It is my pleasure to devote this column to introducing and welcoming Kay Hilton, Britt’s new Director of Education and Engagement. With 18 years of experience at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as the Music Coordinator, she comes to Britt with an extensive background in performing arts and education. Kay is knowledgeable and passionate about music, education, arts administration and advancing the musical experiences of our local community.

In the past two months she has been focused on implementing the final phase of our 1st Arts Career Exploration (ACE) program, which will culminate in a musical performance on our Performance Garden Stage. Our High School ACE students began their journey with Britt last summer by job shadowing on the Hill, and have had the opportunity to observe how we manage our performance season as well as the opportunity to participate in various projects and discussions about art and arts administration. Currently, Kay is overseeing ACE’s work of choosing, contracting, marketing and producing a professional concert, which will take place in early June. The Britt staff has enjoyed working with the students and it has been very exciting to see how committed and accomplished these students are, and how fast they are acquiring the skills to plan and execute this event.

While busy putting together a 5-year plan, Kay is also managing the submissions to our String Quartet Academy with the Dover String Quartet, which will be held on the SOU campus from July 27 to August 1. Applications are still being accepted.

I asked Kay to share some of her thoughts for the future of the Britt Education program and this is what she had to say: “It’s been interesting to begin to explore a vision for the future while I’m learning to manage the programs I inherited for this season. I have almost completed a draft for an ambitious long-range plan, and it’s been a stimulating process! The theme of my plan for the future is ‘Partnership.’ I am exploring long-term partnerships with SOU, the Siskiyou Music Project, The Modern Roots Foundation, and various local music educators. My hope is to develop rotating summer camps in several genres, quarterly residencies with both visiting and local artists during the school year, production and performance fellowships, and maintain the excellent internship program that Britt already has. Of course, we will continue our wonderful relationships with Jacksonville Elementary School, Road Scholars, our groundbreaking conductor, Teddy Abrams, and the inspiring members of our Britt Orchestra.”

You will be seeing a lot of Kay on the Hill this summer as she dives into her role as Britt’s Director of Education and Engagement. Please join me in welcoming Kay to the Britt Family and Jacksonville community. To learn more about Britt Education programs, email Kay at