2020 Citation of Excellence Adjudicator
Gary W. Hill
Gary W. Hill is in his 20th year as Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Arizona State University, where he conducts the Wind Orchestra and teaches graduate conducting. The 2018/19 academic year marks Hill’s 45th year as conductor, his 50th as a music teacher, and his 60th as a performing musician.
Prior to Hill’s appointment at ASU, he was Director of Bands at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he also served as Music Director for the Kansas City Youth Wind Ensemble, and conducted two professional groups: the Kansas City Symphony Brass Ensemble and newEar, a chamber ensemble devoted to contemporary music. Previously, he held a similar post at East Texas State University (Texas A&M-Commerce) and was Associate Director of Bands at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Hill began his teaching career in Michigan where he served as Director of Bands for the West Bloomfield and Traverse City public schools.
High school, university, and professional ensembles under Hill’s direction have given performances for the National Band Association, the Music Educators National Conference (NAfME), the College Band Directors National Association, the American Bandmasters Association, the International Horn Symposium, the National Flute Association, at many state conventions, and throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Performances conducted by him have consistently drawn praise from composers, performing musicians, and critics alike for their insightful, inspired, and cohesive realizations, and for their imaginative programming.
As a guest conductor and clinician, appearances in more than a dozen countries and throughout most of the United States have included performances with myriad high school honor bands, numerous college and university wind bands and orchestras, many professional ensembles, at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, and at World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles’ conferences. Gary W. Hill is one of the most sought after guest conductors and clinicians in the instrumental music education field; during the past four decades, he has presented hundreds of workshops on conducting and rehearsal technique for music teachers of all levels and has served as a clinician for thousands of bands and orchestras.
During Professor Hill’s 39 years as a collegiate conducting teacher, he has taught scores of undergraduate and graduate conducting students and served as the primary mentor for 53 graduate conducting majors, 8 who are serving as conductors of US Armed Forces’ ensembles and other professional groups, and 42 who have won university teaching positions. Hill’s current creative/research agenda includes an exploration of biochemical reactions spawned by the musical process and work concerning the past, present, and future of instrumental music in schools.
Gary W. Hill is a member of numerous professional organizations including the National Association for Music Education, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the American Bandmasters Association, and the College Band Directors National Association, for which he hosted the “Fiftieth Anniversary National Conference” (1991), co-hosted the 2019 biennial national conference, as well as the joint conferences of the North Central and Southwestern Divisions in conjunction with The Society for American Music (1998), served as president of the Southwestern Division (1989-91), and as national president (2003-05).