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A multi-faceted artist, Gary Lewis has done it all — from jazz performance and marching band, to musical theater and opera, to arranging for a variety of genres, as well as entrepreneurial efforts such as establishing a contemporary music festival. With such diverse experiences, Lewis lives his belief that music serves as "the thread that connects us all."
Lewis is currently director of orchestras and professor of music at the University of Colorado Boulder. He conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and is also music director and conductor of the Midland-Odessa (Texas) Symphony Orchestra. He is a fervent believer that music is the great equalizer and that educators can change lives through the indispensable gift of teaching young people how to make music — what he calls the single most important thing.
Core to Lewis' teaching and workshops is a focus on developing and enhancing the unique relationships that are found within the exemplary ensemble. He inspires directors to discover how they can empower their own students by teaching them how to interact and collaborate with each other in the music-making process. This art of close and connected collaboration is critical to the success of a chamber ensemble, and he applies the same types of principles to larger ensembles. Fostering an environment where all musicians discover the inherent intimacy and awareness of music-making not only leads students to become more independent musicians, but also provides heightened and more fulfilling experiences with others.
As conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra at the University of Colorado Boulder, Lewis also oversees the entire orchestra program and leads the graduate program in orchestral conducting. His graduate conducting students have enjoyed great success as conductors of university orchestra programs, youth orchestras and professional orchestras alike.
A few of Gary Lewis' session titles include:
• "Conducting: Giving Up Control to Gain Control"
• "Rehearsal Techniques (The Long Game: Giving our students the skills and responsibility to be independent)"
• "Making Our Large Ensembles More Like Chamber Music"
• "4/4 is 4/4: Empowering Ourselves to Work with Strings, Winds and Percussion"
• "Building Leadership In Your Ensemble"
• "Score Study and Preparation: How Analysis Meets Performance"
• "Bach and Beyond: Baroque-Style Performance Practice Applications for String Orchestra"
• "Art vs. Craft: How to Get to the Technique Through the Music"