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Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Frederick Tillis

Dr. Frederick Tillis
Dr. Frederick C. Tillis

Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022 @ 4pm  Tillis Performance Hall, Free
If you can't make it to the concert, watch the YouTube livestream=>

Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Frederick Tillis

The Department of Music & Dance honors the late Dr. Frederick C. Tillis (1930-2020), composer, saxophonist, poet, administrator, and founder of our Jazz and African American Music Studies Program.

The event will feature performances by Jazz Ensemble I, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Choir, and Graduate String Quartet, music faculty including Jeffrey Holmes and Salvatore Macchia, and several special guests, including Jake Epstein, Rob Faulkner, royal hartigan, Dawning Holmes, Frank Newton, Avery Sharpe and Nikki Stoia. The program will include a variety of jazz, classical, and sacred works composed by Dr. Tillis, including For The Victims and Survivors of September 11th, narrated by Professor Amilcar Shabazz from the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.

Prior to the performance, a pre-concert discussion of Dr. Tillis' life and legacy will take place in the Bromery Center lobby beginning at 2:30pm. The discussion will be led by department chair Salvatore Macchia; panelists will include a number of the guest artists, including Epstein, Faulkner, hartigan, Shabazz, and Sharpe. Dr. Tillis' daughter Pamela Tillis will also show an excerpt from a documentary film that she is creating about her father.



All attendees to Dept. of Music & Dance events must:

  • Wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status.
  • Be prepared to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. UMass students, faculty, and staff can show their UCard as proof of vaccination.

Please click here for a full policy statement detailing what forms of proof and ID will be necessary to attend this event.


For updated information on COVID-19 safety protocols, please see our current policy statement =>