About Gavin Staines

Gavin Staines

Gavin Staines has been teaching music at Chatswood High School since 1980 and commenced a Concert Band at the school that year.

This year over two hundred students (three Concert Bands) participate in weekly rehearsals. Gavin directs two of the bands, and oversees the two Big Bands, two Jazz Combos, the String Ensemble, Senior Strings, Cello Ensemble, Drum Corps, Guitar Groups and a Vocal Ensemble. Three hundred students participate in a music ensemble. He organises music camps, tours, festivals, school concerts, performances for school functions, and employs staff to teach private lessons and to lead ensembles.

Gavin was a National Finalist in the NEITA Competition in 1996 and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1999 in recognition of his services to music at Chatswood High School. In 2011 he was acknowledged by the North Shore Times as one of 50 people who had made a significant contribution to the community during the last 50 years and last year he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.

He has hosted at school Maynard Ferguson and his BeBop Nouveu Band, Bobby Shew, Kim Richmond, Dave Steinmeyer, the James Morrison Quintet, John Morrison and the Swing City Big Band, Emma Pask, The Idea of North, the Adrian Cunningham Quartet, the Gary Honor Band, Darren Percival and The Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band from LA.

In 1990 Gavin commenced the Yamaha Music Festival in Sydney, an event that ran for twenty five years. Since 2006 and with the support of the Chatswood RSL Club, Gavin has organised the North Shore High School Music Spectacular – where local High Schools participate in a festival receiving sponsorship from the club. For seven years Gavin has held a Primary School Concert Band Festival with the focus a current Australian Composer.

His passion is the Instrumental Program, directing the Concert and Big Bands, performing at the Opera House and the Chatswood Concourse, and touring with the Wind Orchestra and Big Band. The Chatswood High School Wind Orchestra and Big Band enjoyed a wonderful tour to the USA in December 2012, performing with some of America’s finest musicians – jazz musician Gordon Goodwin, Chicago Symphony Bass Trombonist Charles Vernon and University Band Director Dr Mike Fansler. This year the Wind Orchestra and Big Band toured to Europe performing in Prague, Vienna, Salzburg and Montreux. Highlights included performances at an International Festival in Salzburg, a workshop with Austrian Composer Otto Schwarz, and the Big Band performances at the Montruex Jazz Festival.

Gavin was appointed the Music Director of the Cameraygal Wind Symphony in 2016 and is excited to be able to bring his wealth of knowledge and experience to community banding.

Gavin also appreciates the wonderful support and encouragement given to him by his wife Karen and family, Kara and Mark, Mitchell and Jen, and Anthea.