Jerome Hill majored in music at Yale, and he continued composing songs, film music, and music for small ensembles and orchestras for the rest of his life.
Hill's childhood was filled with music, as his parents actively exposed their children to symphonic concerts and music lessons. In adolescence, Hill began combining his love for poetry and his awareness of popular Broadway music into creating songs.
At Yale, Hill focused on classical composition and learned the finer points of music theory. The collection contains handwritten concertos and short pieces for large groups.
In adulthood, Hill counted several colleagues and friends in the field of music, including composers Hugh Martin and Alec Wilder. Martin helped Hill on music for his documentary "Grandma Moses," and Wilder composed music for Hill's features "The Sand Castle" and "Open the Door and See all the People." Hill also enjoyed a close musical relationship with poet Ophelia de Rouge, with whom he composed several songs, most of them introspective, moody pieces. Some of these works with De Rouge were broadcast in 1968 on Swiss National Radio.
In 1971, a concert comprising many of Hill's orchestral works was held at the Basilica di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Several of Hill's own compositions are featured in his cinematic memoir, "Film Portrait." Hill created the soundtracks to a majority of his short films.
Since 1972, Hill's works have been celebrated at several retrospective concerts. In 1975, Hill's works were featured at a concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of Albert Schweitzer's birth. They were performed by Edouard Nies-Berger, who collaborated with Schweitzer and Hill on the 1965 film "Schweitzer and Bach."