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Faculty

Karen Hill, Festival Director

Karen Hill is delighted to be the new MasterWorks Festival Director.

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, and the Converse Symphony Orchestra. In the past she 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, she 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.

Karen has been on the faculty at Converse College since 2000 and prior to that time 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

During the summer of 2017, Karen and her husband, Chip, also a clarinetist, were featured soloists with the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in  Changsha, China. Afterwards, they and a team of MasterWorks faculty members collaborated with this professional orchestra for two weeks, performing a dozen times in different locations.

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