B.M. Jazz Studies -- Percussion, Northern Illinois University
M.M. Jazz Studies -- Percussion, DePaul University
Mr. Lucas Gillan originally began making music in his hometown of Tucson, AZ, where he had the opportunity to perform in church, punk rock clubs, all-city jazz ensembles, and youth orchestras. His passion for music led him to Northern Illinois University, where he studied percussion with Gregory Beyer and jazz drum set with Rodrigo Villanueva. After graduating in 2007, he began teaching privately and working as a freelance drummer in the Chicago area. After seven years of building his career as a performer and educator, he enrolled as a graduate student at DePaul University, where he studied closely with drummer Dana Hall. He graduated with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies in June 2017.
Apart from teaching at Fenwick, Mr. Gillan is on the adjunct faculty of Wheaton College and teaches a private studio of students of all ages and skill levels. He still maintains an active performing career. He leads an original jazz group called Lucas Gillan’s Many Blessings, which plays Mr. Gillan’s compositions and arrangements. He also plays drums in the original soul/pop group The Right Now, and freelances with numerous other musicians in Chicago, performing jazz, rock, theater music, classical, Latin, and many other styles. For four years, he played marimba, drum set, and Latin percussion in the world-fusion percussion ensemble Callaloo.
Mr. Gillan is excited to share the amazing world of percussion with the students at Fenwick.
Mr. Gillan lives in Forest Park with his wife Anna and son Jonah, who was born in the summer of 2018. Anna is also an educator and musician. Apart from playing violin in the Jan Sobieski String Quartet, she freelances as a violinist and vocalist at weddings and in other musical settings.
While Mr. Gillan enjoys spending most of his time either playing, teaching, or listening to music, he is also passionate about being outdoors and learning about nature and the environment. He and his wife, Anna, have visited seven national parks together in the last three years, and have a goal to eventually visit all 59!
Before he became serious about music in middle school, Mr. Gillan’s main passion was "aggressive” rollerblading — doing skateboard-style tricks on ramps, rails, curbs and stairs. He won numerous rollerblading competitions and was endorsed by a skate shop at the age of 12. His cousin, Kevin Gillan, was a world-famous rollerblader in the late '90s.