Skip to main content

Gillis, Don

Gillis, Don

Gillis, Don, American composer; b. Cameron, Mo., June 17, 1912; d. Columbia, S.C., Jan. 10, 1978. He was educated at Tex. Christian Univ. (graduated, 1936) and at North Tex. State Univ. (M.M., 1943). In 1943 he joined NBC in Chicago, and then worked for the network in N.Y. (1944-54), mainly as a producer. In 1967-68 he was chairman of the music dept. at Southern Methodist Univ.; after serving as chairman of fine arts and director of media instruction at Dallas Baptist Coll. (1968-72), he was composer-in-residence and director of the inst. For media arts at the Univ. of S.C. (from 1973). His compositions, clothed in a conservative garb, were often enlivened by a whimsical bent.


DRAMATIC Opera : The Park Avenue Kids (Elkhart, Ind., May 12, 1957); Pep Rally (Interlochen, Mich., Aug. 15, 1957); The Libretto (1958; Norman, Okla., Dec. 1, 1961); The Legend of Star Valley Junction (1961-62; N.Y, Jan. 7, 1969); The Gift of the Magi (Forth Worth, Tex., Dec. 7, 1965); World Premiere (1966-67); The Nazarene (1967-68); Behold the Man (1973). ORCH.: The Woolyworm (1937); Thoughts Provoked on Becoming a Prospective Papa, suite (1937); 10 syms. (1939-67), including Sym. No. 5 1/2, the “Symphony for Fun” (1947); The Panhandle, suite (1937); Intermission—10 Minutes (1940); Prairie Poem (1943); The Alamo (1944); A Short Overture to an Unwritten Opera (1944); To an Unknown Soldier (1945); Rhapsody for Harp and Orch. (1946); Tulsa: A Symphonic Portrait in Oil (1950); Dude Ranch, suite (1967); 2 piano concertos; also band music. CHAMBER : 6 string quartets (1936-47); 3 suites for Woodwind Quintet (1938,1939,1939). OTHER: Vocal works; ballets; instrumental pieces.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Gillis, Don." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 15 Oct. 2018 <>.

"Gillis, Don." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (October 15, 2018).

"Gillis, Don." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.