Thelma Gillis (1927) was born in Theodore, Saskatchewan attaining her Associate Degree from Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto and Licentiate Degree from Trinity College, London, England, studying with Dr. Lyle Gustin. In 1997 she was awarded the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in recognition of her outstanding and selfless contributions to her community and Canada. In May 2006 she obtained the Centennial Medal from the Government of Saskatchewan for dedicating her life to the development of musical talent in eastern Saskatchewan for over 60 years, including offering free lessons to less fortunate talented students. In October, 2015 Thelma received an Outstanding Teacher Achievement Award from the Saskatchewan Music Teacher’s Association.
Over the years Mrs. Gillis has played for countless weddings, funerals, community concerts and Christmas celebrations and adjudicated at many music festivals. The Gillis’ raised three musical children. Their daughter Margaret taught music for several years in Surrey B. C., and their sons, Richard and Glen, both have Doctorate of Music Degrees and are teaching music at the University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan respectively.
Most of Mrs. Gillis’ music is written for children.