I am extremely humbled and honored by this recognition. Being an alumnus of Hillcrest is a great blessing and honor in and of itself. Hillcrest is a wonderful school in a wonderful community. Students at HHS, you can do so much more than you think you can. My best advice is: don’t strive to be “the best,” strive to be YOUR best. And that “best” can become better each day. “You are never there” is something I would often tell my students, meaning there are always new things to learn and ways to improve each day. Also, “It’s never a sure thing,” meaning initial success does not insure continued success; you need to give your best effort every time. Truly striving to do your best and improve each day will bring the joy and satisfaction you desire. — Dr. Brian Bentley September 2019
Dr. Brian R. Bentley attended Hillcrest High School starting as a sophomore in the fall of 1976 and graduated in 1979.
While at Hillcrest, he participated in choir and drama and had the opportunity to play the roles of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady and Tommy Albright in Brigadoon (where Becky Walker played his love interest, Fiona McClaren. They eventually married 15 years later). He was also the first Harvey Husky during the 1978-79 school year.
He graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and started teaching Choral Music at Hillcrest in the Fall of 1986. He spent his entire public-school career there, retiring from Hillcrest in 2016.
During his years at Hillcrest, in addition to Choir and AP/IB Music, he taught Math, Speech, Stage Crew, and was the Cheerleading Coach with Robyn Mousley for 7 years, where they won National Championships 3 years. He music directed and co-directed the annual musical at Hillcrest from 1986 to 1995, and again from 1997 to 2008. The Hillcrest Concert Choir took state in the 4A Choir division in 1989 (inaugural year), 1990, and 1991, when the competition was discontinued. Dr. Bentley was also the coordinator for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program from 2007 to 2016.
While teaching at Hillcrest, he graduated from Brigham Young University with a Masters of Music. He was awarded a sabbatical by the Jordan School District in the 1996-1997 school year, when he attended the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in the Fall of 1999.
He received the Utah State Office of Education Light of Learning Award along with the entire Hillcrest Musical Staff in 1992. He was selected by the Sandy Youth Council as a Most Influential Teacher in 1995 and 2016. He received the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education in 2004 and was named the Utah High School Activities Association Music Educator of the Year and Utah Music Educators Association High School Music Educator of the Year in 2009.
Since his retirement, he has continued to return each year to work with the annual Hillcrest Musical as a Vocal Coach. He has served on the Choral Committee and as Choral Vice President for the Utah Music Educators Association. He also served as President of the Associated International Baccalaureate Schools of Utah. He is now artistic director for the Intermountain Children’s Choir. He teaches privately, while serving the Utah Music Teachers Association community as current Jordan River President Elect, a 6-year appointment.
Dr. Bentley is the father of one son, Jacob, who met his wife Kylie at Hillcrest in choir; they are the parents of 3 beautiful girls. Dr. Bentley and his wife live in West Jordan with their canine family member Minnie. Dr. Bentley and his wife have volunteered countless hours to benefit the youth of Hillcrest and its community. They have been foster-parents to 8 children and have always opened their home to those who need a safe place.