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Lew Gillis Papers

Identifier: MS 180

Scope and Contents

Original works of music, arrangements, jingles, compilations, study books and etudes, and business records document the career of composer Lew Gillis from the 1950s through the 1980s. Contained in the first series are many arrangements scored in Jazz settings. The second series contains works written for specific events such as multiple beauty pageants for towns around the DFW area. There are several jingles written for multiple television and radio stations, along with jingles written for several automobile dealerships. Series three contains many teaching books written by Gillis. The fourth series contains documents associated with Lew Gillis including correspondence from publishers to Mr. Gillis, agreement contracts showing the amount paid to Mr. Gillis for the works he provided, and memos from his composer brother regarding arranging ideas. Also donated are set lists Mr. Gillis created for various events in which he was either conducting or performing.


  • 1950-1980


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections staff 24 hours prior to visit so that items may be retrieved.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research. Copyright has been transferred to Texas Christian University.

Biographical / Historical

Lewis “Lew” Gillis received a Bachelor's in Music Education from TCU in 1950 and a Master's in Music Education in 1970. He became a prominent composer, arranger and conductor in the Fort Worth area. Gillis composed, arranged and conducted for various groups and events such as the Miss Texas Pageant and the Bob Hope road show. Gillis also participated, as a musician and conductor, in the Stock Show Rodeo band. He was the brother of composer Don Gillis [TCU BM 1935, Honorary DMA 1948].


97.5 Linear feet (90 oversize boxes) ; 16 x 13"

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: Series I. Original Works/Arrangements; Series II. Jingles/Events and Multi-volume works and Musical Compilations; Series III. Method and Etude books and duets; Series IV. Business and Personal records. All papers are arranged in alphabetical order by song title in the first three series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Nancy Gillis, wife of Lew Gillis, in December 2015.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by graduate assistant Andrew Shira and staff in the TCU Music and Media Library.


Guide to the Lew Gillis Papers
In Progress
Andrew Shira and Special Collections Staff
August 17, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Mary Couts Burnett Library Repository

TCU Box 298400
2800 S. University Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76129-0001
Fort Worth Texas 76129
(817) 257-4566
(817) 257-7282 (Fax)