- Acadian Festival (1992)
- Adagio for Winds (1994)
- American Saga (1994)
- Bull Fighter (1992)
- Chesapeake March
- Choo Choo Blues
- Chorale No. 1
- Chorale No. 2
- Cloverleaf Waltz
- Crestwood Overture (1984)
- Dance of Fire (1993)
- Eagle Command March
- Echo Lake Poem
- Essays on an American Hymn (1994)
- Firecreek Legacy (1988)
- Furioso (1981)
- Holiday Festival, A
- In Praise of Autumn (1986)
- Korean Festival (1987)
- Lakeside (1992)
- Little Chief
- Low Brass Blues
- Lyrico for Winds (1993)
- Mexican Festival (1994)
- Night Hawk (1992)
- North Penn Celebration (1993)
- Ovation (1994)
- Prelude and Dance
- Requiem (1990)
- Sundance (1991)
- Ten Chorales for Beginning and Intermediate Band
- Terzetto Harmonium
- Toast to Honor March (1988)
- Valley Junction Portrait (1992)
- Variations on an African Hymnsong (1994)
by Eun Oh Lee (SHS)
Quincy Hilliard was born in Starkville, Mississippi, in September 22, 1954. He is a widely known composer, conductor, businessman, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant throughout the United States. As a business man, he runs a business of his own. He is the president of Hilliard Music Enterprise Inc., a personal consulting firm which has a corporate board of distinguished music educators (Dr. Quincy Hilliard 9). As a professor, he’s an associate professor of music theory and composition at the university of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette. He also has taught at Florida International University and Nichollas State University (Horne 133). As an author, he has published several books, including Selecting Music for the School Band, Theory Concepts Books 1 and 2, and Skill Builders Book 1 and 2. He has published articles in Opera Journal, The Instrumentalist, School Musician, Band World, American Music Teacher, Florida Music Director, and Tennessee Musician (Snow 1). As a conductor, he is frequently invited to Mexico, Australia, and Canada to conduct, judge festivals, hold workshops, and demonstrate his teaching techniques. He was the conductor of the seventh annual Iowa Middle School Honor Band in 1995 (1995 Iowa Middle School Honor Band 1). As a composer, he was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games to write a composition for the 1996 Olympics. He was one of only eight composers to be honored. The composition is entitled “Anthem for Victory” and is four and a half minutes long (Snow 2). As a consultant and clinician, his compositions for wind band are published by Boosey and Hawkes Publisher and Carl Fischer Publisher (Snow 1).
Hilliard was interested in music at his early age. His mother, Laura, played the piano in church. She started giving him music lesson early. She had a master’s in elementary education from Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi (Armstrong 14). She was a school teacher in the Oktibbeha County Schools for thirty-four years. She was a strong supporter who helped him to get what he needed in order for him to pursue his career. She died in May 1995 (Snow 2). His father was a minister in the Methodist Church. He had a master’s degree in religion from a seminary in Atlanta. Before he died when Quincy Hilliard was thirteen, his father had prepared his son to get his education. Hilliard married Rubye Hilliard in 1979, and he earned his Ph.D. at the university of Florida in Gainesville in 1984. Rubye Hilliard is a counselor at Paul Breaux Middle School in Lafayette. They now have two sons, Cameron and Alex (Armstrong 14).
Hilliard graduated from Starkville High School in 1972. He attended Mississippi State University (B.S., Music Ed.), Arkansas State University (M. Mus. Ed.), and the University of Florida (Ph.D., music theory and composition). At Arkansas State University, he studied composition which helped his career. He not only learned how to write music but also about the business of music. He learned the elements of communicating with people. He met Jared Spears, who became his mentor (Snow 1).
Hilliard composes music strictly for bands. He has had more than seventy published compositions. His first published piece was “Furioso” in 1980 (Armstrong 14). One of his best known works, “Ghost Dance” was based upon a historical event. It was premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and received a standing ovation. He was also invited to guest conduct “Ghost Dance” at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada at its 1994 Music Festival (Armstrong 22). An odd thing is that even though he wants his music to be more passionate and caring, his music is just the opposite of him. One of his friends said that maybe that is his dark side. However, his deep passion about his music shows how enthusiastic he is about music and what a hard-working person he is. This is a quote about how he expresses the music. “Music is supposed to project hope, beauty, sensitivity” (Snow 3).
Hilliard has been honored with several awards. He has been honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awards for 1996-97. This is the ninth time that he has received the honor (Tessier 1). He received the National Bandmasters Association Citation of Excellence Award in 1990. He received the National Catholic Bandmaster Service Award in 1991 (Armstrong 22). The University of Southwestern Louisiana awarded him the Heymann Endowed Professorship in Music in 1995 (Snow 2).
Hilliard is sociable. He thinks that his energy comes from the joy of living. He loves meeting people, working with people, and, most of all, he likes to have fun (snow 4). He also has a plan. He says, “I’ve always felt I had a purpose. I can’t live my life not knowing what I’m going to do every day. I have to have an agenda. In order to be a success, I must plan, have a purpose, have a dream. This is what I want to do and it’s here” (Armstrong 22). This is what he thinks about music. “Music is important because it allows students to have an avenue of expression that can’t be achieved through traditional means.” “It can go in and touch emotions. It gives kids an outlet of creativity” (Howard D).
Biography of Quincy Hilliard
by Rodney Johnson (SHS)
Quincy Hilliard was born in Starkville, Mississippi, in 1954. Today he is an internationally-known composer, lecturer, consultant, and president of Hilliard Music Enterprises. His father, a minister of the Methodist Church, died in 1968 while Hilliard was attending Starkville High School. His mother was a teacher in the Oktibbeha County Schools for thirty-four years before she died in May of 1995. Hilliard was given piano lessons early by his mother and later on by Lois Coffman of Starkville. In the sixth grade he took lessons on the trumpet under a band director named James Parsons.
Hilliard graduated from Starkville High School in 1972 where he was a member of the SHS marching band. He graduated from Mississippi State University and pursued a master’s degree from Arkansas State University where he studied under Jared Spears,who became his mentor. Hilliard received a Ph. D. in music from the University of Florida where he studied under Richard Bowles. He taught for several years at the junior and senior high school level, but he realized that in order for him to do what he wanted, he would have to move to the college level. College level teaching provides a sort of modern patronage system for composers,according to Hilliard, because it provides financial stability while allowing time for artistic creation. Hilliard began teaching at International University, Nicholls State, and is currently at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, where he is associate professor of music theory and composition. He has been there for twelve years. Hilliard is married to his wife Rubye and has two sons, Cameron, age 13, and Alex, age 10 (1998).
Hilliard has been the recipient of many awards. He won the American Society of Composer award seven times. Last summer he was awarded the Heymann Endowed Professorship in music. He is the author of several books, including Theory, Concepts Books 1 and 2, and Skill Builders, Book 1 and 2. just to name a few. He is the president of Hilliard Music Enterprise, Inc., which is a personal consulting firm with a corporate board of distinguished music educators. He also serves as composer, consultant and clinician for Bossey and Hawkes Publishers and Carl Fischer Publisher. As a composer, he shows a darker side writing such haunting stuff as the Ghost Dance, Death Chants, and Final Rituals. Hilliard was one of only eight composers to be honored by the Cultural Olympiad of the Atlanta Committee for the Issue Olympic Games. In the fall of 1996, he was the featured speaker at Starkville High School when he became a member of the Starkville High School Hall of Fame.
- 1954: Born in Starkville, Mississippi
- 1968: His father died
- 1970: His school was integrated.
- 1972: Graduated from Starkville High School
- 1975: Graduated from Mississippi State University
- 1979: Married Rubye Hilliard
- 1990: Received the National Bandmasters Association Citation of Excellence Award
- 1991: Received the National Catholic Band Masters Service Award
- 1992: Began Hilliard Music Enterprise Inc.
- 1994: Donated papers to Mississippi State; mother died
- 1995: University of Southwestern Louisiana awarded him the Heymann Endowed Professorship in Music
- 1996: Chosen to compose music for 1996 Olympics by Cultural Olympiad of Atlanta
- 1999: Honored as Outstanding Alumnus of the School of Music, University of Florida
- 2008: Commissioned by the Library of Congress to create a work for the bicentennial celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birth
- 2012: A CD on which Hilliard had a composition was nominated for a Grammy
- 2013: Honored as MSU Music Department alumnus of the year
- 2014: Received Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award in the Classical Music Division
by Eun Oh Lee (SHS)
“Where and when were you born?”
“I was born on September 22, 1954, in Starkville, Mississippi.”
“Who is your favorite musician?”
“Probably Aaron Copland.”
” What musician do you think has influenced you the most?”
“Probably Frances MacBeth.”
“How were you commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games to compose music for the 1996 Summer Olympics?”
“They just called me up and asked me to do it. There wasn’t a contest or anything. They chose certain people. It was a matter of your stature in the profession.”
“When did you become interested in music?
“I guess when I was in junior high school.”
“Was there something in particular that got you interested in music?”
“Oh! I liked being in the band.”
“What kind of student were you in high school?”
” I guess a B+. I was in the honor society.”
“Are you working on new music right now?”
“Well, I am always working on something. I have a lot of commissions and other things that I am working on. I am always working on something.”
“Do you have any advice for future musicians?”
“Work very hard and do not give up. Just work very hard at it. I never thought that I was talented anyway. My talent is that I work hard. That’s the talent I have. I just work like crazy. I still don’t think I am talented.”
“How has Mississippi influenced your music?”
“There hasn’t been any influence from Mississippi in regard to my music. However, the teachers that I had in my early years of training were from Mississippi, and I think they instilled in me the idea of working very hard to get what I wanted.”
“How did your mother influence you when you were at the high school?”
“She just wanted me to work very hard and to make good grades.”
Interview with James Parsons
(James Parsons was Hilliard’s first band director when he was in sixth grade.)
by Eun Oh Lee (SHS)
“What was Hilliard like when he was your student?”
“He was easy to get along with. He was very respectful.”
“How did you teach him?
“He signed up for it. He had piano lessons.”
“What do you think of his enthusiasm in music?”
“It was great as far as theory goes. He was interested in composition from that respect. He was interested in music.”
“What was your advice to him?”
“Do the best you can.”
“How was he influenced by you?”
“He saw what I was doing as the band director. He has kept in touch and has kept calling me since 1969.”
“Is there anything you want to comment about him?”
“He was the best student I have ever had.”
- Hilliard honored as MSU music department alumnus of the year
- Music manuscripts of Quincy Hilliard are available at the MSU Library
- Hilliard’s biography page at the School of Music & Performing Arts, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- Article about Dr. Hilliard on MyNewOrleans.com
- Horne, Aaron. “Hilliard, Quincy C. (n.d.).” Brass Music of Black Composers. London: Greenwood Press, 1996. 133-135.
- Parsons, James. Telephone Interview. 8 April 1998.
- Hilliard, Quincy. Telephone Interview. 14 April 1998.
- Armstrong, Annabelle. “First class.” Magazine. Oct. 17, 1993. 14, 22.
- Howard, Gina. “Prof pens Olympic anthem.” Acadiana Life. Feb. 20, 1994. Section D.