Who We Are
The Gainesville Pops! is a performing wind ensemble comprised of professional musicians, music educators, and serious hobbyists, all from the Gainesville area. GPops! was formed in 2008. All concerts are presented free of charge.
The Gainesville Pops! is an invitation-only ensemble that performs for musician and audience enjoyment. Individuals are invited because they share the same attitudes of other GPops! musicians.
Members Expectations, Responsibilities, and Guidelines reflect the quality and commitment that those invited would bring with them.
This group was conceived to provide an enhanced opportunity for musicians to perform and entertain at a high musical level. This ensemble works together to promote musical excellence and enhance the overall entertainment value of the group, and to ensure a professional presence and presentation of the music.
Gainesville Pops! expenses are for music, rehearsal space, printed media, and large percussion equipment. Concert venue costs are either free of charge or have been donated. Each member provides their own instruments and black music stand for concerts. The rehearsal facility covers the cost of space and percussion equipment.
GPops! members donate their time, talent, and pay annual dues. The group does not purchase any instruments or equipment with member funds. Every musician contributes in their own way and we are grateful for each one.
Even though GPops! is not a non-profit organization, we appreciate our sponsors and supporters.
Gainesville Pops! holds membership with the Association of Concert Bands.
R. Gary Langford
R. Gary Langford is Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He came to the University of Florida in 1971 as Assistant Director of Bands and Professor of Trumpet. He received the Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA., and the Master of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of North Texas where he was a member and soloist with the famed One O’Clock (Jazz) Lab Band. He also was principal trumpet in the UNT Orchestra and performed extensively with the UNT Brass Quintet.
His responsibilities at the University of Florida have included Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Marching Band, teaching in the areas of music history and music theory, and also served as the Assistant Director of the School of Music until his retirement in 2007. In 1996, having completed 25 years with the UF Marching Band, the “Pride of the Sunshine”, the last 10 as its director, he “retired” from that position to devote more time to administration and the jazz program.
Mr. Langford is an accomplished arranger with over 400 arrangements for marching band tailored for the “Pride of Sunshine” and the Swamp at Florida Field. His published compositions have appeared in the catalogues of Hansen Music, C. L. Barnhouse, Carl Fischer and Columbia Pictures. He has held offices in the International Association of Jazz Educators, Florida Unit, and was selected by that organization as the 1982-1983 Outstanding Jazz
Educator. He has been honored three times by the University of Florida as the Teacher of the Year from the College of Fine Arts, is a recipient of a TIP Award for excellence in teaching and has twice been a finalist for the prestigious UF Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award.
In 1997 he was honored as the Musician of the Year by the Foundation For The Promotion of Music and was selected as the 1998 College Music Educator of the Year for the state of Florida by the Florida Music Educators Association. He has been recognized as an “Outstanding Educator of America”, been selected for “Who’s Who in the South” and in 1999 was awarded the prestigious “Distinguished Service to Music Medal” by Kappa Kappa Psi, the national band fraternity and in 2006 was selected as the Co-Teacher of the Year for the University of Florida.Â In 2012 he was named a “Jazz Hero” by the Jazz Journalists Association as someone who is an “activist, advocate, altruist, aider, and abettor of jazz who has had a significant impact on his or her local community”.Â Most recently he was inducted into the Florida Bandmasters Association Roll of Distinction, the most prestigious award from that association.
Mr. Langford is an active adjudicator/clinician and has directed numerous county, district and all-state bands including the Florida All-State Jazz Band, the Florida All-State Jr. HS Concert Band and the Florida All-State Community College Jazz Band. He is also the Music Director and Conductor of the Alachua County Youth Orchestra, a position he has held for over 25 years. The orchestra has been a featured performer at the Florida Music Educators Convention and at the 2002 Music Educators National Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Pi Kappa Lambda, the Jazz Educators Network, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and the Florida Music Educators Association. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Santa Fe College teaching the brass studio and Music Appreciation.