Terrence Thornhill

NJSO Youth Orchestras Assistant Conductor & Curriculum Specialist

Terrence Thornhill is the Assistant Conductor & Curriculum Specialist for the NJSO Youth Orchestras, working closely with Artistic Director José Luis Domínguez. Thornhill also serves as the instrumental music director at Kent Place School in Summit. Thornhill earned his bachelor’s degree in music education at Montclair State University, studying cello with Nicholas Tzavaras, cellist of the Shanghai Quartet. He received his master’s degree in cello performance from SUNY Purchase College, studying cello with Julia Lichten, cellist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He also studied conducting with Ken Lam, conductor of the Charleston Symphony and Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

As an educator, Thornhill maintains a diverse private cello studio in the New York metro area, teaching students from young children to adults. In addition to his private studio, He is the conductor of the Varsity Youth Orchestra, JCC String Camerata and Harambee Chamber Orchestra, which is dedicated to performing work by underrepresented composers, specifically composers of color and women, while raising money for community passion projects. Thornhill is an original teaching artist and lead conductor for the Paterson Music Project, an El Sistema program serving over 250 students in Paterson, and the lead conductor at the Opportunity Music Project, which serves El Sistema students in New York City.

Thornhill’s credits include the inaugural John J. Cali School of Music Alumni Achievement Award in 2018. The same year, Thornhill was selected for the faculty at the Youth Orchestras of Los Angeles National El Sistema Festival sponsored by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.