper, he joined the faculty of the Syracuse University School of Music, where he taught for over two decades, rising to the rank of professor. During this time he was very active as a bass-baritone, singing over 25 leading roles from the standard repertory, along with many roles in contemporary works. For the curious, here is a link to a recording of his live performance of Schubert’s Winterreise at Syracuse University.
His interest in the application of voice science to the singing voice grew in the late 70’s, and in 1984 he spent a semester in Groningen, the Netherlands, on a project with Harm K.Schutte and the late Prof. Janwillem van den Berg. In 1987 he moved permanently to Groningen to devote himself to research on the acoustics and physiology of the singing voice as an associate of the Groningen Voice Research Lab. This has resulted in a number of scientific publications together with Prof. Schutte, as well as a doctoral monograph, Registers in Singing, published in 2000.
An important result of his work in Groningen has been the program VoceVista , feedback for instruction in singing. VoceVista was introduced in 1996, when personal computers became powerful enough to perform real-time spectrum analysis. Since then it has been further perfected and is now in use in voice labs and facilities for training singers, particularly in the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands.