Barbara Hill, Chair, Brass Department
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Barbara Hill

Horn; Chair, Brass Department

Horn faculty Barbara HillBarbara Hill has been Principal Horn with the Hartford Symphony since 2008, joining the orchestra in 2006 as Fifth Horn. She has also been Guest Principal Horn with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and recently performed Brahms’ "Horn Trio" with HSO Concertmaster Leonid Sigal, as well as a new work for horn, oboe, and harpsichord (finished from sketches of Debussy by Kenneth Cooper), as part of HSO’s Sunday Serenades Series. 

In March 2011 Hill was proud to be featured in the Inaugural Debut Concert of the HSO’s new music director, Carolyn Kuan, performing Mozart’s "Horn Concerto, K. 495." She has also been a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Canada) as both Acting Principal and Second Horn, and has performed with numerous Canadian orchestras, including the Calgary Philharmonic and Orchestra London Canada. 

While in Vancouver, Hill was featured in a performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for winds and had a recital of horn music broadcast on CBC Radio for the program Westcoast Performance. 

As a freelance artist, Hill has performed with numerous groups in Houston, Vancouver, New York, and Hartford, including touring Broadway shows (South Pacific, SHREK! The Musical, and Mary Poppins), and her horn playing has been featured on CBS during broadcasts of the Tour de France, as well as other cable channels. She studied with Julie Landsman and Ifor James, and has also been a member of both The National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the National Academy of Music in Hamilton, Ontario.  

Originally from Guelph, Ontario, she obtained her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in New York where she studied with Jerome Ashby and was the recipient of the James Chambers Scholarship. She holds her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and also holds an ARCT in Piano Performance. Hill has been teaching horn for nearly 20 years and served as Horn Instructor at The Hotchkiss School and Vancouver Academy of Music.

Teaching Philosophy

I​ ​believe​ ​that​ ​every​ ​child​ ​has​ ​a​ ​right​ ​to​ ​make​ ​beautiful​ ​music.​ ​They​ ​have​ ​the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​feel​ ​the​ ​the transformative​ ​power​ ​that​ ​comes​ ​with​ ​making​ ​beautiful​ ​music​ ​and​ ​to​ ​have​ ​the​ ​ability​ ​to transform​ ​others​ ​with​ ​their​ ​skills.

It is challenging and rewarding to continuously work to​ ​keep​ ​students​ ​engaged​ ​and​ ​to​ ​make​ ​them​ ​feel​ ​successful, especially when​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​a​ ​vast​ ​number​ ​of​ ​different​ ​activities​ ​is​ ​available​. As​ ​a​ ​parent,​ ​I​ ​can​ ​attest​ ​to​ ​the​ ​desire​ ​of​ ​wanting​ ​your​ ​child(ren)​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​do​ ​whatever interests​ ​them,​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​say​ ​“yes.”​ ​My​ ​children​ ​have​ ​the​ ​added​ ​bonus​ ​of​ ​having​ ​parents​ ​who are​ ​musically​ ​inclined,​ ​so​ ​I​ ​am​ ​quick​ ​to​ ​say​ ​“yes”​ ​to​ ​all​ ​things​ ​musical, but​ ​the​ ​struggle​ ​to​ ​feel successful​ ​is​ ​still​ ​very​ ​real.​ ​My​ ​belief​ ​is​ ​that​ ​a​ ​teacher’s​ ​job​ ​is​ ​to​ ​show​ ​that​ ​success​ ​is​ ​attainable, even​ ​when​ ​a​ ​challenge​ ​is​ ​presented,​ ​and​ ​that​ ​success​ ​comes​ ​not​ ​only​ ​in​ ​the​ ​form​ ​of​ ​being​ ​able to​ ​play​ ​a​ ​piece​ ​well,​ ​but​ ​in​ ​being​ ​prepared​ ​to​ ​do​ ​the​ ​work;​ ​in​ ​understanding​ ​the​ ​amount​ ​of organization,​ ​dedication,​ ​and​ ​practice​ ​it​ ​takes​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​a​ ​skill.​ ​Of​ ​course,​ ​this​ ​can​ ​all​ ​be​ ​done​ ​with a​ ​fair​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​humor​ ​and​ ​humility!