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Student sitting in the music building with his trombone
Front shot of the NEW music building
Jennifer Mendez, student clarinet player
Percussion Ensemble outside of the NEW music building
Luis Sanchez, Piano and Keyboarding Professor

Kent Hillman


Drummer, percussionist, and composer Kent Hillman's musical career began at age twelve when he was invited to perform as a drummer with Jack Benny show star Gisele MacKenzie. His subsequent performance history includes engagements with The Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Marvin Hamlish, Toni Tenille, and Joe Williams, to name a few. In 1987 he received recognition from Downbeat Magazine, which awarded him a “db” (Outstanding Performance Award) for his recording with California State University Fresno's Jazz Band "A". During the 1997 Reno Jazz Festival, Kent was recognized as the festival's "outstanding drummer", an award sponsored by the Sabian cymbal company. He has studied drumset with Ed Soph and Jeff Hamilton, vibraphone with Ed Saindon and Dave Samuels and Percussion with Matt Darling and Steve Schick. Kent received a BA in Percussion Performance from California State University, Fresno in 2004 and his MM in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas in 2007, where he was a teaching fellow. He currently serves as the adjunct drum set instructor at Texas A&M, Commerce, and serves as an adjunct professor of music at North Central Texas College. Kent operates a private percussion studio and performs regularly around the DFW metroplex.