For thirty-five years Gary Robert Buchanan has been Music Director with Cosolargy International – (see: www.cosolargly.net) in Reno, Nevada. In that position, the Rev. Dr. Buchanan composes all liturgical music and that for litanies, plays organ, and conducts all community ensembles, i.e., the Jamilian Hand Bell Choir & Singers, The Sinfonietta, and teaches and lectures in the Jamilian Parochial School and the Jamilian University of the Ordained (see: http://jamilian.org/ ).
In the northern Nevada community Dr. Buchanan serves as a regular Composer & Conductor with several organizations, e.g., The Foundation Orchestra (of the Andean Explorers Foundation), the Northern Nevada Concert Orchestra Association and Ruby Mountain Symphony, the Carson City Symphony Orchestra, Tuba Christmas, and the Reno Pops Orchestra. With the Reno Pops Buchanan plays French Horn and is the Staff Composer & Arranger. From all the above organizations he has received and fulfilled dozens of commissions since 1979.
Videos of Composition and Conducting:
Please visit the YouTube Channel for more videos of the musical works for Gary Robert Buchanan
(Most works available from The Music Guild, 16026 South Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada 89521, U.S.A. - unless otherwise noted.)
Four Pieces for Piano, 1978
Marinera (Piano), 1997
Sonata for Unaccompanied Flute, 1969 (Composed for Ransom Wilson)
Canto, nella mezza voce (Horn & Pianoforte/Orch.), 1970
Las Damas Callao (Violin & Piano), 1997
Sections for Oboe & Piano/Orch., 1969 (Revised 2006)
Sonata for Flute & Pianoforte, 1969 (Commissioned by Ransom Wilson)
Song in the Key of Light (Soprano & Pianoforte/Strings), 1978
Sunatina (Cornet/Alt. & Pianoforte), 1995
Sunflower (Blake/Soprano & Pianoforte-Strings), 1997
The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (Bourdillon/Soprano & Pianoforte), 1967
What Soft Cherubic Creatures (Dickinson/Soprano & Pianoforte), 1969
The Habit of Perfection” (Setting of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem for two Sopranos and Sextet), 2006. (Premiere at the N.C. School of the Arts, Jan. 2007)
Ceremonious Music (Brass Quintet), 1969
For Beatrice (Flute & Bassoon), 1976
GRAND SUITE for BRASS (Quintet/7 movements), 1989 (Commissioned by the Great Basin Brass Quintet)
May Quintet (cl/bsn/violin/hn/bass viol), 1969
My Dear Chabuca (Voice & Pianoforte/Orch.), 1989
PASSACAGLIA on “Acceptabis Sacrificium” for BRASS NONET (Winner of the 1977 J. Alberts & Sons Publishers, Ltd. Composition Competition held at the University of New South Wales, Australia.)
Primitive Visions (voice/fl/trp/trbn/marimba/perc.), 1976
Quartet (Clarinet, Trombone, Violoncello & Pianoforte), 1978 (Commissioned by EMUsica, Brisbane, Australia)
Quickstep for the Young (Brass Quintet), 1968 (Commissioned by the Winston-Salem, N.C. Symphony) Sierranade (Trumpet, Horn & Piano), 1995
SUNFLOWER String Quartet, 1978
SWEETS for Woodwind Quintet (E.C. Schirmer), 1966
Three Carols for Brass Quintet, 1989 (Commissioned by the Great Basin Brass Quintet)
Sinfonia (Antiphonal Wind Ensembles), 1972 (Commissioned by the NCSA Foundation and Dr. James & Mary Semans for premieres in Siena, Italy.)
Alma Mater (for the Jamilian Parochial School), 1993
Early Spring (SSAA), 1994
In the Midst of the Heavens (SATB), 1978
Judaeo-Christian Trumpet Descanter, The (72 selections for Organ, SATB & Trumpet/Alt. Descant), 1992
Ode 27 of Solomon (SATB), 1978
Snow White, The Opera (3 Acts),1988
The Inkling (3-Act, Libretto by Fred Chappell & Robert Sauve), 1976
Arabian Moonrise (Ensemble), 1986
Gran Vilaya Suite (fl/cl/recorder/horn/trpt/harp/handbells/strings) 1990
Israel Suite (7 mvts - fl/cl/recorder/horn/trpt/harp/handbells/strings), 1990
KUELAP (fl/cl/recorder/horn/trpt/harp/handbells/strings), 1988
Peruvian Sunrise (fl/cl/recorder/horn/trpt/harp/handbells/strings), 1988
Yom Kippur (Chamber Orchestra), 1973
Adagio for Cors Anglais & Orchestra, 1978
(Commissioned by Michael Byrne & The Queensland Symphony Orchestra/ABC Global Broadcast)
Canto, nella mezza voce (Horn & Orchestra), 1970
Chan Chan, The Creation (Orchestra & Native American Narrator), 2004
Cinco de Mayo Overture (Orchestra), 2003
Concerto for Flute, Pianoforte & Orchestra, “Hannigan,” 2000 (Commissioned by the Northern Nevada Concerto Orchestra Association for premiere, The Ruby Mountain Symphony, Mary and Barry Hannigan.)
Concerto for Flute, Violoncello & Orchestra, 1993 (Commissioned by Patrick & Marie Newman.)
Concerto for Pianoforte & Orchestra, 1969
Concerto for Soprano Saxophone & Orchestra, 1994 (Commissioned by David Ehrke.)
Concerto for Trumpet & Orchestra, 1991 (Commissioned by Mark Lord.)
Concerto for Violin & Orchestra, 1996
Four Dances & Songs of Native America (Orchestra), 2003
Mark Twain Suite (Narrator & Orchestra), 1997 (Commissioned by the Northern Nevada Concert Orchestra Association for premiere, The Ruby Mountain Symphony, with McAvoy Layne as Mark Twain.)
Peruvian Sunrise (various orchestrations since), 1988 (Commissioned by the Andean Explorers Foundation.)
Sagebrush Suite (Narrator & Orchestra), 1994 (Commissioned by the Northern Nevada Concert Orchestra Association for premiere, The Ruby Mountain Symphony, with Sue Wallis, Cowgirl Poet.)
Sections for Oboe & Orchestra, 1969 (Revised 2006)
Symphony No. 1, “The Age of Light,” 2004
Symphony No. 2, “Voyage of the Feathered Serpent,” 2005
SUNDANCER (Orchestra), 2005
Triumphal March, “The Spirit of Exploration,”1988 (Commissioned by the Andean Explorers Foundation.)
Two Navajo Songs (Orchestra), 2004
Development of the English Language, N.C. Department of Education, 1967
Music for “Thieves Carnival” (Anouilh), N.C. Festival Theatre, 1968
Music for “A Taste of Honey” (Delaney), Festival Theatre, 1968 N.C.
Royal Roads To Discovery, (documentary/97 minutes), AEF & OSC, 1993
Secrets from the High Andes of Peru (documentary/30 minutes), AEF&OSC, 1993
Mystery of the Essenes of Old Israel (documentary/30 minutes), AEF&OSC, 1993
MU-SING, synthesized selections, 1998
XIN, “Five Events in the Life of an American Indian” (Trombone, Prepared Pianoforte and Electronic Enhancements), 1978 (Commissioned by EMUsica, Brisbane, Australia.)
Concerto for Tuba, Electronic Tape & Orchestra, 1971 (Commissioned by David Lewis.)
From 1969 through 1975 - numerous scores for dance band, radio & television commercials/productions, studio albums, i.e., with The Burt Massengale Orchestra (some 200 arrangements), Crescent City Sound Studios & Cotillion Orchestra Agency; Greensboro, N.C.; T.S.O.R. (The Sound of Richmond)/Black & White Records, Richmond, Virginia.
“Kemo-Sabe” (for dance band), 1970
“The Jugglers” (jazz nonet), 1976
The History Of Gary Robert Buchanan
GRB was born May 28, 1948 in Morganton, N.C. From an early age he began playing the piano, cornet, composing, and conducting. He attended numerous solo and ensemble competitions and summer music programs, e.g., at Davidson College, East Carolina University, Brevard Music Center - Transylvania, The North Carolina Governor’s School, working as a Student-Teacher of bands, and was among the first students enrolled, on full scholarship, in the newly founded N.C. School of the Arts in 1965 – also being in the first High School and College graduating classes of that institution.
His teachers of trumpet were Saul Caston and Charles Brady. In composition and conducting he studied with Vittorio Giannini, Louis Mennini, Sherwood Shaffer, and Robert Ward. Ward also became his lifelong mentor and colleague. Masterclasses at N.C.S.A. were with the likes of Vladimir Ussachevsky, Yehudi Menuhin, Andres Segovia, Gary Karr, Edward Vito, Ruggiero Ricci, William Schuman, and Aaron Copland.
Also while at N.C.S.A., Buchanan served as a Student-Teacher in Theory & Solfeggio, played Principle Trumpet and was Student-Conductor of the orchestra, while premiering many of his original works for orchestra, smaller ensembles and soloists.
In the interim, he was Principle Trumpet with the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra under Igor Buketoff and Associate Principle with the American Wind Symphony under Robert Austin Boudreau.
For two seasons he was Music Director of the N.C.S.A. Summer Festival Theatre, overseeing a dozen plays and musicals, and during the summers of 1968 and 1969 attended N.C.S.A.’s overseas program at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, where he further served as Principle Trumpet and Student-Conductor, sharing podia in Milan, Rome, Venice, Siena, Verona, Florence, Naples and similar venues, working with conductors Franco Ferrara and Piero Belugi and the North Carolina Philharmonic and La Scala orchestras, while studying Composition with Franco Donatoni and Hans Werner Henze.
In Italy, Buchanan conducted premieres of several new works, including “Fanfara Nottourna,” commissioned by the mayor and citizens of Siena for the annual Palio. The premiere of “Sections for Oboe & Orchestra” took place in Siena, later at the American Academy in Rome, before thousands assembled in the Roman Forum – a work favorably reviewed by Alfred Friendly of the N.Y. Times and broadcast globally on A.B.C. Radio.
Graduate Studies & Commercial Undertakings:
GRB attended the University of North Carolina in Greensboro (1970 – 1972), where he studied Composition and Conducting with Jack Jarrett, Electronic Music with Arthur Hunkins, and served as Student-Conductor of the orchestra while teaching Music Theory as a Graduate Professor.
Music composed and premiered during this period in graduate school include “Canto nella mezza voce” (Horn & Orchestra), “Concerto for Tuba, Orchestra, and Electronic Tape,” numerous electronic creations and “New Music” selections, and Buchanan’s graduate thesis, “McCarthy,” an oratorio for narrator and orchestra.
Following graduation from the University of N.C. with a M.F.A. in Compositions & Conducting, in 1973 Buchanan accepted a teaching position in Richmond, Virginia, where he taught Band, Chorus & Humanities at J. Andrew Bowler Middle School (1973-1975).
In 1975 Buchanan received a teaching fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. He studied Composition with William Bergsma, and completed his doctoral studies and dissertation in nine months. He also played and arranged in the Jazz Lab run by William O. Smith. It was also in 1975 that Buchanan began his studies and research with Cosolargy International in Nevada.
Works from the Seattle period include “Jugglers” for jazz ensemble, “For Beatrice” (flute and bassoon duet), dissertation: the opera “The Inkling,” and “Music for a Wedding.”
A Professor Down Under:
In 1976 Buchanan received a “Crown Appointment” to become a Lecturer in Writing Techniques at the newly instituted Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia.
During 1976 – 1979 he served as Secretary of the Staff Association, co-founded with Howard Davidson the contemporary group, EMUsica (for which he and the now-noted English film composer Davidson composed numerous selections), and became Secretary of the Musicological Society of Australia, presenting before that body upon several occasions. It was at that time Buchanan complied and published his pedagogical text, Wave Front Composition & Analysis, which was presented to members of the Britannica Society and the Musicological Society of Australia at the University of New South Wales. That text became the theory guide used at the Conservatorium and serves as the basis for all Cymatic research accomplished to date by Buchanan.
While in Australia, Buchanan also composed “Song in the Key of Light;” “Sunflower” for String Quartet, “Dream Music,” “Telecon,” “Two Apocryphal Songs” for SATB, a setting of “The Lord’s Prayer,” and “Adagio for Cors Anglais & Orchestra.” The latter was commissioned, premiered, and recorded by Michael Byrne and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Patrick Thomas and broadcast by A.B.C. and B.B.C. Radio.
In 1979 Buchanan located to Reno, Nevada where he has lived ever since – to devote his life to Cosolargy International and its global undertakings.
In 1982 he founded The Music Guild that has become his primary publisher. (see: http://www.communityguilds.org/buchanan.html ). Over the decades the guild has sponsored innumerable commissions, conducting and lecture venues, publications (including books, music, and films), and provides the facilities for studio productions and R & D of Buchanan’s work as a Cymatic specialist in SonatherapyTM (see: www.sonatherapy.com ) - all in collaboration with Steamboat Healing Center. (see: http://steamboatsprings.org/healing_therapies/sound/ ).
In 1988 Buchanan established The Foundation Orchestra in Reno, Nevada. (official orchestra of the Andean Explorers Foundation & Ocean Sailing Club – http://www.aefosc.org ). Since that time he has remained at the helm of this small but internationally praised ensemble, producing over two dozen live performance CDs and DVDs, five documentary film scores, premiering a large number of original scores and arrangements, and guest conducting with ensembles in the U.S. and overseas. In 1989 he performed his own music in Peru at the National Naval Academy for former President Alberto Fujimori, assembled Admiralty, and guests.
The Foundation Orchestra Association and GRB have also sponsored an Annual International Composition Competition, which since 2002 has resulted in the premieres of four modern works by global composers, conducted and recorded by GRB and The Foundation Orchestra. These composers, their works, and Buchanan’s ongoing commitment to this undertaking have been favorably praised around the globe, e.g., by “Artists Without Frontiers” in England, among other media representatives.
Over the years Buchanan has received innumerable commissions, awards, recognitions, fellowships, and is a sought after conductor/composer/podium lecturer for presenting new music, world and ethnic music of ancient and contemporary cultures, and for attracting new listeners to the concert hall. The Foundation Orchestra programs usually embody a myriad of styles, e.g., classical, contemporary, mixed cultural and popular. Soloists and ensembles – from all quarters – are regularly featured with the orchestra under Buchanan’s baton – always with new and special arrangements by GRB. As Music Director of the Foundation Orchestra Association (FOA) Buchanan is also affiliated with the American Symphony Orchestra League, BMI and ASCAP, and is regularly recognized by the Nevada Arts Council/NEA, the Sierra Arts Foundation, the Northern Nevada Concert Orchestra Association, and others for his artistic achievements.
Compositions & Conducting:
A more complete biography on Gary Robert Buchanan, including a select listing of compositions, may be visited online at:
View Complete Biography
Musical publications online are available from J.W. Pepper at:
View Publications Online
Two dozen You Tube videos featuring Buchanan conducting and performing his own music may be viewed at:
Additional You Tube videos by Buchanan and The Music Guild, featuring Cymatic visualizations and music, may be viewed at: