Gavin Staines has had a career of forty plus years in music education in Sydney.
Whilst studying at the Conservatorium of Music, he started directing the Artarmon Public School Concert Band.
Gavin was appointed to Chatswood High School as the music teacher in 1980. He taught at Chatswood High for 38 years until retirement from the Education Department in 2017. At that time, a quarter of the schools’ population were involved in the extra-curricular program – three hundred students. The program included concert bands, stage bands, jazz combos, orchestra, string ensembles, percussion ensembles, choirs, rock bands and guitar ensembles. Along with teaching classroom music, Gavin was responsible for organising ensemble leaders, tutors, then music camps, term music nights, performances for school functions, and music tours. In his time at the school Gavin organised over twelve overseas tours with Concert Band and Stage Band to the USA, Europe and New Zealand. Highlights of overseas tours included performances at the Musikverein (Vienna), Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, Euro Disney (Paris), Disneyland (LA), University of Western Illinois and Carnegie Hall, New York.
Whilst employed at Chatswood High, Gavin at various times also led the band programs at Killara High School, and Artarmon, Lindfield, Roseville, Lane Cove West and Chatswood Primary Schools.
In 1996 Gavin was a Finalist in the NEITA (National Excellence in Teaching Awards)
In 1999 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to music on the North Shore, and Chatswood High School
In 2011 Gavin was acknowledged by the North Shore Times as one of 50 people who had made a significant contribution to the community during the past fifty years.
In 2015 he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.
In his time at Chatswood High School he organised and hosted performances by the James Morrison Quintet, John Morrison and the Swing City Big Band, Adrian Cunningham Quartet, Gary Honor Band, Emma Pask Quartet, Darren Percival and The Idea Of North. Gavin also organised visiting overseas artists – Maynard Ferguson and the BeBop Nouveau Band, Bobby Shew, Kim Richmond, Dave Steinmeyer, and the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band.
Gavin also instigated the Yamaha Music Festival, the North Shore High School Music Spectacular and the North Shore Primary School Concert Band Festival.
Since 2016 Gavin has directed the Cameraygal Wind Symphony, an adult band of over sixty musicians based in Lane Cove. The CWS is one of three concert bands in the Lane Cove Community Bands program. Annual highlights include our participation in the Anzac Service in Lane Cove, the opportunity to perform in venues such at the Concourse (Chatswood) and the Congress Hall (City), concerts with school ensembles and other community bands, participation in the State Band Championships, weekend tours away, and Christmas Concerts. In 2022 the band inaugurated the ‘Young Soloists Competition’ – an opportunity for talented young musicians to perform music of a high standard (with professional critique) with the final an opportunity to present a major work with band accompaniment.
Gavin graciously acknowledges that none of what he has achieved would have been possible without the wonderful support and encouragement of his family.