(May 5, 1932 – September 19, 2021)
Northern Lights Music Festival mourns the passing of Thomas Gillach, Aurora, the Founding President of the NLMF.
Mr. Gillach spent his life making Aurora, and the Iron Range, a better place. His list of philanthropic activities are of such quantity as to render them innumerable. Perhaps the most impressive of all his efforts was his leadership of the Aurora Centennial in 2003, and the thorough and scholarly history of Aurora that was produced as a result. The Northern Lights Music Festival was established a year later, and his vision for an arts activity that was based in his hometown constantly expanded the scope and the professionalism of NLMF. He believed NLMF was a force for art, and for the economic benefits it could bring to the Iron Range. From his relentless energy on behalf of many community activities and charities came positive changes that will live on, including his latest effort, the Mesabi East Foundation. He was a man of great religious faith, and we were blessed to have known him.
We extend our sincerest condolences to his family.