The Signature Symphony at Tulsa Community College wrapped up its 2023-24 season with “Tulsa Sings! Best of Broadway” on Saturday. Rachel Miller was chosen as the grand prize winner among nine other finalists in front of hundreds at TCC’s VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education.

Miller wowed judges, Carmela Hill, Joel-lyn McCormick, and Scott Black, with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the hit Broadway musical, Les Misérables.

“The opportunity to sing with the orchestra was like a dream come true,” Rachel says. “Tulsa Sings! was just such a wonderful opportunity for me to have something to work towards and to get out of the house.”

Originally from Pennsylvania, Miller and her family moved to Tulsa about four years ago. Miller is a stay-at-home mother of three daughters who she homeschools.

Miller says she’s been singing ever since childhood and started voice lessons as a teenager.

“Music is something that touches my soul on so many different levels and I love the way that it connects people of different cultures, backgrounds, and ages,” says Miller. “I remember singing in a musical troupe that would visit nursing homes. It was incredible to watch the way music would tap into the memories of these people who had dementia and Alzheimer’s and they would come to life.”

Since taking a hiatus from formal training to focus on raising her family, Miller was thrilled at the opportunity to receive lessons from Tulsa Sings! co-founder and New York City-based vocalist Scott Coulter.

Coulter says Miller has a marvelous spirit and energy about her.

“She’s such a lover of music and that really shows in her own work. She was a finalist last year as well, and both years she showed up not only ready to work but to soak it all in,” says Coulter. “She values the whole experience of Tulsa Sings! from rehearsing, working on her song, working on group numbers, performing, and watching others work.”

Miller says she decided to audition for Tulsa Sings! previous season after a friend encouraged her to audition. She says the chance to perform alongside a full orchestra was too good to pass on, and she auditioned again this year.

“Having a live orchestra behind you—I love it. That’s why I decided to do it again. I was a finalist but not the winner last year, I thought ‘If I could just repeat this whole week and have the opportunities, personal coaching from Scott, and get to be with all these musicians, that’d be incredible’,” says Miller.

Miller says she was shocked when Coulter read her name as the grand prize winner of Tulsa Sings!

“It was a little bit surreal,” she says. “I had this moment of ‘Wait, really?’ I was just really excited.”

“I think the sharing of one’s gift, whatever it may be, is life-changing. It’s definitely life-shifting. Rachel shows up and shares her gift, and the world is responding,” says Coulter.

With her win, Miller secured a coveted spot as featured soloist for Signature Symphony’s “Christmas in Tulsa” concert.

Michael Beltran, a 17-year-old recent high school graduate, was chosen as the audience favorite for his rendition of “This is the Moment” from the musical, Jekyll & Hyde. Beltran will be the featured soloist at Signature Symphony’s annual 4th on the 3rd concert, a patriotic show with the theme “Salute to Freedom” this year, on July 3. Purchase your tickets to the 4th on the 3rd.