Gary Hayes


Born and raised in southern Ontario, Gary grew up in a musical family, with all but his youngest brother playing music.  A violin student. he went on to study music at the University of Toronto, gaining a Bachelor of Music degree in composition. His musical experience included his classical studies, playing drums in a popular high school rock band, performing as a singer/songwriter at local Toronto clubs, and composing works for a variety of ensembles from solo to orchestral works.  Following his graduation, he wrote numerous pieces, mainly on commission, and had his music performed and broadcast across Canada, the USA and Europe.


In 1975, he joined the staff at CBC Radio as a music producer, where he was responsible for producing concerts, recordings and programs on classical music in Ottawa for local, regional and national release.  He produced and eventually hosted local and network music programs, as well as becoming involved in a number of musical and arts organizations in the national’s capital.  He was a founding member of three new music organizations, and on the boards of several community and arts organizations.  In addition to these, Gary has been on the Boards of the Mariposa Folk Festival, the National Radio Producers Association, and President of two youth sporting organizations.


After 30 years with CBC, he retired and took on the development of a small recording company and label, CanSona Arts Media.  He has produced and engineered numerous concerts, CDs and videos, and continues to take on projects in those areas.  As well, he returned to performing on violin, joining two Ottawa community orchestras, and beginning in 2011 learned viola which has become his main instrument.  In 2014, he and his wife moved to Cape Coral, and he joined the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, which has been a terrific addition to his musical journey.  The incredibly busy schedule of the orchestra and range of the repertoire has been a welcome challenge.  In addition, through GCSO, he has become very active playing chamber music, both for fun and occasionally in public performance. He joined the GCSO Board of Directors this year, and is currently chairing the committee of Community Image.

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