Instrument: 2nd Cornet
Member Since: Spring 2019
Occupation: Retired Band Director
Mentors & Musical Heroes: Doc Severinsen, Maynard Ferguson, Wynton Marsalis
Favorite Brass Band Piece: Guardian of My Soul and Vitae Aeternum
Gary L. Gardner is a 1973 graduate of Pekin Community High School, Pekin, Ill and graduated from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. in 1977. He taught band at Hardin Calhoun Unit 40 schools for 8 years then moved to Carlinville, Ill. where he was director of all bands for 26 years for the Carlinville Unit #1 School District. He received the “Golden Apple “ teacher of the year in 2007. After retiring from full time teaching in 2011, he taught band another 5 ½ years part-time in the Mt. Olive School District.
Besides becoming a new member of the SLBB, he remains active being the lead trumpet player for the Blackburn College Band, the Carlinville and Heritage municipal bands, the 10th Cavalry Civil War Band as well as the 1st Illinois & 2nd Iowa Regimental Cavalry Civil War Band. While in college, he was able to perform on stage with bands to back up Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Rich Little and Maynard Ferguson.
He lives in Carlinville, Ill. with his wife Cheryl and their two dogs, Reeses and Sydney