In 2005, Gary Packwood received the prestigious Outstanding Music Alumni Award from Department of Music at Southeastern Louisiana University and in 2008 the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Montevallo named him the Outstanding Faculty Member for the college. Dr. Packwood made his Carnegie Hall debut on Easter Sunday, 2012, conducting the Mississippi State University Singers and the New England Chamber Orchestra in a performance that included the premier of “Where I Live” by Richard Ratner. Choirs under his guidance have performed with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the MSU-Starkville Symphony, during the 2014 Southern Division American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Conference, the 1996 National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and for state conferences of both the ACDA and NAfME in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. His choirs have also appeared in a number of international venues including Notre Dame Cathedral, Chatres Cathedral, La Madeleine Church,Sacra Coeur Church, Church of St. Saint Sulpic, eand The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Normandy.
Dr. Packwood’s international appearances includes conducting and teaching in Brazil at the 2007 International Music Festival at the Federal University of Piaui, 2010 and 2013 International Music Festival at Federal University of Campina Grande, the Federal University at Uberlandia in 2009, and Professor in Residence at the Sultan Idris University at Tanjung Malim, Malaysia. He has presented interest sessions at various state, regional, and national conventions of ACDA and NAfME and has served as guest conductor and adjudicator in 21 states. During the 2014-2015 season Dr. Packwood teach and present a voice recital in Uberlandia, Brazil as a part of the “Cantus” music series, guest conduct the Oregon All-State Elementary Choir, as well as and other honor choirs in Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana. He is also slated to conduct the All-Region XX choir in Texas and the South Carolina All-State choir during the 2015-2016 school year.
A Lifetime member of ACDA, he was President-elect of the Alabama Choral Directors Association, Repertoire & Standards Chair for Multicultural Music Perspectives for Southern Division ACDA, and a candidate for president of the ACDA southern division. A member of the National Association of Music Educators: Music Educators National Conference (MENC), Dr. Packwood served as Vice-President of the Higher Education Division for the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA), and is also a member of the Texas Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Teachers of Singing. From 1992-2000, he led the choral program at William T. Dwyer Community High School in Palm Beach Gardens (FL), founding conductor of Montevallo Community Chorale, and served eight years as the Music Director for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham.
Dr. Packwood has served in numerous leadership roles with including membership on six consecutive divisional convention-planning committees and Editor of Reprise (Alabama ACDA publication). He is a member of Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Mu Alpha and Pi Kappa Lambda. Current publications include choral review articles for the Choral Journal. Other articles have been published in MENC’s journal Teaching Music and the 2nd Edition of the AmeriGrove Dictionary. He has given two separate interviews discussing his life and choral music for Mississippi Public Broadcasting Station.
Dr. Packwood is currently the Program Administrator and Director of Choral Activities at Mississippi State University. His duties include conducting all choral ensembles and administering the choral activities area. Dr. Packwood also conducts the semi-professional vocal ensemble based in Birmingham, Opus 8. He served as Associate Professor and Associate Director of Choral Activities, and Head of Music Education at the University of Montevallo (AL) from 2003-2011, where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in choral music, music education, and conducted the Chamber Singers and University Chorus. He earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, the Master of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University, and Doctorate of Musical Arts (Choral Conducting & Literature) degree, with a minor in Music Education from Louisiana State University.