Hill, Dr. Weldon
Location: Davis Hall 215
A musicologist, composer, and pianist, Weldon Hill is active as a performer, composer, and writer. He is most well known as a pianist, having shared the stage with artists such as Jon Faddis, Joe Williams, Steve Wilson, Marleana Shaw, Benny Carter, Jae Sinnett, Andrew White, Ron Elliston, and Jo Marie Payton. His own piano trio has performed with Donald Harrison, Veronica Swift, Lori Williams, Renee Marie, Cecile Calloway, Denzal Sinclair, Andrew White, and Earnie Andrews, among others. In addition to his own trio, Hill also performs regularly with the Virginia Symphony Jazz Orchestra and Symphony Pops and the United States Air Force Rhythm in Blues Jazz Ensemble. As pianist with the Great American Music Ensemble (an often-featured big band at the Kennedy Center and for National Public Radio) and with such artists as Herb Jeffries, Jimmy Heath, Benny Carter, Christian McBride, Ronnie Wells, Milt Hinton, and Ethel Ennis. His discography includes recordings with the Great American Music Ensemble, Plunky and Oneness, Bill McGee, James Gates and the Weldon Hill Trio.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Hill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Virginia Union University (Richmond) and Master of Music (in composition) and Doctor of Philosophy (musicology/music theory) degrees from the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC). His dissertation, a comprehensive analysis and history of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts, is considered the seminal work on the subject in musicology. He completed post-graduate work at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond) in jazz studies and served as Pep Band Director. Hill was a piano student of Russell Wilson, having also studied with Ralph Ostoff and Bob Hallahan and participated in master classes and other sessions with Mulgrew Miller, Mary Lou Williams, Freddie Waits, Billy Taylor, and Jackie Byard, among others. He was selected as one of 33 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows in 1986; was awarded 1994 Plan for Social Excellence Post-Doctoral Fellowship to complete the Harvard University Management Development Program; and was selected as one of the 29 American Council on Education Fellows (class of 2000-01).
Hill began teaching in the VUU Department of Music in 1984 as Coordinator of Instrumental and Commercial Music at the rank of Assistant Professor. In this post, he assembled nationally recognized jazz ensembles, developed the Commercial Music/Jazz Studies curriculum, and continued to perform. He subsequently served as Chairperson of the Department of Music and Chairperson of the Division of Humanities. In 1993, Hill was appointed Dean of the VUU School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of Music, and in 1998, Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 2001, he was promoted to Provost and Senior Vice President, during which time he served as the VUU Chief Operations and Academic Officer. In December 2003, Hill was appointed Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education at Virginia State University (VSU, Petersburg), and, in July 2009, he was appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) at VSU, and is now serving as a member of the university’s music faculty. He is also involved in educational and public affairs outside the university, currently serving on Virginia and National Boards, including those of the Grants Resource Center (a division of the American Association of Colleges and Universities), the Virginia University Research Partnership, the New College Institute, and the Virginia Wizard Advisory Board.