In Memory of Sylvester Hilleary Williams (1924-2006)
As I dropped off my Father’s instruments at Charity Music, I have never felt better to know that his love of music will continue and be shared with others. My Dad was mentally ill and never able to be a supportive or responsible parent, but we did connect through the gift of music that he gave me.
Before my parents divorced when I was six years old, I remember him singing to me and my brother as he put us to bed. Then he’d go downstairs and play the piano, usually boogie-woogie. He loved all forms of music but especially New Orleans jazz, Chicago blues and ragtime.
Hilleary sang in the University of Michigan choral group and was never shy in belting out his tenor part in church. He was self taught on the piano and dabbled with other instruments too. When he passed away, all I wanted were his instruments.
A guitar, coronet, clarinet and sliding trombone all were hung from fishing wire in our basement for years and in his memory. When my husband and I planned our down-sizing move recently, I lovingly gave all by Dad’s instruments to Roger to have restored and shared. It seems so fitting a way to continue my Dad’s legacy and too further share his love and gift of music. Thank you so much to Charity Music for facilitating and preserving all that is related to music!