Gary Stith is lecturer in music education at Ithaca College. He is also Professor and Conductor Emeritus at the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College where he served as Coordinator of Music Education and Conductor of the Houghton College Symphonic Winds. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University and the Eastman School of Music, as well as the Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from the State University College of New York at Buffalo. He has studied conducting or participated in workshops under Donald McGinnis, Frank L. Battisti, Charles Peltz, Arnald Gabriel and Frederick Fennell, and he studied timpani and percussion with Cloyd Duff, John Beck, John Rowland, James L. Moore, William Youhass, and George Ward. He played percussion with both the American Wind Symphony Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Gary taught instrumental music in the Holland and Williamsville (NY) Central Schools for a total of thirty years, also serving as Instructional Specialist for the Fine and Performing Arts in the Williamsville schools from 1993 – 2002. During his tenure in Williamsville, he founded the Williamsville Concert (Community) Band and established the national Williamsville Commissioning Consortium for the commissioning of new works for wind ensemble. He also served a total of fifteen years as adult choir director at the Orchard Park and Eastern Hills Wesleyan Churches in suburban Buffalo. Past President of both the New York State Band Directors Association and the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education, he was the northeast regional recipient of the 1976 ASBDA-Stanbury Award, the 1976 Holland (NY) Citizen of the Year Award, the Outstanding Educator Award at the 1993 World of Music Festival in Chicago, the 2003 Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Award for Excellence in Music Education, and the 2010-11 Houghton College Excellence in Teaching Award.
He has authored numerous articles and penned chapters for the “Conductors Anthology”, “The Drum and Percussion Cookbook”, and served as Consulting Editor for a compilation entitled “Classic Beginning Solos for the Complete Percussionist” published by Kendor. He is also author of the widely acclaimed texts “Score & Rehearsal Preparation: A Realistic Approach for Instrumental Conductors” and “The Conductor’s Companion: 100 Rehearsal Techniques, Quotes and Facts” both published by Meredith Music Publications.
Gary remains a popular and frequent guest conductor, an active percussion adjudicator, and a sought after clinician at regional, state and national music education conferences.