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A prominent member of the Portland choral community, Gary Shannon graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Education with highest honors in 1979, having written two musicals and an opera as an undergraduate.  Immediately moving to Portland Oregon, he began serving as musical director for “Unicorn Theatre”, “The Musical Company” and “Cabaret Magnifique”.  Later, he became music director and arranger for The Dickens Carolers, then guest director and arranger for The Oregon Repertory Singers in 1992, and then vocalist and counter-tenor soloist with the internationally recognized “Choral Cross-Ties”.  In 1992, Mr. Shannon became the Grand Prize Winner in the Portland Yamaha Organ Competition.  Local churches have regularly secured his services as a vocalist, keyboard artist and professional chorister, including All Saints Episcopal Church, Unity Church of Portland, Sunnyside Seventh Day Adventist Church, First Methodist Church of Portland, St. Mark’s Anglican Church, and the Portland Church of Scientology.

An accomplished actor, Gary has won numerous awards.  He holds the second highest score ever awarded by the Association of Community Theaters to an actor in any performance (the first prize award in 1982) for his “Judas” in “Jesus Christ Superstar”.  (Later, Henry Fonda’s portrayal in “On Golden Pond” scored one point higher.)  Gary’s favorite roles include “Archy” in “Archy and Mehitabel”, “MC” in “Cabaret” and “Count Orlofsky” (as a counter tenor) in Straus’s “Die Fledermaus.”

Mr. Shannon’s was recruited for tenor solos for Oregon Symphony Orchestra’s concert version of Bernstein’s “Mass” then again for Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”, and “Chichester Psalms”.  These solos were reprised and expanded for the Cascade Music Festival to include concert excerpts of “West Side Story” and “Chichester Psalms.”  His current repertoire includes tenor and counter-tenor solos from Bach’s “Wachet Auf”, Handel’s “Messiah”, Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise”, Gluck’s “Orfeo” and P.D.Q. Bach’s (Peter Schickle, ed.) “Bargain-Counter Tenor” in “Iphigenia in Brooklyn”.  A a learning project, Mr. Shannon is uploading versions of theses songs and more to AcidPlanet.com

Currently Mr. Shannon is contracted as the tenor section leader for the Portland Symphonic Choir, the music director for The Rose City Timberlines Men’s Chorus and in 2007, the music director, organist, pianist and soloist for St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church.  He lives in the Lents neighborhood in beautiful Portland, Oregon with his wife and two children.

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