New Assistant Chair of Theater Jermaine Hill on Embracing Multidimensionality
Talk about your path to theater: What were some of the pivotal moments and influential people along this journey?
My passion for music started with piano lessons when I was five. When I got to high school, my choir/drama teacher and I discovered that I had a singing voice, as well. I got cast in my first musical freshman year, and I was bitten by the proverbial acting bug. In college, I discovered that I was also interested in conducting, music directing, arranging, and teaching. I was really lucky in those early years to have teachers who believed in me, supported me, and gave me the tools to grow.
As an educator, administrator, actor, musician, and music director, you wear quite a few hats. What drives your multidimensionality?
As a child, I used to balk at the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” because I’ve always had many interests and passions, and people always seemed to want me to choose just one. Just before I graduated from college, a teacher warned me not to become a “jack of all trades and master of none.” I think my career has been driven by my desire to demonstrate that you can be successful as a multi-hyphenate creative and that you can pursue all of your passions.
What excites you most about your new role as assistant chair of theater?
I’m excited to work with our faculty, staff, and administrators as we embark on our bold and exciting mission to reimagine the Theater Division and the Conservatory as a transformative, culturally fluent, radically generous contemporary performing arts institution that prepares artists for traditional careers and those yet to be imagined.
How would you describe the Boston Conservatory community?
Kind, generous, welcoming, passionate, committed to excellence, student-centered, innovative, and inspiring.