Gavin Dougherty – Principal Timpani

Gavin Dougherty is excited to be starting his sixth season as Principal Timpani with the Venice Symphony. Gavin has played with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Gulfshore Opera and is former Principal Timpani of the Punta Gorda Symphony.

Gavin was born and raised in Greenwood, Indiana. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion and Timpani Performance from the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Paul Yancich and Richard Weiner of the Cleveland Orchestra. Prior to attending CIM, he studied with Timothy Adams of the Pittsburgh Symphony as well as Paul Berns and Jack Brennan of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Gavin left his Master’s studies at CIM when he was offered the Timpani Fellow position at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach after an international audition search. There, he performed and collaborated with world-renowned artists Michael Tilson Thomas, Robert Spano, Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma. That is also where he met Hannah Cho. Recognize the name? She is the Associate Concertmaster of The Venice Symphony.

Gavin and Hannah live in Fort Myers and had their hands full this summer with activities (including music lessons of course) for their children Moa and Saenu. “I also took time to study and prepare all the music for the upcoming season,” said Gavin. They don’t rehearse together because Gavin’s timpani stay at the Venice Performing Arts Center. They do commute together during concert weeks, often with other musicians who live in the area. Gavin said he’s found the commute a nice way to get to know his fellow musicians better.

Outside of his career in music, Gavin is a factory sales consultant for Cutco Cutlery, which has been around since 1949.  He says “When I’m not performing on the stage of VPAC, I’m slicing deals on world-class kitchen products.” He also enjoys movies, billiards, food, and of course, spending time with his family.

Gavin is looking forward to the Symphony opener, Tchaik Strikes. “Every single piece in that series is a repertoire jewel for timpani. I’m always excited to perform Glinka and Tchaikovsky, but I’m most excited about Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis because it’s the first time I get to perform it.”

He’s also excited for The Movie Maestro: A Tribute to John Williams in February. “My path into classical music was initially paved by my love of film scores. John Williams loves the timpani and it shows in his writing – there’s a lot of notes and note changes to keep track of. This will be the most technically-demanding series of the season – both of my hands and feet will be very busy, but it’s a labor of love because his music is so rewarding to perform.”

Gavin Dougherty’s Chair in the orchestra is sponsored by David Chivas and Ron Rice.