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€™s of original acoustic music, performing on acoustic guitar, bass, mandolin, trumpet and trombone. A two-time Kansas Governorâ€™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€œCarl Sandburgâ€™s Prairieâ€, which combine symphony, dancers, masked actors, choir and artworks. His latest venture, Pen and Ink is a collection of his artwork and writings. Gackstatterâ€™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:
Gackstatter's performance groups have also performed at: