Gary P. Garletts, Artistic Director & Conductor
Gary brings to the Choral Society over three decades of experience as a conductor, organist, accompanist and administrator. Now in his 17th year as Artistic Director and Conductor, Gary has led the Society through transformative growth in membership, musicianship and repertoire. Under his direction CCCS has given exceptional performances of major works such as Messiah, Elijah, Brahms' Requiem, Cronation Mass, Ode to Joy, The Star of Bethlehem, Carmina Burana, Dona Nobis Pacem, and The Testament of Freedom. Additionally, he has broadened the Society's collaborative efforts with professional soloists and ensembles, including the Kennett Symphony of Chester County, Immaculata Symphony, Prana Winds, Westminster Brass, and West Chester University Brass. Gary is also Director of Music/Organist at Ardmore Presbyterian Church, on Philadelphia's Main Line. There he leads a six-choir program and administered a complete rebuilding of the church's 3,500-pipe sanctuary organ. To mark the church’s centennial year (2007), he led its Chancel Choir (augmented by Choral Society members) on a tour of Scotland and northern England.
Gary dedicated the early portion of his career to his native Fayette County, in Pennsylvania's scenic Laurel Highlands. There he directed innovative programs for Trinity Presbyterian Church and the Greater Uniontown Chorale, and taught piano and organ extensively. During the 1990's he led a comprehensive music ministry at First Presbyterian Church in historic downtown Lancaster, PA. From 2005 to 2010 he also served as vocal accompanist for the School of Music at West Chester University of PA.
Gary earned music degrees at Oberlin College and Duquesne University. Among his mentors are conductors Sandra Willetts and the late Daniel Moe, organists Haskell Thomson and Ann Labounsky, and pianists Frances Walker and the late Katherine Keighley. A member of the Amercian Choral Directors' Association, and an Associate of the American Guild of Organists, he has served the AGO in various offices and capacities. Gary offers organ recitals in church and university venues, and is in demand as a freelance accompanist. He lives in Havertown, PA with his wife, Twila. Their son Nathan, a graduate of Alfred University, is a process engineer with Owens Corning, at its Wabash, IN facility.