Town North Concert Band            Dallas, Texas


Roger Wayne Gilliam
Director (1990-1993)
November 22, 1948 – October 14, 2013

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The Sentinel, Sunnyvale HS Student Newspaper The Sentinel is sad to report on the passing of a valued member of the Sunnyvale community. Former District Director of Bands Roger Gilliam died in the early morning hours of Monday, October 14.

Gilliam became SISD’s first band director in 2004, serving as District Director of Bands until 2011.

“I think some of the things I admired most was his persistence in the band program here,” current Band Director Mark Conaway said. “He really worked hard for this program, especially in its early years.”

Gilliam also worked extensively with the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra, serving as music director and conductor since 1994.

“I knew Roger before I actually started here at the school,” Conaway said. “We were both in Mesquite Symphony Orchestra when he had just taken on its leadership and became conductor in ’94. I knew him as a colleague back then. We have many years going back, even before Sunnyvale.”

In addition to his conducting skills, Gilliam was also a renowned trumpet player, serving as principal trumpet player in the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra from 1988-1990. He also played in the Corpus Christi Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, and the Connecticut Opera Orchestra.

“Roger has been an instrumental part of the growth of performing arts – specifically the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra – for the past two decades here in Mesquite,” Mesquite Mayor John Monaco said. “During those 20 years, Roger’s influence and leadership was tremendous.”

During Gilliam’s seven years here at Sunnyvale, he helped build the district’s band program from the ground up. It is safe to say that without his contributions, Sunnyvale’s band program would not be what it is today.

“We are going to miss Mr. Gilliam a lot,” Conaway said. “He was a good friend, a good colleague. I know that he will be well missed by the people of both Mesquite and Sunnyvale.”

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