Estill Goodwin Foster was born in Bishop, Texas June 1, 1913. He got a cornet (ordered from Sears-Roebuck for $9.00, new) and began playing in the band where he quickly established himself as one of the most interested and most talented band students. Upon graduation from high school he wanted to attend college and become a school band director. He was awarded a "Texas Federation of Women's Clubs" scholarship appointment in 1929 at Texas College of Arts and Industries where he was informed that "no one can make a living just teaching band. You will have to major in a real subject and just play in the band, and teach band as an extra activity."

He introduced the "blind audition" process to the district and regional structure (at least in south Texas). In 1951 and 1952, Estill served as President of TMEA, and according to Earl Ray, his convention in Mineral Wells may have been the first one to include a Texas All-State Choir.