Conductor, composer, educator, author and veteran jazz bassist Charles Gambetta
Maestro Charles Gambetta is among those rarest of artists who demonstrate mastery and artistic excellence in virtually every area of musical endeavor. An inspiring conductor, accomplished composer and arranger, virtuoso performer, successful program administrator, master teacher and published author, he has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments in both academia and the concert hall.
He began his conducting studies with Ansel Brusilow in 1974 at the University of North Texas where he was also Associate Conductor and Arranger for the One O'clock Lab Band. After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance at California State University, Hayward, he served as Double Bassist and Arranger with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. Following three years of distinguished military service he continued his education, earning a Master of Arts degree from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where is was Assistant Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra.
As Founder and Music Director of the Young American Symphony Orchestra, a fellowship program for emerging orchestral musicians, Maestro Gambetta helped young performers bridge the gap between a college/conservatory education and careers in professional music. Concurrent with his doctoral studies he served as Music Director of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. His guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, United States Military Academy Band at West Point, the Fayetteville Symphony, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre and the Philharmonia of Greensboro. In addition to his collaborations with American Orchestras, he has performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra "Mihail Jora" of Bacau, Romania, the National Orchestra of Ukraine, the Rome Festival Orchestra, the Varna State Philharmonic and the Catania International Festival Orchestra in Sicily.
An award-winning composer and arranger, Maestro Gambetta is equally at home composing music for groups large and small in many different idioms and genres. Whether writing for symphony orchestra, concert band or jazz orchestra, his original compositions and definitive arrangements and orchestrations have consistently received raves from audiences and performers alike. His most recent composition, "Heroes and Peace Makers," was given its world premiere by the US Army 1st Armored Division Band in Iraq. The audience of Iraqis and Coalition troops received the piece so warmly that it was added to the band's repertoire for the its final tour of Iraq.
Known around the world for his ground-breaking research in conductor training, Maestro Gambetta is the creator of the Embodied Conducting™ method, a revolutionary movement-centered curriculum for conductors based on the principles of Laban Movement Studies. His publication credits include articles for the Journal of the Conductors Guild, the College Orchestra Directors Association Journal and the Journal of Laban Movement Studies. He has presented is work at the 2006 Laban for the 21st Century Conference in Bratislava, the 2008 Laban International Conference in London, the 2008 Laban/Barteniff Institute of Movement Studies Symposium and the 2010 College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) Conference in Atlanta where Gambetta was also a master teacher for the CODA Student Conductor Workshop.
An appointment as Administrator and member of the Artist Faculty of the International Institute for Conductors gave him the opportunity to share his innovative methods and unique approach to conducting with students from North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Since Maestro Gambetta took the helm in 2007, enrollment has more than doubled, and the International Institute has earned a reputation as one of the world's finest conductor training programs. Copies of his publications and articles are available upon request.
Dr. Gambetta also serves on the music faculties of Guilford College and Greensboro College, and continues to maintain an active career as a double bassist and composer/arranger as his schedule permits.
My Jazz Story
I love jazz because it gives me opportunities to express myself as a performer that no other musical idiom can.
I was first exposed to jazz in high school playing in the stage band.
I've worked with giants like Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Joe Williams and Frank Rosolino.
The best show I ever attended was Chick Corea's original Return to Forever band.
The first jazz record I bought was Oscar Peterson Tristeza on Piano
My advice to new listeners is to open yourself to new musical possibilities.