Todd Hill


Todd Hill

Todd Hill

Director of Jazz Studies


  • DE, Boise State University

  • MME, Murray State University

  • BM, Murray State University


  • Jazz Studies

  • Jazz History


Dr. Todd E. Hill is Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Music at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. He directs the Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Band, Jazz Lab Big Band, three Jazz Combos and teaches courses in music education, musicianship and jazz history for the Honors College. Under his leadership, the Murray State Jazz Orchestra has played at numerous state conferences, won “Outstanding Big Band Performance” at the famed Elmhurst College Jazz Festival and performed at the prestigious Mid-West International Band Clinic in 2014. The Murray State Jazz Orchestra’s 2015 CD release Why We CAN Have Nice Things is available on Mark Records, and their latest release Live and On the Air is available as well. Dr. Hill founded both the Murray State-Jamey Aebersold Jazz Festival and the Town & Gown Community Band, which he has directed since 2007 and 2012, respectively. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from Murray State, and the Doctor of Education (EdD) from Boise State University. Hill has been active as guest clinician and conductor for regional and all-state concert and jazz bands in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Idaho, Washington, Montana, Oregon and Nevada.

Hill has lead his own professional jazz groups (The Todd Hill Orchestra and Quintet) for thirty-five years. As a free-lance pianist, he has performed with Doc Severinsen, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Gary Morris, Denise LaSalle, Stella Parton, The Moody Blues, Byron Stripling, Allen Vizzutti, Chris Vadala, Ron Wilkins, Jamey Aebersold, Denis DiBlasio, Buddy Childers, Greg Abate, Rich Matteson and the Paducah (KY) and Jackson (TN) Symphony Orchestras. He held previous teaching positions at Milan (TN) Middle and High Schools, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Boise State University and the University of the Cumberlands. His arrangements and compositions for tuba-euphonium ensembles and trombone choirs are published by Cimarron Music Press and his arrangements for jazz bands are published by Walrus Music/eJazzLines. In addition to multiple album appearances as pianist/arranger in a variety of genres, he has recorded a solo gospel piano CD, and three jazz CD releases with his Quintet and Orchestra under his own name.

Dr. Hill was the Kentucky Music Educators Association “College-University Teacher of the Year” for 2016. He was named “College/University Music Educator of the Year” on four previous occasions and “Friend of Music” by KMEA’s District One Music Educators between 2006 and 2015. He was named outstanding member of the Murray State Music Faculty in 2015. In KMEA, Dr. Hill serves on the State Executive Board as College-University Representative. Dr. Hill frequently presents clinics at jazz festivals and music education conferences, authored an article on jazz pedagogy for The Instrumentalist and has been quoted in music education textbooks. He serves as a jazz radio host of Café Jazz for WKMS 91.3, and has authored and produced several special series including Diggin’ Duke, Benny Goodman, The Swing Era and reconstructed and expanded Bobby Bryan’s The Black Cats Jump. Dr. Hill is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Sigma Alpha Iota (Friend of the Arts), Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, NAfME, KMEA, ITEA, CBDNA and is a Paul Harris Fellow in the Murray Rotary Club. He is the organist at First United Methodist Church in Benton, Kentucky.

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