Gillian was born in Yorkshire but has lived most of her life in Scotland. She is a music graduate of St Andrews University, studying under Professor Cedric Thorpe Davie, and was awarded the Sawyer prize for music. She studied clarinet with Keith Pearson and Sydney Fell and also plays the saxophone, having been the alto player for the Scottish Saxophone Quartet since 1988.
Gillian has been a member of staff in the new Music Centre in St Andrews University since it opened in the 1990s. She is now Music Consultant in the university, holding special responsibility for promoting the teaching of conducting. In 2008 she instigated the (now annual) St Andrews Conducting Course.
Her conducting experience began as a student with Maurice Miles. Since then she has been fortunate to have taken part in sessions with Martyn Brabbins, Sian Edwards and Denise Ham. She is very happy to have joined Stirling City Choir as Musical Director in September 2009. In addition she is currently Musical Director of The Heisenberg Ensemble, The Priory Singers, ‘The Voice Box’ for children aged 8-11, and the new St Andrews and Fife Community Orchestra, run jointly by the University of St Andrews and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.