Centennial

Today I’ll be traveling to Denton, Texas which is the home of the University of North Texas and my father’s archives. This year is the centennial of his birth and UNT is going to have a wonderful concert in celebration.

Probably no posts tomorrow ūüėČ

I’ve written about my father before, most recently here, but I’m really pleased to be able to be at this event, to see family, and to reconnect with some of his friends who loved him very much.

As I suspect most of my readers are a ways from Denton, I invite you to listen tonight at 7:30 Central Time to the UNT streaming event of the concert.

I’ll be out today and tomorrow but hopefully will have a blog post or two up early Sunday or next week.

UNT Music Library and College of Music Collaborate on Don Gillis Centennial Celebration in Symphonic Band Concert, September 27

On September 27, the UNT Symphonic Band will present a program in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Don Gillis (1912-1978), a musician, composer, educator, producer, and UNT alumnus (MM, 1941) who had some impact on nearly every major institution of higher education in North Texas, including TCU, SMU, and UNT, among others. Gillis, who was awarded the first master’s degree in composition at North Texas, is best known nationally for his work with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arturo Toscanini.

Gillis generously bequeathed his compositions, papers, and recordings to the UNT Music Library in the 1970s, and this event is but one example of how the Music Library’s special collections support the educational mission of the University, while preserving and publicizing valuable cultural and local history. Music librarians Andrew Justice and Maristella Feustle have worked closely with Symphonic Band director Dennis Fisher in the planning and organization of the concert.

The Symphonic Band will play a variety of selections from Gillis‚Äô career, including his¬†Symphony 5 1ŇĹ2: A Symphony for Fun, which was premiered by the Boston Pops Orchestra under Arthur Fiedler, and was one of the few American works Toscanini selected for performance by the NBC Symphony. Head Music Librarian Morris Martin will also serve as narrator for Gillis‚Äô¬†Abe Lincoln: Gettysburg, 1863, but most selections will be ‚Äúintroduced‚ÄĚ by Gillis himself via the Music Library‚Äôs collection of tapes of Gillis‚Äô discussing his own works. The library has also provided a number of images of Gillis through the years from the extensive set of photo albums in the collection.

The performance will take place on Thursday, September 27, at 7:30 p.m. in theWinspear Performance Hall of the Murchison Performing Arts Center on the UNT campus, with a pre-concert lecture at 7:00 p.m. by UNT graduate student Sean Morrison, and program notes by UNT graduate student Kristopher Quaale. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for Senior Citizens, non-UNT students, children, UNT Faculty/Staff/Retirees, and groups of 10+, and free for UNT students, and can be purchased online, or by calling 940-369-7802.

For more information:

Don Gillis Music

The Don Gillis Centennial at the UNT Music Library:

Don Gillis in the UNT Digital Library, including images, clippings, and theToscanini: The Man Behind the Legend and Centennial Series radio broadcasts:

Don Gillis in the UNT Music Library Special Collections:

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