Cheryl Frazes Hill is the associate director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Frazes Hill began with the Chorus as a singer in 1976 and was then appointed to the conducting staff by Margaret Hillis, the Chorus' founder and first director, in 1987. Frazes Hill has continued in that role, assisting former Chorus Director Duain Wolfe for 28 years. Frazes Hill also serves as chorus director of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, a role she began in 2017. Recent performances include the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus joining the Chicago Symphony Chorus for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at the Ravinia Festival in 2019, under the direction of Marin Alsop.
In addition to her roles with the Chicago and Milwaukee symphonies, Frazes Hill is professor emeritus, having served for twenty years as director of choral activities for Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts since 2002. Under her direction, the Roosevelt University choruses have been featured in prestigious and diverse events, including appearances at national and regional music conferences and in performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the Illinois Philharmonic. Among recent performances, the Roosevelt Conservatory Chorus received enthusiastic reviews for the American premiere performance of Jacob Ter Velduis’ Mountaintop. Other recent performances include the internationally acclaimed Defiant Requiem and a semi-staged production of Considering Matthew Shepard.
Frazes Hill has prepared the Chicago Symphony Chorus for Maestros Alsop, Boulez, Barenboim, Conlon, Levine, Mehta, Salonen, Tilson Thomas, and many others. Recordings of Frazes Hill’s Chicago Symphony Chorus preparations on the CSO Resound label include Beethoven, A tribute to Daniel Barenboim and Chicago Symphony Chorus: A 50th Anniversary Celebration.
An accomplished vocalist, she is a featured soloist on the Grammy-nominated recording of the CBS Masterworks release Mozart, Music for Basset Horns. During her years of teaching, Frazes Hill has earned numerous awards, including the Illinois Governor's Award, the Northwestern University Alumni Merit Award, the Commendation of Excellence in Teaching from the Golden Apple Foundation, the Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Chicago and the Roosevelt University Presidential Award for Social Justice. Frazes Hill is the recent recipient of the prestigious 2022 Harold Decker Conducting Award by the American Choral Director’s Association and the 2023 mary Hoffman Award of Excellence, for distinguished work in the field of music education.
Frazes Hill is a frequent guest conductor and guest speaker. As a clinician, she conducts festivals and concerts throughout the country. Frazes Hill is a published author, including her newly released book Margaret Hillis: Unsung Pioneer, published by GIA. As an advocate for women conductors past and present, Frazes Hill joined conductor Marin Alsop, as a featured speaker for the 2022 Ravinia Festival Symposium Breaking Barriers: Forging Paths for Women Conductors. Frazes Hill shares her scholarship through published articles for national education and choral journals on topics of her research in choral conducting and music education.