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 Paris or

New York to share his love of opera. He was described as generous, caring,

And enthusiastic about singing. Professor Gainey truly helped me to develop

my talent remarks Jan Johnson Moorad 84 of Newport Beach, Calif.  He

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

Careers today.

A native of Mississippi, Gainey began performing on radio and stage after

marrying and graduating from the University of Denver. His career was

interrupted by World War II and his enlistment in the military. As destiny

Would have it, he was assigned to San Antonio, where he met BSC professor

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 Philadelphia before

joining the New York City Opera as its leading baritone. His career blossomed

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

the University of Texas. He continued to travel and perform

occasionally, including with the Birmingham Civic Opera. He

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.


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