James Hile was recently appointed director of bands at Elmhurst University, where his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble, teaching classes in music education, and administering all aspects of the band program.
A product of Southern California public schools, Hile earned a bachelor of arts degree in music education from UCLA. He then taught at Santa Monica High School, where he established what many considered to be one of the finest high school band programs in California. He completed a master of science degree in music education and a doctorate in education at the University of Illinois. Hile studied conducting with Harry Begian, Clarence Sawhill and David Whitwell, and studied arranging with James Curnow, Mark Hindsley and F. Kelly James.
Prior to his appointment at Elmhurst University, Hile most recently served as assistant director of bands at Eastern Illinois University after teaching at Highland Park High School. He also has served as director of bands at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and began his collegiate teaching career as the assistant director of bands at the University of Illinois. His bands have performed in Mexico, China, Japan, Italy, Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic.
With a national reputation as a band arranger, Hile has created marching band arrangements for numerous university and high school bands across the United States. He has transcribed several major works for band that have been performed by numerous college and university bands, the United States Army Band, the United States Army Brass Band, the United States Air Force Band, the Interlochen Music Academy Bands, the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic Winds.
Hile has received numerous awards for teaching excellence at both the public school and collegiate levels. A recipient of the “Citation of Excellence” from the National Band Association, he was the honored recipient of the City of Highland Park Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and has been recognized as Illinois Bandmaster of the Year by Phi Beta Mu. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, arranger, clinician and adjudicator.