Nancy Miller celebrates 65 years in SUMC choir

Nancy Miller started singing in the Adult Choir at Sycamore United Methodist freshman year of high school and never stopped – until this pandemic pause. But even now her voice will be heard in the virtual choir that premieres at 5 p.m. Feb. 13 and 8:30 and 10 a.m. Feb. 14.

Miller has sung for approximately eight directors at SUMC, including Margaret Lair, Dell Lohr, Ruth Balch, Earl Lossel, David Aldis, current director Bev Rauch, plus Al Brand, who was a special source of encouragement. After high school choir and madrigals was done, Adult Choir at the church gave her a venue to continue to enjoy her love of music, fellowship with other singers, and so many anthems based on Biblical concepts. She has seen how the choir has brought joy to so many.

She also has sung in two buildings – the former Methodist church at Somonauk and Elm streets, and the current structure at 160 Johnson Ave. She has been involved in more than 100 productions, sang solos, and made good friends, such as Carol Keneway, a 56-year member who she performed duets with. She was also there during the campaign to raise money for the majestic pipe organ.

Miller and her husband Gene are longtime farmers in Sycamore, and they have many family members in the area as well. And as for the pandemic, while Miller can’t wait to get back to singing as a group, she and about 30 other singers and musicians practiced at home, and then came to church one at a time to record the song “One Flame,” which will premiere Transfiguration weekend. Intern Cory Nordine is doing the technical work, assisted by staff member Jim McCue. Craig Fritz is the choir pianist, and Chanette Oeser and Becca Rome enhanced the piece with flute and trumpet. Ashley Fitzwater and Jessica Ondracek provided the strings.

SUMC is open for in-person worship for up to 50 people per service, and people can sign up at 815-895-9113. The services are also available to view on Facebook, YouTube and the church website at