Professor of Music
Born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and raised in the South, Dr. Nancy Gamso joined the OWU faculty in 1991. Over the course of her tenure she taught applied woodwinds and other woodwind-related courses, music appreciation, Western music history, and jazz history. She remained a triple-threat teacher and performer on the flute, saxophone, and her principal instrument, the clarinet. Her early dedication to teaching earned her early promotion to both associate and full professor, as well as the Shankland Award for Encouragement of Teachers in 2002.
Nancy earned a B.S.M.E. from the University of Alabama, an M.M. in Multiple Winds Performance from Florida State University, and a D.M.A. in Woodwinds Performance from the University of North Texas.
An active performer, Nancy is principal clarinetist of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra and founding member of Rococoa Wind Quintet and Tour d’Anches Reed Trio. Nancy has served on faculty with Chamber Music Connection (Columbus’ premiere chamber music program for students from elementary through adults) and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
Nancy performs regularly as an orchestra musician and is a d’Addario Artist. She has performed at the Sarasota Music Festival and the Lancaster Festival, and she is an associate musician with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra; ProMusica Chamber Orchestra; the Newark-Granville, Central Ohio, and Ohio Valley Symphony Orchestras; and the Southern Ohio Light Opera. She also has been a featured soloist with the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra and has made appearances in the Sarasota Music Festival and the Lancaster Festival. Proficient on all woodwind instruments, she has performed with the Broadway series in Columbus, Cleveland, and Akron for the New York tours of many shows, including The Wizard of Oz, Victor/Victoria, Titanic, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Nancy’s dedication to teaching also extends beyond the classroom and campus. Her website features recordings of flute and clarinet trios and quartets with literature and composer information, practice suggestions, and teaching videos. In collaboration with Dr. Tracy Cowden (former OWU faculty), she released a CD recording, With Blackwood and Silver, in which modern literature for winds (clarinet and flute) and piano explores novel sources of inspiration (jazz, social dance, and folk music).
Nancy contributed significantly to the University through her service on several committees, including the Faculty Personnel Committee, Committee Women and Gender, Teaching and Assessment Committee (as well as the former Committee on Teaching, Learning, and Cross-Cultural Programming). She has also served as chair of the Music Department and, informally, an advisor to junior music faculty.
Even after a decade and a half of teaching Nancy demonstrated her ongoing love of learning. Following Hurricane Katrina, and spurred by a chance musical encounter, she began researching the American musical traditions of the blues, Cajun music, and early jazz. In particular, she spent a good deal of time learning about the rich culture of the Mississippi Delta, which led to the richly experiential courses “Community Music Engagement” and “Music on the Mississippi”.
Nancy leaves a 30-year legacy of service to OWU. She will be missed by her colleagues and appreciated by those who worked with and learned from her. Nancy never seems to take herself seriously—but she always takes her work and other people seriously, especially her students. She will be missed and appreciated for her warm personality, humble character, and her generous spirit.