Nine PBS will air the documentary, The Places Music Has Taken Me: An Unfinished Story of Sarah Bryan Miller, Sunday, Sept. 18, at 3:30 pm, and in primetime Saturday, September 24, at 7 pm. It will also be available to stream anytime on ninepbs.org and the PBS Video App.
Sarah Bryan Miller, or “Bryan” as she was known to friends and family, was the classical music critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for more than 20 years until her untimely death in November 2020. Before her death, Bryan’s editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked that she write a final retrospective about her career which she planned to be entitled: “The Places Music Has Taken Me.”
Unfortunately, she was unable to complete her column but thanks to friend and local video documentarian Miran Halen, her legacy as a tough but fair-minded journalist and music critic is preserved in a film about her important role in the arts and the lives she touched.
Hosted by internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin, artistic leaders, colleagues, and friends throughout the country pay tribute to Bryan and the importance of the role of classical music reviewer plays in cultural life, particularly today.
“I’d known Bryan for over two decades as a music critic for the St. Louis Post Dispatch,” says Halen. “When she was honored as a Media Persons of the Year by St. Louis Press Club in 2019, I was one of the honorary chairs and had the opportunity to work closely with her for six months. In doing so, I got to know more about her personal side and how much she truly loved the community.
“Prior to Bryan’s passing, I talked with Bryan about what a music critic is all about. To her, it was much more than covering one evening’s performance; it was about providing a public service by educating the public about the arts. She believed in this so strongly that even when her health was failing, she was still writing and finding ways to provide accurate information to her readers.”
Following Bryan’s death, Halen continued her research to create a retrospective about her legacy and overarching feelings about intergenerational connectivity that music provides to audiences.
The documentary promises to deliver on the goal to educate viewers on the important role a music critic plays in the arts. In addition to Bryan’s impressive accomplishments and legacy, she left generous gifts to a number of St. Louis community arts organizations, including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre Saint Louis, and the Men and Women’s Choir. The St. Louis Press Club established a scholarship fund in Sarah Bryan Miller’s name for students interested in pursuing a career in music-related communications.
Bryan was a member of the St. Louis Theater Circle, which annually awards excellence in regional professional theater and opera.
About Nine PBS
As an essential community institution, Nine PBS magnifies and deepens understanding of our community to help our region flourish. We tell stories that move us. We meet people where they are the most comfortable consuming content. Nine PBS’s platforms include four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine PBS KIDS®, Nine PBS World, and Nine PBS Create), ninepbs.org, social media, the free PBS Video App, streaming services, live and virtual events, and the Public Media Commons. Since 1954, Nine PBS has accepted the community’s invitation into their homes, schools, and businesses. Follow Nine PBS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.