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Biography

Gary Gackstatter is an active artist, composer, conductor, clinician, performer and teacher, teaching at STLCC Meramec as Coordinator of Music and conductor of the Symphonic Band and Meramec Orchestra since 2007. He has served as conductor at Cowley College, Southwestern College and Wichita State University, and has 12 years of public school teaching experience. He holds a BME from Southwestern Oklahoma State and a MMP/Conducting from Wichita State University. His groups have been featured at Missouri Music Educators Association, Kansas Music Educators Association and Kansas Bandmasters Association state conventions, and have won many regional and state awards. Gackstatter has served as a state and regional MENC Composition Chairman.

Gackstatter has been the clinician/conductor for district and state festival bands, orchestras and jazz bands, as well as over 200 high school band and orchestra clinics since 1990. An active performer, Gackstatter has won the WSU Concerto-Aria competition, and has toured and recorded as a soloist and member of the 5 Man Trio, with five CDâ㸴82;s of original acoustic music, performing on acoustic guitar, bass, mandolin, trumpet and trombone. A two-time Kansas Governorâ㸴82;s Arts Award recipient (as an individual artist/musician and as conductor of the Winfield Regional Symphony), he is directly responsible for many art events including symphonic debuts, band/orchestra festivals, internationally known guest artists, and projects combining multiple art forms. His published compositions (with C. Alan Publications) are performed internationally and his vision to combine the various arts genres in performances has gained national attention.

Gackstatter has composed five symphonies combining music with other arts, and has arranged symphony debuts for Trio Globo, Three Dog Night, Kansas, John Gorka, Barbara Higbie, John McCutcheon, Tom Chapin and the Paul Winter Consort. He has conducted premiere performances of Elmer Bernstein film scores To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Escape, and two symphonies by cellist Eugene Friesen: Grasslands and â㳳9;Carl Sandburgâ㸴82;s Prairieâ㱵7;, which combine symphony, dancers, masked actors, choir and artworks. His latest venture, Pen and Ink is a collection of his artwork and writings. Gackstatterâ㸴82;s artwork has been featured at the St Louis Art Fair in Clayton, Art and Air, The Green Center, Argonne Gallery and several one-man shows, combining art exhibit and original music. Gackstatter is also presently serving as the Music Chairperson for the Kirkwood Area Arts Council.

Conducted the first-ever symphony performances at:
Salina River Festival Wichita Jazz Festival Walnut Valley Festival Orpheum Theatre

Gackstatter's performance groups have also performed at:
Kansas State University New Orleans
University of Northern Colorado Kansas City Jazz Museum
KMEA Conventions KBA Conventions

Gackstatter has been a guest conductor for:
Wichita Honor Band 5-State Honor Band Lawton OK Honor Orchestra Wichita Honor Orchestra Wichita Youth Orchestra KMEA District VI Honor Band KMEA District VI Jazz Band


ARTIST
People's Choice Award, PrairieFest 2001
Art Shows: Cowley College, Southwestern College, Panhandle State University, Hutchinson, Kansas, Ponca City, Oklahoma and Caldwell, Oklahoma
Annual PrairieFest exhibitor
Illustrator/Cartoonist for new book by Dr. Nick Smith, WSU Music Faculty
Artwork published in Wichita State University alumni magazine

PERFORMER
Gackstatter performs regularly on guitar, bass, flugelhorn, trombone and mandolin, as a solo artist. He also performs as a member of the group 5 Man Trio. (all original music)
Performs in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Georgia
Songwriting Winner, Walnut Valley Festival 1991-1996
Songwriting/Creativity workshops for Walnut Valley Festival and Silverton CO Folk Festival
Radio: National Public Radio, Dr. Demento, High Plains Public Radio feature
Recordings: 2 solo CDs, 5 group CDs, 1997-2004
Winner of the Concerto-Aria Competition, Wichita State University, 1990

ARTS SUPPORTER
Interest in Gackstatter's pen and ink drawings led to the Stone Arch Bridge Tours of Cowley County, one of the most successful touring programs in the state. Well over 2,000 people have taken the annual spring and fall tours since 1997, with Gackstatter serving as tour guide. The tours generate thousands of dollars a year, with all proceeds donated to the Arkansas City Arts Council.

Tours have been featured in Kansas! Magazine, Sunflower Journeys, and many newspapers.

TEACHING
Gackstatter was formerly head of Instrumental Music at Cowley College in Arkansas City, teaching Concert Band, Jazz Band, Music Appreciation and guitar, since 1994. In 2006, he was interim Concert Band director at Wichita State University. He has conducted the Winfield Regional Symphony at Southwestern College in Winfield since 1992, and has directed the Arkansas City Community Band (the oldest in the state) since 1991. Contributing writer to: Band Director's Guide, National Public Radio, and The Oklahoma Observer.

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