Gail Barber served as Professor of Harp and Music Theory at Texas Tech University from 1966 to 2015 and attracted outstanding students from all over the world. She also played concerts both locally and internationally and composed music for the harp. Performance highlights include the World Harp Congresses in Vienna, Jerusalem, and Maastricht as well as the Opening Recital of the American Harp Society National Conference in 1990. During 2000 and 2001 she presented recitals and workshops on the French Riviera for two international integrative medical conferences. She was the Principal Harpist with both the Lubbock and Roswell, NM Symphony Orchestras for many years.
Gail's music compositions were written for all levels of harp students. Windmill Sketches was written for beginner – intermediate level students and was inspired by the windmills she saw around Lubbock, Texas as well as on trips throughout the southwestern United States. She also composed a jazz suite and ensembles for the harp which were performed by her students and harpists all over the world. Her composition Turkish Fantasy was inspired by several trips to Istanbul, Turkey. She premiered Turkish Fantasy at the Istanbul Music Festival in 1985 where the audience refused to let her leave until she had repeated the performance on stage. She was immediately engaged to perform the recital on Turkish network television the following day.
Gail served on the Board of Directors for the American Harp Society twice - from 1970-1976 and from 1980-1984 - as well as in other positions at the local and regional level. She was Conference Chair for the AHS National Conference held in Lubbock in 1970. Gail served as Editor of the American Harp Journal from 1971-1979.
Gail was known for her passion in whatever she did. Aside from her passion for the harp, her students, and Texas Tech, she also loved providing music for holistic healthcare. She made several CDs and performed several concerts aimed at the use of music for healing. She also loved organic gardening. She had a son (recently deceased) and a daughter as well as two grandsons.
The bulk of Gail's music collection has been donated to the American Harp Society's Archives, housed in the International Harp Archives at the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. Texas Tech will also retain some of it. Her compositions will continue to be published by Vanderbilt Music.
Memorial donations in Gail Barber’s name may be made to the American Harp Society in Dallas, Attention: Gail Barber Scholarship Competition Fund, 8727 Lacrosse Drive, Dallas, TX 75231 or online at www.dallasharpsociety.org. Memorial donations for the support of Texas Tech University harp students and harp scholarships may be made to the Texas Tech School of Music, Attention: Rachel Mazzucco, 2624 18th Street, Box 42033, Lubbock TX 79409.