Hailing from Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Hillary Simms is the newest trombonist and first female member of the acclaimed American Brass Quintet. With her appointment to the ABQ, Hillary also joins the faculty at The Juilliard School.
Ms. Simms is known as a solo, orchestral and chamber trombonist in both the United States and Canada. Named as one of Canada’s top 30 classical musicians under 30, Hillary gave her solo debut playing the Tomasi Concerto with the National Arts Center Orchestra under the baton of Alexander Shelley. She has since given performances of the David Concerto and the Raum Romance with NACO, as well as solo performances with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.
Hillary has performed with several ensembles throughout North America including The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada, The Canadian Opera Company, The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Prior to her appointment with ABQ, she performed regularly with Seraph Brass and is a founding member of the Canadian Trombone Quartet and the Newfoundland based brass quintet, Saltwater Brass. Simms can be heard playing lead trombone on the album “Then is Now” with Jens Lindemann and the Canadian All Star Jazz Band and was a member of the Jazz East Big Band for two years.
Hillary has been the recipient of numerous performance awards including winning The American Trombone Workshop Solo Competition and The American Trombone Workshop Quartet Competition with two separate groups. Hillary also won 2nd prize at Le Concours Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and was a finalist in the Lätzsch Trombone Festival, the International Trombone Festival Solo Competition and the M-Prize Chamber Competition. Ms. Simms is a recipient of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation award and upon graduation was awarded the Tani-Salsinger Gold Medal of Excellence by McGill University presented to one undergraduate student for excellence in music performance.
In addition, Hillary has been guest faculty at the Southeast Trombone Symposium and a featured guest artist at the Canadian Women’s Brass Conference and Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Trombone “Paddyversary” Festival. Hillary serves on the artistic committee for the Canadian Women’s Brass Collective and was previously on faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Hillary holds a BM from McGill University, an MM from Yale University, an AD from The Glenn Gould School Royal Conservatory of Music and is currently pursuing her DMA at Northwestern University.