Andy Mills Tribute

October 14, 1936 -- January 5, 2017

                                                                                                             composite image created by Joe Dombrowski

Photos & Video

Founder and Conductor Emeritus of Houston Pride Band
Founder and Conductor Emeritus of Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston
Founder and Conductor Emeritus of Bayou City Chorale
Charter Member and assisted forming Lesbian and Gay Bands of America
Co-Founder, Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses)

Houston Pride Band founded as Montrose Symphonic Band
Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston founded as The Montrose Singers
Bayou City Chorale founded as The Montrose Chorale
Lesbian and Gay Band Association founded as Lesbian and Gay Bands of America

Bio info

Took private lessons in piano, sang in the choir and played tuba in band during high school;
although he hoped to play saxophone, he had to settle for the only instrument that was available at the time.

Served as drum major in 10th grade, which was his first experience as a conductor, along with
being assistant director of the band, a member of the choir and its student director.

Attended University of Toledo and Ohio State University, majoring in music.

Attended the United States Army's and Navy's Schools of Music.

Attended The Mannes Conservatory of Music in New York City, New York.

Enlisted in The United States Navy, serving as assistant conductor and concert pianist for
The Navy Band throughout his tenure of four years.

Studied conducting with Herbert von Karajan, conductor of The Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years,
dreaming of becoming an opera conductor.

Worked as a chef part-time and quickly began managing restaurants and bars in New York City,
eventually relocating to Houston to begin working as a captain for the dining rooms at
The Plaza Club and The Doctor's Club.

Began activism within GLBT community upon returning from The National March On Washington,
widening the scope of Montrose Marching Band in 1981 from being a marching band to founding
Montrose Symphonic Band as a wind ensemble, as well as founding Montrose Singers as a
gay choir and Montrose Chorale as a GLBT chorus.

Was manager of the iconic club Mary's from 1976 to 1985.

Assisted in forming Lesbian and Gay Bands of America, in partnership with seven GLBT bands in The United States.

Under Andy's leadership and baton, Montrose Symphonic Band grew to as many as 75 musicians performing
regularly, prior to HIV and AIDS epidemic. The disease took a toll, with as few as just one dozen people performing.

Played piano for former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy at The White House.
Marched in Former President John F. Kennedy's funeral procession.

Honored as 1982 Houston Male Pride Marshal.