Director of Bands
Gary Gemberling is a native of Great Falls, Montana, earning his B.M.E. in 1980 from Montana State University and M.M. in 1992 from the University of Idaho.
He has performed on trumpet with The Russ Morgan Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Lou Rawls, Claudio Roditi, The Temptations, New York Voices, Lionel Hampton New York Big Band, and toured nationally with Broadway musicals.
Gary has been a guest trumpet and vocal soloist with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Jazz Orchestra and Spokane British Brass Band. He also spent several years performing at Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens Theme Parks and has played the club circuit throughout the U.S. and Canada along with opening for concert performances by major artists.
Gary continues to perform with several jazz combos and big bands and stays busy with his work as a clinician, adjudicator and guest artist and conductor. He recently conducted honor bands at the International Schools Music Festival in Shanghai, China and has over 20 musical theater shows, as music director, to his credit. Most recently, the Whitman College production of “HAIR”: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.
Currently Lecturer of Music at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Gary directs the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band II, teaches studio trumpet and a jazz history class.
Prior to coming to Whitman, Gary spent twenty years as instrumental and vocal director at Lewiston High School in Idaho and was the music coordinator for Lewiston Public Schools as well as an Adjunct Music Professor at Lewis Clark State College directing the jazz ensemble and jazz choir.
Gary brings his community band experience to Walla Walla after sixteen years directing the Moscow (Idaho) Arts Commission Community Band.
Mill Creek Jazz Ensemble Director
Glen Mitchell is the director of the Mill Creek Jazz Ensemble. He is a retired music educator who started his career in Asotin, Washington in 1968. In 1969 he was selected as the music director for Dayton School District. He held this position for three years before moving to Auburn, Washington to serve as the Auburn H.S. band director.
In 1973 Glen made his final career move when he accepted the position of Walla Walla High School band director. A few years later he was named Director of Music for the Walla Walla School district, a position he held until his retirement in 2006. In 2006 Glen was selected as the Washington State Music teacher of the year.
Glen and his wife Meredith have two children; Melodie Hardwick, a computer programmer living in Federal Way, Washington and Denise Hurst, the music teacher at Prospect Point Elementary School in Walla Walla. They are proud of their 5 grand children and 3 great grand children.