by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Soul of Photography and courtesy of Resounding Joy

Music with Heart

faces_miller4Over the past decade, Jeff and Anita Miller have spread hope and joy to children with heart disease, all in the memory of their beloved daughter, Ariana. “We lost Ariana to congenital heart disease in 2008. Ariana was a talented young musician, and as she struggled with her disease, it was music that brought joy into her life. Ariana was the first child with heart disease to receive music therapy from Resounding Joy. In 2010, using funding provided in Ariana’s memory, we partnered with Resounding Joy to bring music therapy to children with heart disease at Rady Children’s Hospital through the Ariana Miller Music with Heart Program,” explained Jeff. Since that time, Resounding Joy and Music with Heart have provided no-cost music therapy to more than 2,000 children. According to the Millers, most of these children have been patients with cardiac disease, but recently the program has served cancer patients as well.


8th Annual Heart of a Child Benefit Concert

Saturday, May 25
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Concert begins at 7 p.m.
Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, La Jolla


The Ariana Miller Music with Heart Program is primarily funded through Heart of a Child, an annual benefit concert that has also become the premier showcase of young musical talent in San Diego. “The concert features a diverse array of young instrumentalists and vocalists from all over San Diego County. Past performers have appeared on network television, played Carnegie Hall, and won national competitions. Last year, we raised nearly $90,000!” shared Jeff and Anita. The Millers are especially grateful to Judy Grant, the event’s executive producer for the past several years. “She produces the actual concert and there wouldn’t be a show without her. She has been instrumental in making this the exceptional event it has become today.”

In addition to his work for Music with Heart, Jeff is a diagnostic radiologist with San Diego Imaging servicing Tri-City Medical Center and Palomar Medical Center, as well as the medical director at San Diego Imaging’s outpatient centers in Oceanside and Escondido. Anita is on the Board of Directors for Resounding Joy and is a math tutor with Casa de Amistad in Solana Beach. Their other daughter, Delaney, is currently a graduate student at Stanford. Delaney graduated from Princeton University this past spring with a degree in mechanical engineering. In their spare time, the Millers can often be found outdoors. “Running is big in our family. Delaney was a member of the Princeton track and cross country teams, and in 1990, I won the St. Louis Marathon,” revealed Anita. “We also enjoy walks, cooking, and traveling.”


Names: Jeffrey Miller, MD and Anita Miller
Child: Delaney Miller
Community: Encinitas
Hometown: Jeff is from Wisconsin and Anita is from Minnesota, but both have lived in California since the ‘90s
Favorite Local Spots: Swami’s, Pannikin, Firenze Trattoria, and Saint Archer