About US


Caixa Trio

The Caixa Trio, Julie Hill, Julie Davila, and Amy Smith, was formed in 2000 and is a professional percussion ensemble based in Tennessee. The ensemble derives its name from the caixa, or snare drum, used in escolas de samba in Brazil. The Caixa Trio performs an eclectic repertoire including classical, contemporary, world, and rudimental percussion.

The Caixa Trio has performed internationally at festivals in Peru, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, France, and Puerto Rico as well as the Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. The Trio has also performed and presented master classes at universities and public schools throughout the United States including numerous state Day of Percussion events.  The Caixa Trio emphasizes the importance of musicianship and demonstrates the versatility needed in the role of the total percussionist.

The Caixa Trio is dedicated to expanding the literature available for percussion trio by composing and commissioning new works.  The Trio released “Commissioned Works” in 2008.  The trio is currently involved in a commission project which includes composers such as Dennis DeSantis, Ben Wahlund, Lynn Glassock, Michael Gould, JB Smith, Blake Tyson, Brian Nozny, and Cayenne Ponchione.

Julie Davila

is a member of the chamber percussion ensemble the CAIXA TRIO, winner of a 2011 “Drummie” award by Drum Magazine. In addition to her membership in the CAIXA TRIO, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Percussive Arts Society and served as the chair of the Marching Percussion Committee of the Percussive Arts Society from 1998 – 2007. She is currently the arranger and instructor for the Middle Tennessee State University Band of Blue Drumline, and additionally is an adjunct professor of percussion at MTSU. Prior to her work at MTSU,she was the percussion specialist at several high schools in Nashville, Tennessee. Many of her groups have medaled in all divisions of the WGI activity and in 1996 the John Overton high school Indoor drum line, under her direction won a National Championship.  Julie is a member of the WGI nationally recognized adjudication team and serves on the steering committee for WGI Percussion. As a member of the Caixa Trio and as an active clinician specializing in contemporary and marching percussion, she has performed in Seoul, South Korea, Paris, France, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil  and extensively throughout the United States. Julie received her degree from the University of North Texas.  She has published numerous marching and concert percussion features through Row-Loff Productions and Drop6 Media. She is the author of the “Modern Multi-Tenor Techniques and Solos” and “Impressions on Wood” published by Row-loff, and is a co-author of “Aptitude” an innovative solo snare book published by Drop 6 media. Julie is an endorser and clinician for the Pearl Corporation, Innovative Percussion, the Avedis Zildjian Company, Grover Pro Percussion and Evans Drum Heads.


Amy Smith

is a nationally recognized performer and educator. As a member of the percussion group, The Caixa Trio (www.caixatrio.com) she has performed in France, Puerto Rico, Korea, Mexico, Brazil. In addition, Amy has performed with many orchestras including the Nashville Symphony, the Evansville Philharmonic, the Boulder Philharmonic, and the Sewanee Festival Orchestra. She is a sought after clinician and has presented workshops and master classes throughout the United States. A former resident of Tennessee, Amy was a band director for the Murfreesboro City Schools and the director of Steel de Boro, an elementary steel drum band. Under Smith’s direction, Steel de Boro performed at prestigious events including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the National Staff Development Council, and the Housing and Urban Development Conference. Amy was the national winner of the 1996 MTNA Collegiate Percussion Competition.  She was a marimba soloist with the Boulder Bach Festival in Colorado and was also a member of the 1994 Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2001, Smith studied African Music and Dance abroad in Ghana, West Africa.  Amy holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Performer’s Certificate from Pennsylvania State University. She received her Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she was awarded a Chancellor’s Fellowship. Her former teachers include Frank Giguere, Dan Armstrong, Cort McClaren, Doug Walter, and Paschal Younge. Amy is an endorser of Innovative Percussion, Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, Evans Drum Heads, and Grover Pro Percussion. Currently Amy is the orchestra. mariachi and percussion director at Young Women's Leadership Academy. She lives in El Paso, Texas with her husband, percussionist Andy Smith, and their two children.


Julie Hill

Chair and Professor, Department of Music, and Faculty EvaluationCoordinator at the University of Tennessee-Martin, Dr. Julie Hill has received worldwide recognition as a performer and scholar. Hill has presented workshops, concerts, and lectures extensively throughout the United States on Brazilian Music and the topic of music and social transformation for black women and at-risk children in Northeastern Brazil. As a member of the award winning Caixa Trio and X4 quartet, Julie has performed in Taiwan, Peru, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, France, Puerto Rico, South Korea, across the United States, as well as the Percussive Arts Society International Conventions (PASIC). Hill is principal percussionist with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra and serves as Associate Editor of World Percussion for Percussive Notes.

Julie is a winner of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Cunningham Outstanding Teacher/Scholar Award, the Hardy Graham Distinguished Professorship Award, the UT Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award, and the inaugural recipient of the University of Tennessee President’s system-wide Educate Award.  Julie has also received Member Laureate distinction from the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. She is a Past-President of the International Percussive Arts Society,

Hill is the co-author of an audition method book entitled All Inclusive Etudes (Row-Loff Productions) and a collection of solos/duets entitled Music for Multi Percussion: A World View (Alfred Publications) and has numerous percussion ensemble publications with Innovative Percussion and Row-Loff Productions. Her scholarly research has been published in Percussive Notes and the Garland World Music Encyclopedias.

She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin.  

Julie Hill is an Artist and Educator for Zildjian Cymbals,  and a Performing Artist for Yamaha Corporation of America. She is an artist and endorsee for Innovative Percussion, REMO, and Grover Pro Percussion.  For more information, visit Julie Hill’s website at http://www.utm.edu/jhill or http://www.utm.edu/percussion.