Percussive storyteller in Brookings this week

Courtesy photo: Cory Hills

BROOKINGS – The Brookings Arts Council welcomes artist and percussive storyteller Cory Hills to Brookings this week. 

Hills will perform at all elementary schools in Brookings and host a free concert at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23. All are welcome and invited to join.

A multi-percussionist, composer and Grammy award-winning artist, Hills thrives on breaking down musical barriers through creative, interdisciplinary projects. He has received degrees from Northwestern University, Queensland Conservatorium and the University of Kansas and was awarded a research fellowship to Institute Fabrica. Currently, Hills is an active performer, composer and recording artist in Los Angeles as well as a member of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet.

An advocate of new music, Hills has individually commissioned and premiered over 150 new works for percussion. He has given solo and chamber recitals across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico and China. An advocate for percussion as an artistic discipline, Hills has been the artist-in-residence at Rocky Mountain National Park, a fellow at the OMI international artist’s colony, the first-ever artist-in-residence with Eighth Blackbird in Chicago, and the inaugural resident for an arts in social practice fellowship through the National Endowment of the Arts and the state of Colorado.

Percussive Storytelling, a program that brings classical music and storytelling to kids in underserved communities, was launched by Hills while a fellow at Institute Fabrica. The program recently marked its 700th performance and has reached more than 180,000 children in 10 countries. 

Hills has released two award-winning albums (The Lost Bicycle, Drum Factory), and three children’s books (The Lost Bicycle, Beatrice and the POGs, Beatrice and the Search for the Orb). Through Percussive Storytelling, Hills was named as the first-ever fellow in children’s music at the Fred Rogers Center for 2021-2022.

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