GARY ALAN WOOD
A Life in Arts, Education and Leadership
I grew up in a smallish town called Anoka, a suburb of Saint Paul in the great state of Minnesota. I am sure you're quite aware that Anoka is the Halloween Capital of the World; thus, you know what a wonderful place it is to grow up, learn and play.
It is very true that music instruction and opportunity was exceptional in those days--and likely true today. I followed my brother's footsteps into music, but rather than playing the drums, I stumbled onto the clarinet. But selecting the clarinet somewhat accidentally proved to be good fortune, for the instrument was relatively easy for me to play (thanks to excellent, patient teachers!) and led me to more wondrous musical experiences and travels than I could possibly have imagined. Although I loved hockey, I loved playing clarinet in the Minnesota Youth Symphony more.
Since those early years, music, the arts and education have been the central components of my professional endeavors. Having enriching and challenging positions filled with creativity, leadership, instruction and entrepreneurship has enriched my life beyond measure.
Attending the University of Minnesota for both my B.S. in Music Education and M.A. in Woodwind Performance degrees is also a source of great pride. Being a Gopher now and forever is close to my heart and always brings back memories of challenging academic and music courses and lessons, superior instructors, performances and travels around the world and the ever-lasting knowledge that with high expectations can come remarkable outcomes.
Growing up with the Guthrie Theatre, Minnesota Orchestra, Walker Arts Center, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and more right nearby, I was blessed with world-class musical and life enrichment from my earliest years. Such exposure to imagination, color, innovation and beauty has had an ongoing and profound impact on my work and my dreams.