Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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GAYLE H. BARRINGTONGayle H. Barrington, of Austin, Texas, passed away on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at Hospice Austin's Christopher House. Born Greta Gayle Horn in McKinney, Texas, October 15, 1937, she demonstrated early musical talent and began studying piano at age five. By the age of nine, she began studying the harp, which would become her passion and livelihood. She frequently performed locally, and by the time she entered high school, she had begun formal harp training. Gayle spent three summers in Cleveland, Ohio, studying with Alice Chalifoux (principal harpist with the Cleveland Orchestra) and later one summer at Michigan’s Interlochen National Music Camp. After being enrolled for a short time at Baylor University, Gayle began studying with renowned composer and performer Carlos Salzedo at his Harp Colony in Camden, Maine, in 1957.
Salzedo encouraged Gayle to become a member of the Angelaires Harp Quintet with whom she toured with for one year. The Angelaires’ showmanship and technical ability were exceptional, and they were devoted to educating and entertaining the public with Salzedo's harp compositions and his unique performing style. The highlight of Gayle’s tour with the Angelaires was an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
In 1962, Gayle received her B.M.A. at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She subsequently played in several orchestras in Cleveland, including the Cleveland Philharmonic and later the Florida Symphony in Orlando. In 1965, Gayle accepted a teaching position at The University of Texas at Austin and the principal harp position with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Once there, she met fellow University of Texas at Austin music professor, Wayne Barrington, who was also the new principal horn player with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. The two soon married and began an instant family that included the widower Barrington’s three daughters. In due course of time, they added a son and a daughter to their family.
Gayle Barrington performed with the Austin Symphony until 1982 and taught the harp at UT Austin until the end of the spring 2001 semester. By the end of her career, she had achieved the rank of professor. Over the years Gayle had developed an impressive program for the Salzedo Method of harp study at the University. She was responsible for creating the UT. Harp Ensemble, which helped to bring many of the best and brightest harpists to Austin. In 1985, Gayle organized an unprecedented Salzedo Centennial festival and commemorative concert at Bass Concert Hall. The commemorative concert featured seventy-two harpists from around the world performing in what would be the largest collection of harps playing in unison to date.
Gayle Barrington was both brilliant and beautiful and had a wry sense of humor. She had a reputation for hosting parties that were always fun, full of laughter, and her own extraordinary culinary creations. Gayle was also a consummate performer, a demanding teacher, and a surrogate mother to the many people who knew her and studied with her.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Dean P. Neikirk, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Roger E. Myers (chair) and Glenn B. Richter.