Don Gillis (1912–1978) hailed from Cameron, Missouri, and studied trombone and conducting at university in Texas. He became staff trombonist for a Fort Worth radio station and went on to conduct bands and orchestras throughout the United States. From 1944 to 1954 he was programme arranger for the National Broadcasting Company, producing Toscanini’s radio broadcasts. His compositions span both the popular and serious fields, embracing symphonies and piano concertos. His light-hearted attitude to classical tradition is demonstrated in the Symphony No 5½
(1948). Styled ‘A Symphony for Fun’, it embraces the classical symphonic four-movement structure in some fifteen minutes without ever becoming weighed down by conventional symphonic seriousness.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 1998