Gary Bird

The University has received word of the death of Gary Bird, assistant professor of music, who died Sept. 12 in Courbevoie, France. He was 49.

Bird came to the U-M in 1994 from East Carolina University where he headed a degree program in musical theater in 1991–94. He also taught at Utah State and Brigham Young universities, and conducted workshops in voice, movement and musical theater acting styles throughout the United States.

“It is with profound shock and sorrow that we have learned of the death of Professor Bird,” said Karen Wolff, dean of the School of Music. “He has been a valuable member of the Department of Musical Theatre since 1994. He is well known as a director and teacher of musical theater throughout the United States. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and many friends.”

Bird directed more than 60 plays and musicals in academic, community and professional settings. Most recently he directed an off-Broadway production of The Robber Bridegroom for the Manhattan Theater Ensemble. He also directed for Little Theater on the Square, the Utah Musical Theater, the Old Lyric Company and the Louisiana Music Theater.

U-M theatergoers will remember his creative productions of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and last season’s A Little Night Music, among others. Bird belonged to a number of professional organizations and counted among his publications Performing in the Musical Theatre—A Holistic Approach.

“We were saddened by the untimely death of Professor Bird, a talented and respected member of our faculty,” said Provost Nancy Cantor. “His loss will be greatly felt by the musical theatre department and the arts community. The University extends its sincerest condolences to his family and his colleagues.”

From News and Information Services


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