Barbara Hill Moore

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty

Barbara Hill Moore



Barbara Hill Moore is Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Meadows Foundation Distinguished Professor of Voice at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. She began teaching at Meadows in 1974 and served as chair of the voice department from 1977 through 1992. Prior to her SMU appointment (1969-1974), she taught at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, the St. Louis Public School System and the St. Louis Archdiocese. She received a B.S. from Lincoln University of Missouri and an M.S. as a graduate fellow from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. 

Professor Hill Moore has performed with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. She was a frequent performer in Western Europe, especially Germany, where she sang in opera, concert and recital, premiering the works of many American composers. She sang in Theater Des Westens in Berlin, was a guest with the Nürnberg and Kiel symphony orchestras and sang concerts of American music annually from 1983 through 2009.  She was invited on many occasions to sing in the summer music festivals in Germany, including the Zelt Music Festival in Freiburg, where she premiered songs written for her by American composer Simon Sargon.  It was following a concert of American art songs in Freiburg that Justis Franz invited her to sing a recital for guest of honor Leonard Bernstein in a weekend celebration of his 70th birthday during the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival.  Opera lovers in Berlin know Professor Hill Moore for her interpretation of Jenny in Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera, which she sang in more than 50 performances in Berlin and Cologne, repeating the role with the Pittsburgh Opera in Philadelphia. She sang the role of Serena in the 50th anniversary performances of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in Charleston, South Carolina. Afterwards, she sang the role of Bess with the Florentine Opera, in opera productions and in concerts throughout Europe and North America. Other roles include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Houston Ebony Opera and the title roles in Dido and Aeneas with Dallas Chamber Opera and Aida with the Shreveport Opera. Most recent performances include Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the SMU Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Hector Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Ete with the Sherman Symphony, Porgy and Bess with the Victoria Symphony and solo recitals in Nürnberg, Hannover, Hameln, Heilbronn and Weilheim, Germany, and Numana and Ancona, Italy. In October 2017 she was invited to sing a concert of American music in the 7th International Festival of Strings in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Professor Hill Moore founded SPIRITUAL VOICES in 1990. The ensemble of five soloists and accompanist specializes in the performance of the earliest composed Negro spirituals and African American art song repertory. SPIRITUAL VOICES has sung concerts in the United States, including recent performances in Texas, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. Their concerts in Europe since 1994 include performances in Saarbrücken, Saarlouis, Hannover, Hameln, Eutin, Stuttgart and many other cities throughout the country. SPIRITUAL VOICES sang a Christmas concert tour in six cities in December 2016 in northern Germany and the bishop of that region has invited the ensemble to return to cities including Hannover, Bückeburg, Fischbeck/Hameln, Essen and Weilheim near Stuttgart, December 10-20, 2021.  

Professor Hill Moore has traveled with John Sherow-Tatum and the Men’s Chorus of the Hamilton Park Baptist Church in Dallas, presenting concerts of spirituals throughout Brazil. She collaborates annually with Mr. Sherow-Tatum and the Men’s Chorus in benefit concerts for the Foote Foundation to provide financial support for minority students studying voice at SMU. 

Her recent focus has been in serving as master teacher, mentor and advisor to aspiring young vocal artists in classes, private lessons and advisory sessions throughout the U.S. and South Africa. She has worked with singers in master classes throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

In 2000, Professor Hill Moore began a long relationship with faculty and students at the University of South Africa in Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, the University of Cape Town, the University of Western Cape near Cape Town, University of the North-west in Potchefstroom, Nelson Mandela University (previously known as the University of Port Elizabeth), the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University (near Cape Town) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.  She returned annually to these schools to work in master classes with singers and colleagues.

Professor Hill Moore has served as a master teacher in Europe, Asia and Africa.  She was invited to return for the third time to the international music camp for singers in Kwangju, Korea, and she has presented master classes at Seoul National University, Korean National University of Arts, Ewha Women’s University and the University of Kwangju, Korea. At the invitation of The Association of Teachers of Singing (AOTOS),  she presented special classes in the performance of the American Negro spiritual.  She is also a member of the distinguished artist faculty of the Amalfi Coast Music Festival, located just south of Naples, Italy, where she taught in the summers from 2004 through 2019.

In January 2006, Professor Hill Moore served on the distinguished artist panel of the UNISA (University of South Africa) Foundation 5th International Voice Competition, held in Pretoria, South Africa. She was invited to return to Pretoria 12 years later, from January 20 to February 3, 2018, to serve on the artist panel of performers and educators from England, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, South America, South Africa and the U.S. for the UNISA 6th International Voice Competition. In June 2008, and again in June 2022, Professor Hill Moore was invited to serve on a distinguished panel of four master teachers in the internship program sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS, the largest organization of singers and teachers of singing in the world). The NATS Intern Program is an exciting and innovative venture that seeks to pair experienced and recognized master teachers of voice with talented young members of NATS. The goal is to substantially improve the studio teaching skills of these promising young teachers.  

In the summer of 2011 Professor Hill Moore founded and directed an international study abroad program through SMU – SMU-in-South-Africa – teaching and directing a class in musical theater, hosted by the Opera School and Choral Academy (OSCA) of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban, South Africa.  Students in this program performed West Side Story with South African dance, drums and traditional rhythms. In 2013, SMU students returned to UKZN to present four performances of South Pacific to critical acclaim. In June 2014 the SMU-in-South-Africa program collaborated with the Durban Department of Parks and Recreation to present four performances of Carousel in the City Hall Concert Theater, at the Howard College campus and at the Zuma High School theater. SMU returned to Durban in 2016 to collaborate with UKZN students and faculty in presenting four acclaimed performances of the musical Oklahoma! The program moved to Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in May 2019 and will return in 2022.  SMU students enrolled in the program study courses in Ethics and Human Rights as well as South African History and Culture, and they travel in South Africa to the Drakkensberg Mountains, the Hluhluve-Imfolozi Game Reserve and throughout the cities of Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town.  Professor Hill Moore presented the musical South Pacific in 2019 at the Savoy Gilbert and Sullivan Theatre in Port Elizabeth with 40 students and faculty from Nelson Mandela University.

Professor Hill Moore collaborated with Rosalyn Story, Dallas musician and author of the novel Wading Home; Mary Alice Rich, composer of the opera Wading Home; and singers from Texas and the Southwest, in addition to SMU students and colleagues, to produce the opera premiere in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the tremendous suffering in its aftermath. The Dallas premiere of the opera Wading Home, held April 2, 2015 in the Dallas City Performance Hall, was made possible by a grant from Sphinx.  The Dallas performance inspired a project to take the entire company of singers and orchestra to the people of New Orleans. With significant support from Meadows, between July and September 2015, Professor Hill Moore, author Rosalyn Story and composer Mary Alice Rich raised more than $50,000 for the trip to New Orleans. The Wading Home company of 52 persons traveled to New Orleans to collaborate with Loyola University faculty, Loyola’s University Chorale, the New Orleans OperaCréole, Chalmette High School’s CHS Voices, the New Orleans Children’s Chorus, SMU’s SYZYGY and others to present Wading Home on September 12 and 13 at the Louis J. Roussel Hall of Loyola University. The company returned to Dallas for a final performance on September 15 at the Dallas City Performance Hall and was invited to take the production to Germany and South Africa in 2018. 

With support from the Bruce Foote Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Professor Hill Moore planned, raised funds for, produced, and conducted the singers and orchestra in the South African premiere of the opera Wading Home. From May 25 to June 10, 2018, thirty-five SMU students, faculty and alumni singers and instrumentalists traveled from Dallas to Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Pretoria. They collaborated with community ensembles and children’s choruses along with students and faculty from Nelson Mandela University, Stellenbosch University, Tshwane Technikon University and the University of Pretoria to produce three glorious performances of Wading Home to sold-out audiences. Lifetime memories and impressions were made when the performances were followed with an overnight safari. 

Professor Hill Moore is president of the board and founder of the Bruce Foote Memorial Scholarship Foundation in honor of her former teacher, NATS member, SMU colleague and friend, Bruce Foote. The Foundation, established in 1995, provides significant financial assistance to singers of any gender, race or ethnicity for excellence in singing. However, the Foote Awards have been given since 1989. The Foote Scholar is chosen annually by the Foote Advisory Board on the basis of talent, career potential, scholarship and need and receives a $1000 award. The Schollmaier Scholar Awards and the Foote Memorial Scholarship Awards will exceed $100,000 in the 2018-2022 academic years in support of South African singers Amanda Kosi, Prosper Makhanya, Avuya Ngcaweni, Tshilidzi Ndou, Lwazi Hlati and Ndumiso Nyoka. Through special support made possible by the Rae and Ed Schollmaier Foundation, the Foote Foundation also offered additional visa support to Angelica Mata Esparza and Ricardo Ceballos de la Mora of Mexico and living support to Ardeen Pierre of Houston, Texas.    In May 2019, Ricardo Ceballos de la Mora was given a position on the adjunct faculty of Indiana University and was a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Competition. In June 2020, he was named the First Place winner in the Dallas Opera Guild Competition. Amanda Kosi will begin doctoral studies with full tuition and stipend in voice as the 2021 First Place winner of the University of Oklahoma national Benton-Schmidt Competition.  Prosper Makhanya, in the final year of study in the SMU Master of Environmental Engineering program, will sing the role of Fiorello in The Dallas Opera’s 2021-2022 season production of The Barber of Seville, and he will sing the role of Marquis d'Obigny in the Fort Worth Opera’s 2022 production of La Traviata. We are very proud of the part played by the Foote Foundation in bringing talented minority students to SMU. More information regarding the Foundation Scholarship may be found by visiting

Former students of Professor Hill Moore were featured, prior to the global pandemic, with opera companies throughout the world, including the St. Louis Opera, Houston Opera, Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, La Scala, Salzburg Opera, San Francisco Opera, Chicago Opera, Paris Opera, Berlin Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Fort Worth Opera and Cape Town Opera.  The 2021-2022 opera season will find her students singing with the Metropolitan Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, The Dallas Opera, and the Houston Opera.

Professor Hill Moore is a recipient of the prestigious M Award at SMU; was named the Meadows Foundation Distinguished Professor of Voice in May 2005; and was named SMU Distinguished University Citizen in 2009-10. In March 2010, the South Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club honored Professor Hill Moore as a Trailblazer for excellence in education in a ceremony at the Women’s History Museum in Dallas.