The growth of these school programs has been consistent over many years, as can be seen by the large numbers of students who apply to join at the Junior Band level each year. Unfortunately, even after accepting maximum numbers into the programs, many students still cannot be accommodated.
Through his three primary school programs, Garry employs fourteen specialist instrumental teachers working with small groups starting with absolute beginners. Several of these tutors actually started their musical career as a beginner student in one of Garry’s programs.Many, many students have progressed on to involvement in community music and further study in music and education.
Garry’s bands regularly win awards and recognition at some of the most prestigious competitions and festivals in New South Wales, including the New South Wales School Band Festival, the Sydney Eisteddfod, the Dubbo Eisteddfod and the City of Orange Eisteddfod. His bands have featured annually for at least the past ten years at concerts held at the Opera House and Sydney Town Hall, and have performed over past years at the Royal Easter Show. His community bands have also won numerous awards at State and National Band Championships.
Garry is a regular contributor to the advisory boards for some of Sydney’s most prestigious music festivals and eisteddfods. He is one of the founding members of the NSW School Band Festival (SBF) Advisory panel, and has adjudicated at the SBF over the past few years. He is also a regular clinician for the Festival, all around Sydney, Gosford and even Wagga, Wagga. In 2014, his article ‘Australian Music for Primary School Bands’ was published by NSW School Band Festival and the Australian Band and Orchestra Director’s Association (ABODA) NSW.
Garry has also commissioned pieces by Australian composers on behalf of his bands, as a contribution to the development and strengthening of Australian concert band music. In 2016, Garry conducted Matthew Pearce Senior Band at the Australian National Band and Orchestra Conference at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, by invitation. This year, Garry was a contributor and Guest Conductor for ‘The Good Music Guide – Part 2’ ~ ‘Composers in the Spotlight for Developing Bands’ presented by ABODA NSW and live streamed on YouTube. Garry has been both the National and NSW President of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association (ABODA). He has served on the board of the Asia Pacific Band Directors Association, hosting their conference in Sydney in 1998, playing host to a number of visiting international bands, and representing Australia at meetings in Taiwan and Korea. He also served as manager and staff associate conductor for the Jerry Nowak Conducting Summer School for over 15 years.
2017 Recognition for ‘the Incredible Commitment of 25 Years Volunteering with the Hills Shire Council’
2017 Blacktown City Australia Day Awards ~ Nominee for Citizen of the Year
2016 Orange Blossom Festival Awards ~ Highly Commended for Community Contribution
2004 ABODA’s ‘Citation of Excellence’ award. This is the highest award available to members of ABODA and represents peer recognition of the work of the recipient both in Australia and overseas, for both ABODA and the music community.
Recipient of the Australian Defence Medal
Garry holds a B Mus/B Teach degree from the University of New England in Armidale.