Vale Tony Gill
Posted: 27 September 2017
Vale Tony Gill
Tony Gill was a truly extraordinary man; he had a remarkable talent for music and he used his talent, not to promote himself, but to bring joy to others. His mastery of the whistle, in particular, inspired generations of musicians in South Australia but he was equally able to play jazz clarinet, cornet and almost anything you could blow.
A warm and generous man he taught whistle to anyone who wanted to learn and in doing so did more than most to keep alive the beautiful Celtic tunes which he loved.
For decades the Gill family band Diddychwy performed for concerts and dances. Tony was a great dance caller and his performance was all the better for his delightful West Country burr and his twinkling, gentle sense of humour.
Tony was more than just a friend to the Frances Folk Gathering – he was a fixture and committed supporter. Even as his health was failing he continued to make the effort to travel the 350km journey assisted in recent years by his son Domenic. Tony ran very successful and popular workshops and was at the heart of many of the very best sessions.
Our thoughts are with his family who have lost a much loved father and grandfather. We have lost a very dear friend but we are all the better for having known, and for the fortunate ones played music, with Tony who is no doubt, at this very moment, teaching whistle to the angels.
Words from Mike McGregor on behalf of the Frances committee and lovely photo by Ian Fisk