Judi Miller

has, since 1994 awakened the filk community to the beauty of visual language. This is a remarkable feat in a traditionally vocal community.

A regular at many conventions, she has expanded the concept of what constitutes filk performance. When she is not sure of the correct word, she improvises, which frequently leads to hilarity. Ask her about her substitution for the word “coward” at a Dorsai Irregulars room party.

Judi signs in such a way that she brings out not just the words of a song, but also the emotion and feeling of that song, and she has reminded us all that music is accessible to people who have low or no hearing. Since 1997, she has signed the Pegasus Nominees Concert at OVFF. In 2006, she won the Best Performer Pegasus Award. It has become a rule, for the experienced performers that know her, that you don’t watch Judi as you perform or she will either entrance you or break you.

Not content to just sign, in the past few years she has begun to learn banjo, and has joined the group We’re Not Koi , adding her voice to their mix. She has also written several songs, and has served on panels about filk for both the seasoned filkers and the newcomers.

In her professional life as a teacher, Judi has used filk in the class room, as introduction to related works, like “Telly-Taley Heart,” and “Hamlet.” Ropers‘ “Apology” has been a reward for kids who correct her (and are right). Heather Dale songs illustrate ballads, and “Siren Song” has been used an inspiration for writing as a character from the Odyssey. Others‘ songs teach metaphor (“Wrong Next Block ln Tetris”) or simile (“My Love ls Like the Moon”). Those students are doomed to know filk music! They are many more examples, and it is worth sitting down with her for a while to hear her stories.

Judi is a wonderful role model, who has shown us all the power of emotion. She has taught us to not be afraid to use our emotions when we sing—because this is why we sing. She has given hundreds of hours of service to the filk community through her signing enriching all of our lives as listeners and performers.

She also continues to inspire us with stories of the power of kindness, both in her classroom and in her community. For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Judi Miller is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-second day of April two thousand seventeen.

Photo: Phil Mills