Track and field athlete exercises musical talents

Lifestyle Reporter

Jonathan Hill is living proof that true talent is multi-dimensional.

The business freshman is a member of the Texas State track and field team, where he competes in the 60-, 100- and 200-meter sprints. Hill is also a skilled musician and vocalist. He said music is a craft he has been perfecting since he was around 5 years old.

Hill’s love for music began to take form after his parents introduced him to a piano instructor. Hill was frustrated while learning to play, but stuck with the instrument.

Hill played percussion in his middle school’s band. He couldn’t read sheet music, which meant he had to sing notes aloud in order to play them on the drums.

This method of practicing led his mother to discover her son had a knack for singing. Hill said this was a breakthrough that led him to join choir in eighth grade.

Over the years Hill has continued to expand his musical range. He can now play the guitar, bass, mandolin and ukulele in addition to the piano and drums.

Hill finds time for music despite his busy schedule. He often practices for up to two hours a day despite being involved with track and having a full course load of classes.

Hill enjoys making music with his peers as well. He said he often participates in “Piano Night” at Sayers Hall, staying up into the early morning hours to play with friends.

Hill loves to compete in track and field, but music gives him joy that cannot be found anywhere else, he said.

“It is like an endless canvas,” Hill said. “You always have the ability to create something new.”  

Scott Williams, exploratory professional freshman, has been best friends with Hill since they were in fifth grade. Williams said Hill’s ability to balance school while maintaining his track career and music is remarkable.

“He is just a great guy,” Williams said. “If you tell him something, he actually cares about what you said.”

Hill plans to change his major to music to better prepare for a professional career.

John Mata, music freshman, has been a close friend of Hill since they participated in school choir together in eighth grade.

“The dude can do anything,” Mata said. “He is a track star and he can sing.”

The two friends harmonize together, often doing renditions of songs from artists such as Sam Smith and John Legend, Mata said.

Mata recalls watching Hill pick up a violin, an instrument he had never used, and learn to play it in a matter of minutes.

Mata said Hill’s versatility has inspired him to go farther with his own music.

“He is a jack of all trades,” Mata said. “He is also a very nice guy. He has a very outgoing personality, and he is a very special person.”