Hill returns to Southern Maryland to sing a cappella
Monty Hill pursued his career dream, and made it.
The native St. Mary’s County man will be returning home this weekend to perform with his a cappella group, something he still can’t believe he is actually doing.
“I live in Boston now and I’m with an a cappella group, which is my full-time job,” Hill said. “I consider myself truly blessed.”
The group, called Ball in the House, will be holding a workshop at St. Charles High School in Waldorf during the day on Friday, April 15, before students get a chance to sing with the five-man group that afternoon. Then, at 7 p.m. on Friday evening, Ball in the House will perform a public concert at the school. The cost is $15 per ticket, or $10 if purchased in advance by emailing SCHSperformancetix@gmail.com.
“It’s very cool that I get to go back to the Southern Maryland area,” Hill said.
Hill grew up in Chaptico and graduated from Chopticon High School in 1997. He then earned degrees in music performance and in education from Morgan State University in 2003.
After college he returned to St. Mary’s, where he was a substitute teacher for about a year before being hired as the choir and piano teacher at Great Mills High School.
Growing up and as a young teacher, Hill said he was known for his friendly attitude in school and on local stages.
“I try to get along with everybody, and find the positives in everything,” he said.
Hill is hoping to book workshops and a concert in St. Mary’s sometime soon. He wants to give back to the community that he was raised in, a community that he said supports the arts.
Since he left St. Mary’s County, a visual and performing arts academy was created at Chopticon High School that draws students from throughout the county for a focus in theater, music and visual art. Also, Leonardtown was named an arts and entertainment district by the state.
Hill recalled two of his former teachers — Patty Kuzmick at Chopticon and Anita George at Leonardtown Middle School — who inspired his own love of music.
After a few years teaching in St. Mary’s, the draw of the stage was strong, so Hill moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue an acting career.
It was while teaching and working in community theaters in the District that he caught a performance by the Ball in the House. A short time later, he saw the male a capella group was holding auditions for a new member, and he gave it a shot.
Next thing he knew he was moving to Boston for a new, paying gig.
“I auditioned, and here I am,” he said in an interview last week. “I consider myself ... lucky to do this full time,” he said.
The name Ball in the House, Hill said, comes from an episode of “The Brady Bunch” when the boys break a vase while playing ball in the house, despite warnings from their stepmother. The group sings just about anything, usually focusing on R&B, pop and soul music that ranges from classic Motown to contemporary hits.
Hill said that he now travels around the country singing, and has recently been to Arizona, San Diego, Indiana and upstate New York. The group is booked for a two-week tour of China later this summer, he said.
Hill said he hopes many of his old friends and colleagues will come out to see the show this Friday.