Artist Spotlight: Casey Li ’23 brings the pep to our step with his musical talents


Media: Sarah Bender

Casey Li takes on role of conductor during the winter orchestra concert.

Born in Hong Kong, Casey Li ‘23 started his musical journey at a very young age and, with rigorous practice, became excellent on the piano, soon becoming one of Hong Kong’s top youth players. Li relocated to The Hill school at 14 to continue his musical journey. He was disciplined and dedicated to his art but knew something was amiss. The passion and purpose that he thrived for were missing. He found the answer to both when he entered the Julliard pre-college program.

A rigorous program that only accepts the very best, Juilliard’s pre-college put Li on the right track where he could take his craft and turn it into art. During an interview, Li describes his journey to finding love and enjoyment in music, “In Hong Kong, I was kind of forced into music a bit. However, because I went to the Juilliard pre-college, I found a lot of people who had an intense passion for music, and through them, I found my own passion and love.” Li continued to demonstrate his determination and skill as he became heavily involved in Hill Life. While balancing the rigor of Juilliard, Li was also a member of the Varsity boys soccer team, the Les Miserables student orchestra, and in his 6th form year, the president of The Hill School orchestra.

Julliard taught Li the impact of influence. Having been inspired by the students in the program, he became deliberate in helping those around him. His ability to impact changed many students at Hill, including Liam Mpofu 26, who was  “deeply  inspired to pursue my love of the arts. He made a great impact on me”. Li received the Eastman School of Music Award for his remarkable contribution to the Hill Music Department in various aspects.

Margaret Neiswender, the director of instrumental music, is incredibly excited that “The Hill School Orchestra will have in its library two Casey Li arrangements for future Hill musicians to enjoy.” As Li’’s time at Hill ends, he is “thankful for all the opportunities Hill provides.” He continues to say “that Hill helped him discover more about music and allowed him to try new things, for which he is forever grateful.”

In his recent chapel talk, Li described his journey to finding his purpose in music and urged community members to do the same. He asks them “to think about something you are good at and then think about why you are good at it.” Leaving his fellow peers with a valuable lesson for which they will forever be in debt.

As Li prepares to move on from Hill, he expresses excitement for his future. He enjoys learning more about the guitar and hopes to compose more music, especially in pop and electric. Shades of gray and blue will be there in all his tunes.