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Jermaine Hill

Interim Dean of Theater
Affiliated Departments
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Jermaine Hill joined the Conservatory in 2021, and brings his experience as a multihyphenate artist-educator-adminstrator to his role as interim dean of theater. A native of New York, Hill received a B.M. in vocal performance from Ithaca College and an M.M. with academic honors in vocal performance from New England Conservatory of Music.

A highly acclaimed and award-winning music director, he recently music directed and wrote original arrangements for Academy Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, which made its 2022 Steppenwolf Theatre Company debut. He also music directed and served as conductor/pianist for The Color Purple as part of the 2022 season at the Muny. Other recent credits include: Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies (Porchlight Music Theatre); Spunk (Roundabout Theatre’s Refocus Project); Goodman Theatre's The Music Man (directed by Mary Zimmerman and choreographed by Denis Jones); The Color Purple (Drury Lane Oakbrook); We Are Out There, Nell Gwynn, and Madagascar (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); and Too Heavy for Your Pocket (TimeLine Theatre).

As a singer, he has performed with such diverse groups as the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme/Aldeburgh Festival, and the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble. Acting credits include a guest spot on NBC's Chicago Med, commercials with Onion Labs and BlueCross/BlueShield, and the role of Sam in Breathe with Me (Erasing the Distance). He is an ensemble member of Griffin Theatre and is on the artistic council of the Sarah Siddons Society.

Prior to joining the Conservatory, Hill was an assistant professor of theatre and coordinator of the musical theatre program at Columbia College Chicago, where he conducted a national search for new musicals written by historically marginalized writers and composers. Before his work in academia, he worked for Royal Caribbean Productions as a show cocreator, music director, arranger, orchestrator, and rehearsal and production supervisor for hundreds of productions shows and music events throughout their fleet. He maintains a small roster of private voice students, including Tony- and Grammy-award winner Heather Headley.

Professional Awards and Recognitions

  • Winner, Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Music Direction (2020)
  • Nominee, Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Music Direction (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017)
  • Winner, Duke Ellington Award for Best Music Direction, Black Theater Alliance (2018)
  • Nominee, Duke Ellington Award for Best Music Direction, Black Theater Alliance (2020, 2019, 2018)

Notable Recent Works

  • Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (the Huntington, 2022)—Music consultant
  • The Color Purple (the Muny, 2022)—Music director, conductor/pianist
  • Choir Boy (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 2022)—Music director and arranger
  • Spunk (Roundabout Theatre Refocus Project, 2021)—Music director
  • Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies (Porchlight Music Theatre, 2020)—Music director and pianist
  • A Man of No Importance (Columbia College Chicago, 2019)—Director
  • The Music Man (Goodman Theatre, 2019)—Music director, conductor/pianist
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