As an Orchestral Contemporary Percussionist he has performed with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonic, performing as soloist in Toru Takemitsu’s concerto “From Me Flows What You Call Time”, the Nova Ensemble, the West Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestras, the Dallas Brass, the Doddworth Saxhorn Ensemble, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Canberra Symphony with whom he performed William Kraft’s “Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra”. Gary’s list of recent world premiers include works by Larry Sitsky, Sir Michael Tippet, Sandra France, Roger Smalley, Ross Edwards, Peter Sculthorpe, Robert Cucinotta, Edward Applebaum and Robert Casteels.
As an International Clinician for Yamaha Musical Products, Remo, the Zildjian Cymbal Company and Innovative Percussion Products he has toured presenting master classes, concerts and workshops throughout the U.S.A, Canada, Taiwan, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Brazil and New Zealand, Mexico and most recently Cuba. As a World Music Performer, his own personal research has led him to India, Africa, Brazil, Cuba and South East Asia.
He received his Bachelor of Music degree, Music Education / Performance, in 1979, from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, and his Master of Music degree, Orchestral Performance / Jazz, in 1988 at the University of North Texas. While at UNT Gary became was not only awarded several competitive teaching fellowships but was also selected as the first and only drummer/percussionist, in the sixty-year history of the program, to direct the prestigious Jazz Lab Bands (6 O’Clock and 9 O’Clock bands).
Gary France has done much, through his dedicated teaching performing and entrepreneurial leadership, to significantly raise the profile of percussion playing in Australia. Describing Gary’s 1986 appointment in Australia by eminent Australian musician Richard Gill, in his 2012 book “Give Me Excess of It” “The Musical Tornado Gary France had an almost immediate impact on percussion nationally”