He received his Masters Degree with Distinction from the Indiana University School of Music with post graduate work at San Jose State University and the University of Southern California.
Between 1973 and 2007, Mr. Gilson conducted music ensembles as Professor of Music at Palomar College, was the Palomar College Music Department Chair between 1974 and 1977, Chairperson of the Palomar College Performing Arts Department from 1997 to 2002, and served on the Academic Senate of the College until his retirement in June, 2007. He was also the Music Director/Conductor of the Palomar Community Orchestra for over 30 years.
Mr. Gilson founded the North County Civic Youth Orchestra program in 1986. He conducted three San Diego City Honor Orchestra performances and the Oceanside Unified School District High School Honor Orchestra. He also adjudicated for the Poway Unified School District and Temecula Valley String competitions.
Mr. Gilson spent a one-year sabbatical in 1982 studying in England, Germany and Austria. In 1985 he attended a Master’s Conducting Seminar at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. In the Spring of 1991 he spent his second sabbatical researching and studying youth orchestra programs in the Midwest. In 1993, Mr. Gilson took the Civic Youth Orchestra Symphony on its first international tour to Salzburg, Innsbruck and Vienna. Every other year since 1996, he has taken the CYO Symphony on international tours throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Asia. During these tours they received a Silver Award in an International Music Festival, performed in the Sydney Opera House, performed on Croatian National Television, and participated in the 2004 International Youth Music Festival in Vienna. They were also privileged to perform in the Grosses Saal of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, an honor only bestowed on one other occasion to a youth orchestra.