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Kathleen Hill is conductor of the Albuquerque Youth Orchestra with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program. She recently returned to the Land of Enchantment following five successful years on California’s central coast, where she was the conductor for “Super Bows!,” the entry-level string ensemble of the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony. She is the founder/director of Central Coast Music Academy, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on expanding instrumental music for elementary/ middle school students in San Luis Obispo County. Hill is also a founding director of Southwest Music Academy, Inc. in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Both music academies offer instrumental programs for students, including summer camps.
Hill received her Bachelor of Music Education degree (viola and piano concentration) and Master of Music degree (Instrumental Conducting) from the University of New Mexico. She studied viola with Atar Arad, John DiJanni of the Metropolitan Opera, and Leonard Felberg. She studied conducting with Dr. Jorge Perez-Gomez and Eric Rombach-Kendall. In January, 2016 Kathleen was the conductor of the 2016 New Mexico Music Educators Association All-State Concert Orchestra. She directed the orchestra at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces from 1998 until 2011. During her tenure at Mayfield, the orchestra was NMMEA honor orchestra in 2001 and 2004. She also led the orchestra during concert tours in China (2007) and England (2010). Prior to teaching at Mayfield, Hill directed orchestras at Cibola High School from 1987 to 1997 and Rio Rancho High School from 1997 to 1998. The Cibola orchestra was recognized as NMMEA All-State honor orchestra in 1991 and 1996 and the Rio Rancho orchestra won the Heritage Music Festival’s National Competition in 1998, the school’s very first year.
Hill is a member of the Las Cruces Symphony and has been a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, the El Paso Symphony, El Paso Opera, San Luis Obispo Symphony, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Opera San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo Ballet and Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet. She also has performed with the San Juan Symphony, Opera Southwest and the Figueroa Project. In 2008, Hill was the recipient of the New Mexico Music Educators Association, Music Educator of the Year Award and was the 2013 Emeritus Teacher Award recipient. She was an instructor with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, under the direction of Dale Kempter, for 22 years and is an active clinician and adjudicator throughout the southwest United States.