Bill Hill

William “Bill” Winslow Hill

The Sierra Nevada Winds lost someone near and dear to us this week. Bill Hill served as the Conductor of the SNW for as long as all of our other conductors combined. He took the podium in 1995, and continued to lead us for 16 years until he passed the baton to our current leader, Bob Halseth, due largely to his failing vision. Bill was a larger than life individual, with a clear, unwavering concept of the sound he wanted from the band, and the skills to help us achieve that sound. He constantly searched for exceptional, challenging new music for the band to perform, and spent untold hours crafting the perfect programs to present to our audiences. His leadership guided the band to tremendous musical growth, and helped us to achieve our potential as an ensemble. He was a force of nature in the California music education community, and the ripples of his positive effect as a teacher to musicians at the high school, college and adult levels will continue to spread forever. We cannot adequately express our sorrow at his passing.