An active performer, Karen Hill is currently the Principal Clarinetist of the Spartanburg Philharmonic, Principal Second Clarinetist of the Asheville Symphony and a member of the Arbor Wind Trio. She has appeared as a soloist with the Spartanburg Philharmonic, Brevard Chamber Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra, Hunan Symphony Orchestra, Yellow River Symphony Orchestra, the Converse Symphony Orchestra, and collaborated with the American Chamber Players. She has also served as Principal Clarinetist with the Hendersonville Symphony, the Brevard Chamber Orchestra, and the French Broad River Woodwind Quintet. A freelance musician in the area for over 20 years, Mrs. Hill also has performed with the Asheville Lyric Opera Company, Augusta Symphony Orchestra, Augusta Opera Company, Charleston Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Greenville Symphony, North Carolina Symphony and the South Carolina Philharmonic. Mrs. Hill has traveled to China multiple times as a performer and teacher in cities such as Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Zhengzhou, Changsha and Qingdao.
Mrs. Hill has been on the faculty at Converse since 2000. She also serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for International Programs, promoting and coordinating Converse’s partnership programs in China. Prior to 2000, she taught at Brevard College, Mars Hill College, Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, Union, and the School for Gifted Students in the Arts. A high school graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, Mrs. Hill holds degrees in clarinet performance from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan, where she was a full-tuition Fellow. She is a former student of the world-renowned clarinetist Robert Marcellus.
A summer music enthusiast throughout high school and college, Karen spent her summers at music festivals such as the Banff Center, Brevard Music Center, Interlochen, Music Academy of the West, and the School of Orchestral Studies, a summer affiliate of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has also performed at Piccolo Spoleto, the Cullowhee Music Festival, and at Wild Acres, as a Woodwind Quintet Artist-in-Residence. She currently spends her summers at the MasterWorks Festival at Converse.