Gillis, Ivan Maxwell

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Gillis, Ivan Maxwell

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Ivan Maxwell Gillis (1918-1934) was born in Prince Edward Island and moved to Halifax with his parents in 1925. Blind from birth, Gillis entered school at Halifax’s School for the Blind and graduated in 1934. From there he entered Dalhousie University and in specific classes designed to accommodate him he specialized in English, German, philosophy and history. He began his musical career at age 7 while at the School for the Blind, eventually taking up the organ and continuing his musical studies after he graduated from Dalhousie University in 1942. He did graduate studies at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. After he graduated he gave many recitals both at home and across Canada, often playing his own award winning compositions. His life was cut short in 1946 when he died at age 27.


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