Rick is truly passionate about music and the role it plays in our society. He enthusiastically engages his audiences in singing along with songs old and new. His infectious energy quickly transforms a moment into an experience, a simple song into a celebration, rhythms and rhymes into heartbeats and dreams. He believes that “Music, more than any other art form, has a way of reaching down and stirring your soul.” His writing influences include such careful wordsmiths as Paul Simon, Bob Franke, Dylan Thomas and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
In 2018 Rick was part of the Maryland Teaching Artist Institute. This organization connects artists in a variety of genres with teachers so they can present programs in the classroom. Rick put together a program that taught 2nd graders the history and some of the technique for playing eight different stringed instruments. Each student got to play each instrument giving them a hands on experience with instruments that they have, for the most part, never seen much less touched.
Rick Hill has been a musician and songwriter for more than 50 years. He began playing guitar at the age of ten learning Peter, Paul and Mary songs, then turning to groups like Crosby, Stills and Nash and Simon and Garfunkel. See what You Wanna See, his first CD, is Rick’s reflections on the ups and downs of life. He has performed for churches, schools, clubs and coffeehouses up and down the East Coast playing a variety of original, contemporary folk and traditional music. He also played hammered dulcimer with The Traditional Strings and upright bass with The Barefoot Boys. Over the last few years Rick has begun exploring some new instruments including banjo, harp and the nyckelharpa (a Swedish instrument).
Rick released his second CD, Everything Changes in November, 2009. He expands his own musical repertoire on this CD playing guitar, hammered dulcimer, bass and banjo. The songs speak about the hardships and tragedies of life, but point to a hopeful future. Rick wrote most of the songs but borrowed a song from Bob Gibson (Tomorrow) and Phil Ochs (The Bells).
Rick has also written a series of songs inspired by Ron Clark’s book “The Excellent 11”. These are eleven characteristics Clark feels teachers should be utilizing in the classroom and nurturing in their students. They include a sense of adventure, humor, reflection, resilience, and compassion. Many of the songs can be found on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/RichardHHill1/videos)
Rick was a founding member and President of F.A.M.E. (Frederick Acoustic Music Enterprise) an organization to nurture, promote and preserve original and traditional acoustic music of all genres in Frederick and Frederick County through live music, education and community outreach. He is very active in the local music scene playing in a variety of local venues, organizing benefit concerts and supporting local non-profits through his music.
Rick’s primary goals in his performance are to leave the audience feeling better about themselves and feeling like they can take on whatever life might hand them. In that process he builds a stronger sense of community and greater appreciation of the community in which they live.