Dr. Gary Garner retired in 2002 after 39 years as Director of Bands at West Texas A&M University. He holds a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech and the Master of Music and DMA degrees from the University of Southern California.
He began his teaching career in Lubbock at Hutchinson Jr. High School and at Monterey High School. From there he went to the University of Southern California as marching band director for four years before accepting a position at WTAMU.
During his tenure the WTAMU Symphonic Band appeared a record ten times before the Texas Music Educators Association, twice at the national conventions of the College Band Directors National Association, and twice in Carnegie Hall, where famed New York Times critic John Rockwell called the band "remarkably accomplished" and termed their performance "a refreshing change from our usual provincial concert fare."
Garner has recorded an album for Crest Records with his sons Brad and Blair, "The First Family of Flute," and an album of flute trios with son Brad and the eminent flutist Julius Baker. He has traveled widely as guest conductor, clinician, and flute soloist.
Among the awards and honors he has received are: the WTAMU Faculty Excellence Award; the WTAMU Phoenix Club award for teaching excellence; the Minnie Piper Stevens Award; Amarillo High School Hall of Fame; Texas Bandmaster of the Year; Bohumil Makovsky Award for outstanding service to college bands; Phi Beta Mu International Outstanding Bandmaster; and the Gene Hemmle Award as an outstanding music alumnus from Texas Tech. He was chosen the 2005 Honorary Lifetime Member of the Texas Bandmasters Association. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Percy Grainger Award and he was designated the 2012 Legendary Bandmaster by the Dallas Wind Symphony.
Biography from Texas Bandmasters Association Website