Her parents, Guy and Tana Miller, both graduated from Valley Forge Christian College in Pennsylvania. They moved to Beverly when Guy attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton.
The Millers served at churches in Lynnfield and on Cape Cod before becoming co-pastors of the new Remix Church in Salem in September.
“Angela and Jonathan grew up on the church pew,” Tana Miller said. “They just grew up with music all around them, even at home.”
Angela was a member of the choir and honors vocal ensemble at Beverly High and performed in school musicals. In 2011, she entered the Assemblies of God National Fine Arts Festival in Phoenix and placed seventh in the female solo vocal category.
Her performance at the festival drew the attention of three Christian colleges that offered her scholarships, she said. Her top choice was Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Texas. Ultimately, she turned down the scholarships to concentrate on preparing for “American Idol.”
“I said, ‘I’m going to do “American Idol” and take the risk,’” she said.
Miller’s performance, shown on Wednesday night, was made even more compelling by her revelation that she suffers from 40 percent hearing loss in her left ear and 20 percent in her right.
Her mother said doctors discovered when Angela was very young that the protective covering over her eardrum was no longer there. She has had two surgeries to insert tubes in her ear. A month before her “American Idol” audition in New York in September, she was fitted with silicon spray ear plugs.
Eventually she will need a skin graft to protect her eardrum, but that surgery will be put off until the “American Idol” competition is over because it would cause pain on airplane flights, Tana Miller said.
“It definitely makes it harder to sing,” Angela said. “I can hear myself fine, but the music and everything else around me can be difficult to hear. I’ve learned to work with it over the last few years.”