Jim Hill retired from teaching after 45 years as a band director. A native of Greensboro, he received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Guilford College and the Master of Music Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After graduation from Guilford, he became a Graduate Assistant and adjunct professor teaching band and instrumental techniques classes at that school. Upon graduation from UNC-G, he took a position in Union County where he founded the Piedmont High School Band program and taught there for 20 years. During that time he was also band director and instructor at Wingate College. After leaving Piedmont High, he became director of bands at Monroe High School. He completed his teaching tenure at Central Academy for Technology and Arts in Monroe. He still remains active working with area bands.
His bands were exemplary and were consistently rated "Superior" at district festival and at marching contests. Many of his students were selected for membership in All-District Band, All-Region Jazz Band, All-State Band, All-Region Orchestra, and All-State Orchestra. Several former students continued study in music and chose it as their major and became professional musicians. He was the regional winner of the “Terry Sanford Award for Creativity in Education”, and twice received the Time Warner “Star Teacher Award”. That award is selected by the valedictorian of the presenting school.
For 25 years, he hosted the South Central District Middle School Band Contest/Festival. He produced performance recordings for each band and continues recording the event to this day. District high school contest/festivals recordings were also produced for 37 years. He served for many years on the District Board of Directors. Mr. Hill was recognized by the South Central District Bandmasters Association with their “Award of Excellence.” He is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. He has published several compositions and arrangements for concert band and marching band.
Several Union County bands have named awards in his name. The Porter Ridge Pirate’s Cove Classic awards the “H. James Hill, Jr. Award for Musical Excellence” recognizing the top scoring Union County band. Marvin Ridge High School presents all county bands who participate in the Marching Band Preview yet another “H. James Hill, Jr. Award for Musical Excellence”. Union Academy has established “The Jim Hill ‘IF’ Award” to the student who serves the band with excellence and effort and the belief that if everyone was like that student the band and the world would be better. The Union County Bandmasters Association named him “Director Emeritus” for the county.
Professionally, he has performed with the Greensboro Symphony (receiving that orchestra’s scholarship), the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Triad Symphony, the Florence Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony and was with the Charlotte Symphony for 15 years. He was on the staff of the Eastern Music Festival where he performed with the Eastern Philharmonic. He has led orchestras for many stage shows, has performed with many touring shows and musical spectaculars, and was music director for the Union County Little Theater.
Mr. Hill holds membership in the South Central District Bandmasters Association, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the Music Educators National Conference and the American School Band Directors Association where he is Eastern District Treasurer. He is a former member of the American Federation of Musicians.