Doug Gately

Doug Gately’s fingers glide over the keys of the baby grand crammed into a corner of his Pollard Hall office. After years of training, UMW’s director of jazz studies makes playing music seem simple. But there’s nothing easy about juggling a saxophone, two clarinets, and three flutes, like he did when he played with Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable tour. At such high-caliber events, Gately has to be flawless, but in the classroom, he asks students to be persistent, not perfect. He had to work hard, too, practicing as many as seven hours a day at Berklee College of Music, where he studied classical music under the late master woodwind player Joe Viola. Berklee has produced more than 200 Grammy Award winners, among them Branford Marsalis, Bruce Hornsby, and Diana Krall. “They were blowing up a storm,” the New York native said of the students who came from across the globe to the esteemed Boston college. “I’m just a kid from a rural high school.” He caught up quickly, though, and a … [Read more...]