G. T. GILLIGAN
The Big "K" Band of Kermit High School was the product of 33 years of service by G. T. Gilligan. "Gilly" was born on January 14, 1915 in Green County, Indiana, attended high school in Austin, Texas where he played trombone in fellow Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame member Weldon Covington's band. He attended Hardin-Simmons and the University of Indiana before receiving his degrees from Texas Tech.
"Gilly" taught in Brownfield and Ballinger prior to World War II. During the war years he was a ground school instructor. In 1947, he moved to Kermit where the legend began. He taught high school band, and was later Band Coordinator and Supervisor for the Kermit ISD. His bands received 18 Sweepstakes and many other First Division awards. They performed in numerous Cotton Bowl halftimes and the Kermit band was picked as the fifth best band in the United States in the Disneyland Marching Competition. The Big "K" Band received many other prestigious invitations to perform during Gilligan’s tenure.
"Gilly" was named Teacher of the Year in 1959, and TBA selected him Bandmaster of the Year in 1970. He is held in the highest esteem by his fellow band directors throughout the Southwest as evidenced by his being in much demand as an adjudicator in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. He has served as an adjudicator at every Texas State Solo and Ensemble Competition at the University of Texas since its inception. He has also judged in every region in the state.
Gilligan is a remarkably unique humanitarian. He is the happiest when he is promoting his fellow man, young or old. Gilly and his wife, LaNere, still live in Kermit.