<< Return to Faculty & Staff
Gary Packwood

Dr. Gary Packwood


Director of Choral Activities, Graduate Coordinator

(662) 325-3490

Recognized as an inspirational and motivational conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer, Gary Packwood has appeared throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Now in his 31st year of teaching, Dr. Packwood has conducted all-state and honor choirs in 35 states. During the 2021-2022 academic year, Dr. Packwood is scheduled to conduct the Texas Music Educators Association TB All-State Choir; Wisconsin Music Educators Association SATB Middle – Level All-State Choir; American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Northwestern Regional TB Choir; and the ACDA Midwestern Regional SATB Choir. He will also serve a residency with the School of Music at Wichita State University, adjudicate the Florida Vocal Association’s Central State Music Performance Assessment, as well as future conducting engagements with Pacific International Choral Festival (Oregon), Crystal Children’s Choir (California), and the Kentucky All-State Choir.

Dr. Packwood is currently professor of music, program administrator and director of choral studies at Mississippi State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting, conducts the Mississippi State University State Singers and the Men of State, and serves as the coordinator¬¬¬¬¬¬ of graduate music studies. Dr. Packwood has held similar appointments at the University of Montevallo, Louisiana State University, and was a public-school teacher for 10 years at the elementary and high school levels in South Florida.

Dr. Packwood made his Carnegie Hall debut on Easter Sunday in 2012 conducting the Mississippi State University Singers and the New England Chamber Orchestra. He returned in 2019 and is scheduled to appear again during the 2022 Memorial Day weekend. The MSU Singers has quickly garnered a stellar reputation, as evident through invitational performances at The White House for the Holidays Open House, three successful European tours, Louisiana ACDA State Conference, Southern Region ACDA Conference, and the Mississippi Music Educators Association/MS-ACDA State Conferences on three separate occasions.

A Lifetime member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Dr. Packwood is past president of the Southern Region of ACDA (2017-2019) and serves on the national board for the National Collegiate Choral Organization. He was the president-elect of the Alabama Choral Directors Association, and Repertoire & Standards Chair for Multicultural Music Perspectives for ACDA Southern Region. A member of the National Association of Music Educators: Music Educators National Conference 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.

In 2017 Santa Barbara Music Publishing began the Gary Packwood Choral Series, which features compositions that specialize in music for developing and advanced young voices. He also has additional music publications through musicspoke.com. Dr. Packwood has published articles in the Choral Journal, Teaching Music, the 2nd Edition of the AmeriGrove Dictionary, and a book chapter in GIA’s Publication of Conducting Men’s Choirs. He is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda. He has given two separate interviews discussing his life and choral music for Mississippi Public Broadcasting Station and has been awarded the Outstanding Music Alumnus from the Department of Music at Southeastern Louisiana University, 2008 Outstanding Faculty from the Dean of College of Fine Arts at the University of Montevallo, and the 2015 Lucinda Rose Teaching Award from the Dean of the College of Education at Mississippi State University. Dr. Packwood earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southeastern Louisiana University, the Master of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University, and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting and literature from Louisiana State University.