In Memoriam, William “Bill” Lilley

William “Bill” Lilley

William Lilley
KMEA President 1977-79
KMEA Hall of Fame 2013

William “Bill” Lilley believed in the goal of teaching students to appreciate all types of music, which he did for more than forty-one years as a music educator in Kansas. After graduating from Central State, Edmond, OK, in 1951, Bill taught music K-12 in Dexter, KS. Over the next fourteen years, Bill taught in Bucklin, St. John, and Lyons, before eventually moving to Dodge City, KS in 1967. He received his Master’s degree from Wichita State University and in 1971 became the Supervisor of Music in Hutchinson, KS.

Bill always had a vision for how students could best be served through music education. It didn’t matter whether it was concert band, marching band, orchestra, choir, jazz bands, or elementary music, his expectation were that students be given the best opportunity for knowledge, growth, and success. He was always respected by his students and a number of them remain in the profession as teachers or performers.

Bill served as the President of the Kansas Music Educators Association from 1977-79 and in 1982 returned to complete his teaching career in Lyons, KS. The Kansas Bandmasters Association awarded the Outstanding Band Director to Bill in 1986.

Bill touched the lives of many students and colleagues during his teaching career. He had a unique ability to relate to the students because he had lived the same experiences and was always willing to share the wisdom he had gained because of his experiences. His diligent pursuit of excellence, his love for teaching, and his willingness to mentor young directors were inspiring to all that knew him.