Donald R. Hill, 79; Professor Expert In Southern Music

IN MEMORIAM:  Donald R. Hill, 79;

Professor Expert In Southern Music

Donald R. Hill from the jacket of his book, “Caribbean Culture,” available at the Red Dragon bookstore.

ONEONTA – A celebration of his life is being planned Wednesday, April 24, for Dr. Donald R. Hill, 79, who died Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, at Albany Medical Center, with his family by his side.

The celebration will be 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Mills Courtyard on the SUNY Oneonta campus, organized by the Africana and Latino studies departments.

Donald was son of the late Lowell and Rosemond Hill of Long Beach, Calif.

He joined the Army in 1962, serving as a Korean linguist on the DMZ.  He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from San Francisco State University, and traveled with a friend through the South, taping musicians, and collecting interviews and countless documents.  He was a music consultant for some documentary films.

These subsequently became part of Folkways Recordings, now part of the Smithsonian Institute, and soon will be added the Library of Congress.    He and his friend received funding from the Grammy Foundation to digitize their materials.

He received his doctorate in Cultural Anthropology at Indiana University, working on his research regarding migration in the Caribbean, primarily on the Island of Carriacou, for two years.  He subsequently worked as a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

In 1978, Dr. Hill came to SUNY Oneonta, retiring in 2016.  He taught he taught Cultural Anthropology, folklore and ethnomusicology in the  Anthropology and Africana Studies Departments.  He published two books, many scholarly articles, photographs, field records and magazine articles.

Survivors include by his wife of 56 years, Blanche Taylor Hill, and two sons, Anthony Alan Hill of Salisbury, Md., and Anthony Raymond Hill of Sidney.


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