Clavier Companion - July/August 2017 - 41
The results, which were transmitted to Gillock through
letters and tapes by Yasuda, led Gillock to name Doskey
"the authoritative interpreter and judge of authenticity
of stylistic treatment" in his music.
William L. Gillock passed away on September 7,
1993. A memorial service that he designed was held on
September 14 in DeSoto, Texas. Gillock chose the music
for this service, called "A Celebration in Music of the Life
of William Lawson Gillock."
Gillock was active in musical organizations throughout his life, and served
as officer in many. He was a member of
the National Guild of Piano Teachers,
and collaborated with the Guild staff on
its instructional videotape for adjudicators. Among the offices he held were
President of the Louisiana Federation of
Music Clubs, President of the Dixie District of the National Federation of Music
Clubs, Member-at-Large of the Board of
Directors of the Music Teachers National
Association, and Junior Chairman of the
Southern Division of MTNA. After moving
to the Dallas area, he was the first and
only judge for the first twenty-one years
of the Junior Pianists' Guild, a Dallas organization that involved more than 1,400 students. As
a member of the Dallas Southwest Music Teachers Association, he made the initial contribution to its Scholarship Fund, which was renamed in 1994 as The William L.
Gillock Scholarship Fund.
William Gillock, age 5 (left) and Robert Gillock, age 3.
Photo taken c. 1922 by Claude Gillock, their father,
at the Story and Clark upright piano in the Gillock home.
William Gillock was always generous with his
expertise; he mentored a number of young composers
and scholars by encouraging them in their efforts. Of
particular note were composers Lynn Freeman Olson
and Glenda Austin, whose friendship with Gillock
resulted in a simplified version of New Orleans Jazz
Styles. His editorship of the "Commissioned by Clavier"
series (for Clavier magazine) in the early '90s, and his
participation as a judge for the Lynn Freeman Olson
Composition Awards (along with
Louise Bianchi, Marvin Blickenstaff,
Martha Hilley, and Joanne Smith),
were evidence of his dedication
to excellence in writing for piano
Teachers know that a Gillock piece
in a student's repertoire will be successful, and that his understanding of
the characteristics of historical styles
offers training in piano music of every
type. Besides bearing clever titles, his
charming pieces appeal to students
of all ages. He felt that composers
should write music that students want
to study, and that students will practice more and progress more rapidly
when that is true. In addition to their melodic appeal,
the music often presents challenges of both a technical
and musical nature, and it is always structurally sound.
Gillock devoted himself completely to composition for
the piano, and his love for the piano's sound is always
Award-winning pianist Henry
Doskey holds the Doctor of Music
in Performance from Indiana
University, where he studied with
Sidney Foster, George Bolet,
and Menahem Pressler. (He is
the only graduate student in IU's
history to have served as teaching
assistant to both Foster and
Pressler.) In 1993, William Gillock named him "the
authoritative interpreter" of his works, which resulted
in the six-CD Complete Gillock series for Green Mill
Recordings; he has recorded three other CD's for
them (www.greenmillrecordings.com). He retired
from a distinguished career at East Carolina University
in 2010, and he now devotes himself to performances,
master classes, workshops, and writing.