About Our Director
Dr. Shaun Hillen
Dr. Hillen is in his twenty-fourth year as a music educator, having taught at every level of development from pre-kindergarten through university undergraduate. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in music education and a Ph.D. in musicology from Arizona State University. During his thirteen years in Texas public schools, he taught strings in the Conroe and Katy Independent school districts. He was an assistant director for the Beckendorff Junior High full orchestra in Katy which performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago (2011) and at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio as the Texas Honor Full Orchestra (2012).
At Arizona State he taught the undergraduate string methods lab, conducted the university string ensemble, supervised several teacher candidates during their student teaching field experience, and co-presented a session on teaching strings at the Arizona Music Educators Association Convention (2015). He also taught courses in music history and culture and conducted research in Russia before completing a dissertation on nationalism in contemporary Russian opera and popular music. He has presented his work at the American Musicological Society and Society for Music Theory Conference (2020) and at the University of Rochester in New York (2022). Dr. Hillen has been on the faculty of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas since fall 2022, teaching courses in music history and world musical culture. He lives in Houston with his wife Jennifer (also a high school orchestra director) and their frisbee-crazy dog Phoebe. They enjoy exploring and cooking plant-based cuisine from all over the world, occasional salsa dancing, and escaping to the mountains each year for hiking, camping, and most recently, snow skiing!