University officials say the 74-year-old died Monday night in a wreck in Walton County between Atlanta and Athens as he returned home from a trip overseas to perform. He was driving from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to his home in Athens, university officials said.
Mr. Mills joined the UGA faculty in 1996. Besides teaching trumpet, he coached a graduate brass quintet, The Bulldog Brass Society.
As a trumpeter, the Canada native performed across the globe, from Sweden's Brass Nova to Orquesta Sinfonica de Aguascalientes in Mexico.
In 1961, he was a founding member of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York. He also was principal trumpet for the New York City Opera and played with the National Art Centre Orchestra in Canada and the New York City Ballet Orchestra.
A member of the Canadian Brass for 24 years, Mr. Mills recorded more than 40 albums for RCA, Sony, Philips and BMG. He was nominated for a Grammy in 1992.
A statement on the Canadian Brass Web site calls Mr. Mills a "Canadian treasure who changed the world's musical perspective."
Mr. Mills was born in Guelph, Canada, and attended the Julliard School of Music, where he got a job offer even before he graduated.
UGA officials called Mr. Mills an "inspiration to all who knew him."
"One of the finest performers and teachers of his generation, he was at the same time a warm and generous colleague and a dear friend." said Dale Monson, the director of the music school. "We have already begun hearing from friends around the world expressing their support and condolences."