joy through song
Andrew Gainey contributed richly to the musical life of Birmingham-
Southern and beyond. Often recognized by his wavy hair, he was known
For his outstanding gifts of musical comedy, oratorios, and teaching.
As professor of music from 1955-89, Gainey taught voice, opera, and musical
comedy. During Interims, he would take his students to cities like
And enthusiastic about singing. Professor Gainey truly helped me to develop
my talent remarks Jan Johnson Moorad 84 of
gave me the confidence to perform on stage and a desire to sing before an
audience. Many of Gaineys former students are in successful performing
A native of
marrying and graduating from the
interrupted by World War II and his enlistment in the military. As destiny
Would have it, he was assigned to
and U.S.Army Air Corps Music Officer Hugh Thomas. Gainey entertained
night after night with Thomas, and the two became friends.
After brief military service, Gainey studied voice in
as he performed on Broadway and on tour throughout the United
States and Canada, in symphony orchestras of major American cities, and
with the NBC Television Opera Company.
Thomas eventually convinced Gainey to
give up his lifestyle and settle down to
raise his family. Gainey shifted his career from
performing on stage to mostly voice instruction, following
Thomas to BSC. He became music minister at South Highland
Presbyterian Church and later earned a masters degree from
occasionally, including with the
was inducted into the colleges Music Gallery of Honor in
spring 2000 and died in August of that year.
Gaineys notable words might have described him best:
singing is like the cream on top of the cake, and its a little bit
like I live in the cream rather than down in the nitty-gritty that
the world has to deal with every day.
Article property of Southern Features, used with permission