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Amy Hillis

Faculty Profile Image

Music

Amy Hillis

Assistant Professor

ahillis@yorku.ca

Education

BMus (McGill University), MMus (San Francisco Conservatory of Music), DMus (McGill University)

Biography

Dr. Amy Hillis joined the York Music faculty in July 2020. She was the Helen Carswell Chair in Community-Engaged Research in the Arts for three years during which she facilitated a research partnership between Community Music Schools of Toronto Jane & Finch and York University. Dr. Hillis currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Community Music, music history and music appreciation.

As a performer and educator, Dr. Hillis pursues opportunities to build community relationships using music inside and outside the traditional concert hall. As a violinist, she has commissioned Canadian works by Matt Brubeck, Fjóla Evans, Gabriel Dufour-Laperrière, Laurence Jobidon, Vincent Ho, Andrew Staniland, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, Carmen Braden, Randolph Peters and Jordan Pal. Her debut album titled Roots demonstrates the connections between select Canadian compositions and works from the traditional canon of classical repertoire. As part of the meagan&amy duo, Dr. Hillis performed this repertoire in ten Canadian provinces during the inaugural "Pan-Canadian Partnership” Recital Tour. She also toured Canada as winner of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition. As artist-in-residence at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, she studied the relationship between French and Québécois repertoire. Dr. Hillis is also the founding member and manager of the prairie-based Horizon String Quartet with whom she has presented seven concert tours of interactive performances for schools across western Canada.

Dr. Hillis' current research as a community music practitioner investigates the importance of a community’s “identity”. How can community musicians facilitate transformative music experiences by deepening a community’s sense of identity, whether this identity is geographical, racial, cultural or gender-based? Dr. Hillis continues to perform and promote music by underrepresented composers, particularly in the classical music genre, in order to empower the voices of marginalized communities. Learn more about her research here or visit her website here.