Dr. Gardner’s teaching activities include courses in music history, applied violin, aesthetics and sociology of music, music education, film music, and orchestral conducting (in particular, opera). He works with university students from general education through doctoral studies. His research and creative activities include studies in the aesthetics of music, the scholarship of music in higher education, and personal musical performance. As a violinist Dr. Gardner has performed standard concertos and chamber music, including works by Mozart, Dohnányi, Bach, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Sarasate, Bartók, and Bernstein. He has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, Fort Worth Opera Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Wilmington (NC) Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Conway Civic Orchestra, Houston's Orchestra X, Ebony Opera (Houston), Texas Music Festival, and the Ft. Bend (TX) Symphony. In addition, he has served as a member (and at times as concertmaster) of ensembles accompanying a wide variety of visiting artists, ranging from the West Point Chorale to the Moody Blues. As a conductor he has worked with university, civic, and school orchestras in North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, and Virginia.
He is from Oklahoma where he completed an undergraduate degree in violin performance (BMus) at Oklahoma City University. He became a member of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and did graduate work at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MMus and DMA) with additional study at the University of North Texas (in Violin Performance and Pedagogy). His doctoral work is in Music History with his dissertation in Musical Aesthetics.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Utah as Director of the School of Music, Dr. Gardner was at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia (suburban Washington, DC). He was instrumental in helping guide that program through positive changes including dramatic enrollment growth, artistic expansion, new doctoral degrees, several new buildings, and significantly engaging the community in both concert attendance and financial contributions. His other primary administrative experience is as Associate Director of the Moores School of Music of the University of Houston.
Other academic positions include appointments at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the University of Central Arkansas, and Sam Houston State University. Fall 2015 begins his 36th year as a full-time university faculty member.