Melanie R. Hill began playing the violin at the age of four. She is a classically trained Gospel violinist who has performed at the White House on two occasions under the Obama administration, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the NAACP’s Annual Convention, the Apollo Theater in New York, the Staples Center in LA, and other venues. She has been featured as a guest on Showtime at the Apollo, The Quincy Harris Show, Good Day Philadelphia, NBC 10, Philadelphia Style magazine, BET, and TV One. Hill has also performed for Ms. Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, and for Pope Francis’s Papal Mass during his historic visit to Philadelphia. Hill received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in English Literature with two graduate certificates in Africana Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She has written articles on Bessie Smith and Ella Fitzgerald which were published by Oxford University Press. Her book-in-progress, Colored Women Sittin’ on High: Black Feminist Sermonic Practice, focuses on the ways in which black women preachers in literature, music, and in the space of the pulpit counter social injustices by bringing modes of physical, mental, and spiritual healing through both sermon and song. Hill remains focused on spreading scholarship along the intersections of literature and music.