Benjamin Milis

Missional music-maker

Thursday, August 24, 2023
Brenton Stacey
About the Author

Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale University’s Public Relations and Philanthropy Officer. He brings to the role experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities.

Ben faithfully shares his gift with children and church

If musician and music educator Benjamin Milis (BA/BTch, 2013) had a mantra, it might be “Excellence in the arts.” “We serve an excellent Creator and are called to reflect His greatness. If God is the master artist and we’re the pinnacle of his artistry, shouldn’t we glorify Him by ensuring our art-making is of the highest standard?”

Ben wants the church to use the arts as much as spoken word in its missional endeavours. “Both have the power to transform lives.” As director of Sing Series at Wahroonga Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ben and his team have organised two concerts a year that raise money for humanitarian causes and not-for-profit organisations. Sing Series celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2024.

In the decade since he graduated from Avondale, Ben has taught at Hills Adventist College and is now a music teacher and coordinator of chapel music and musical theatre at St Andrew’s Cathedral School. He toured Italy with 80 of his students earlier this year with performances in some of the world’s most impressive churches and venues. “Seeing their appreciation for beauty and art grow because of the experience” is a professional highlight.

Ben earned a Master of Music Studies in conducting from The University of Sydney and plied this craft with the Australian Girls Choir for a few years. But he didn’t know what he wanted to do after high school. “I loved music and I imagined myself being a teacher. Avondale seemed the perfect place to combine the two.” He and his family prayed “and I felt a deep sense of peace.”

Meeting like-minded believers and making lifelong friends justified the decision. As did performing with vocal ensemble The Promise—“a second family”—and the mentoring of Lyell Heise and Valmai Hill from the Institute of Worship.

Ben enjoys travelling and the cultural appreciation that comes with it. “It reminds me music is a universal language, a gift from God that unites us. In a fractured world, we need that more than ever.”

The Class of 2013 honours Benjamin Milis for faithfully sharing this gift with our children and church.

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