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Marching to the same beat: Brothers lead two D214 bands

Published September 19, 2023

Mom was a music education professor; Dad was a music teacher and band director. Dad’s idea of fun during family road trips was to quiz their three young sons on the differences between Mozart and Beethoven.

So, yes, maybe it was written in the stars - or somewhere between the key and time signatures - that Elliott and Spencer Hile would pursue careers in music.

Granted, a very young Spencer resisted a musical life. Sports were his thing. But when compelled by his parents to try just one year of high school band – that’s all, one year, then quit if he chose – he fell in love with the euphonium. In fact, he fell in love with all things marching band, especially as it took him on trips and to places he’d never imagined. That was it. He was hooked. As for older brother Elliott, he was already immersed in music performance.

Now here we are, several years and many measures down the road. After playing in the band together at Highland Park High School and, later, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Hile brothers are directing bands at their respective District 214 schools: Elliott at Rolling Meadows and Spencer at John Hersey. Elliott calls it “serendipity” that they are pursuing careers they love in the same district; Spencer calls it an “unbelievable surprise.” Both marvel at their professional good fortune. 

“Being a band director is one of the best jobs you can have,” Spencer says. “I get to work with students for four years and develop amazing relationships and watch them grow, which is really unique compared to other teachers.”

Elliott concurs: “As band directors, we are in the people business. We are helping students learn how to work really hard to become the best they can be and fulfill their potential.”

As you’ll see in this video, the Hile brothers are putting their students first; proud to be working in a district renowned for quality bands; and - always - are each other’s biggest fan and supporter.