Dr. Gary Garner retired in 2002 after 39 years as Director of Bands at West Texas State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech and a master of music and DMA 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 at WTAMU, the Symphonic Band performed twice at Carnegie Hall, twice before the College Band Directors National Association, and a record ten times at the Texas Music Educators Association convention.
Among the awards and honors he has received are: the WTAMU Faculty Excellence Award; the WTAMU Phoenix Club award for teaching excellence; the Minnie Stevens Piper Award; Texas Bandmaster of the Year; the Texas Band Director Hall of Fame, Bohumil Makovsky Award for outstanding service to college bands; the Gene Hemmle Award as outstanding music alumnus from Texas Tech; Phi Beta Mu Bandmaster of the Year; the Percy Grainger award; and the Amarillo High School Hall of Fame.
In 2008, Professor James F. Keene retired from the University of Illinois School of Music, where he held the titles of Director of Bands and Brownfield Distinguished Professor of Music. Appointed in 1985, he was only the fourth person to hold the Director of Bands position since 1905. During his 23-year tenure at Illinois, the UI Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony, under his direction, were selected to perform for every major music conference in the U.S., have toured internationally and have performed in many of America’s most prestigious concert halls, including New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall and several performances in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. The Illinois Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band have produced one of the most extensive bodies of commercial band recordings. These recordings have been broadcast on National Public Radio in the U.S., as well as radio programs in Asia, Australia, and several European countries.
Mr. Keene is a Past-President of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, having also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is a Past-President of the National Band Association, having previously served in several other NBA offices, and is a Past-President of The Big Ten Band Directors Association. For several years he served as chairman of the ABA/Ostwald Composition Contest, and is currently a member of the Editorial Band of The Journal Of Band Research. In addition to membership in several professional and honorary societies, Mr. Keene is an Evans Scholar, Past-President of the Champaign Rotary Club, and a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation. In 1993 Professor Keene was named as an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the international Percy Grainger Society in recognition of his devotion to the music of Grainger; he also serves on the Board of Directors of the John Philip Sousa Foundation and the Historic Goldman Memorial Band of New York City. Previous to his appointment at Illinois, Professor Keene taught at all levels, including building nationally recognized programs at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M – Commerce), and at The University of Arizona.
In 2002, Professor Keene was named Honorary Life Member of the Texas Bandmasters Association, becoming only the sixth person to be so honored in the 55-year history of that organization. He is in constant demand as conductor, clinician and adjudicator and has appeared in those capacities in forty-four states and on four continents. In 2011-12, Professor Keene is scheduled to conduct in Australia, China and the United Kingdom, in addition to a busy schedule of appearances in the U.S.
Larry Livingston is a distinguished conductor, educator, and administrator, and a highly respected motivational speaker. The founding music director of the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Livingston has appeared with the Houston Symphony and in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series. He has conducted at the Festival de Musique in Evian, France, and has led the Stockholm Wind Orchestra, as well as the Leopoldinum Chamber, Chopin Academy, Wroclaw Philharmonic and Academy Orchestras in Poland. He served as music director of the Pan Pacific Festival Orchestras in Sydney, participated as a performer and clinician at the International Jazz Festival in Rome, and conducted an electro-acoustic ensemble in concerts in Tokyo under the auspices of Yamaha International. Livingston has led the American Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, the USC Thornton Chamber and Symphony Orchestras in Los Angeles and the USC Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble in Berlin, and served on the jury for the renowned Besancon International Conducting Competition in Besancon, France.
Livingston frequently appears with professional, festival, collegiate, and all-state wind ensembles, bands, and orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. From 1983 to 2002, he served as a conductor in the University of Michigan All-State Program at Interlochen, has been conductor of the Festival Orchestra at Idyllwild Arts since 1989, and is the music director of Music for All’s National Honors Orchestra. He has served as a clinician for the University of Northern Colorado Conducting Symposium, a keynote presenter at the Fine Arts Institute in Tucson, and is an Ambassador for the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Since 2004, Livingston has toured with the famed Landes Jugend Orchester, served as clinician and guest conductor at the College Band Directors National Conference in Alice Tully Hall, led All-State Ensembles in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Texas, where he appeared for the sixth time, a record unmatched in Texas All-State history.
Holding baccalaureate and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, Livingston completed PhD coursework in theoretical studies at the University of California, San Diego. He studied conducting and interpretation with Laurence Livingston, Elizabeth Green, William Revelli, Rafael Druian, and Herbert Zipper. In 1988 he received the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Michigan School of Music. Livingston served as vice president and music director of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was also conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble, and, subsequently, became dean of the Shepherd School of Music and Elma Schneider Professor of Music at Rice University in Houston. From 1986 until 2002, Livingston served as dean of the USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music, where he is currently chair of the conducting department and music director of Thornton School orchestras. The first music administrator accepted into the Harvard University Executive Education Program, he is a recipient of the Life in the Arts Award from
Idyllwild Arts and an Outstanding Teacher Award from the student chapter of the USC Center for Religion.
As a motivational speaker, he has established a national reputation for inspiring presentations to corporate and business leaders across the United States. From 2002 to 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Guitar Center, for which he now serves as director of educational initiatives. Also, at the request of Quincy Jones, Livingston now chairs the Education Committee of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium.