“The Far Edge of Texas” for Governor Dolph Briscoe

By on 1-16-2006 in Event Productions

by Gary Powell
Gary Powell & Rod Caspers at UT Santa Rita Awards
In Governor Dolph Briscoe’s book, Dolph Briscoe: My Life in Texas Ranching and Politics, he tells the story of standing on his land and telling his young children that they were looking across the far edge of Texas. Two weeks before Governor Briscoe’s pubic presentation on February 11, 2009 as the recipient of the University of Texas System’s most prestigious Santa Rita Award, UT Director of Creative Services Rod Caspers called me to engage my services in helping to commemorate the life of Dolph Briscoe.

Rod Caspers and I first worked together in 1990 on a special performance event for the University of Texas’ Littlefield Society. Performing at that event were composers and former UT students Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, who wrote among other Broadway shows, The Fantasticks. At the time I was directing the University of Texas Music Department’s vocal performing group, Ensemble 109 who was asked to perform with Schmidt and Jones at the event. Rod Caspers directed the event and we have been friends and colleagues ever since.

In preparation for Governor Briscoe’s tribute, Rod was able to communicate to me all the most important historical and personal elements of the Governor’s life that would translate well into poetry. As a lifelong Texan myself, I understood the breadth of Governor Briscoe’s influence on our state. As Governor, Dolph Briscoe even appointed my father, Max Powell, to serve Texas as a member of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. I’m proud to have briefly been involved in honoring this Texan and to do it in a manner which holds the best of himself as a father, person and public figure.

Thank you to longtime Austin composer, producer and player Danny Levin for accompanying me on the cello.

Ballet Austin
& Shadow Play Records and Video

“Not Afraid of the Dark”
in Houston, Texas

By on 1-16-2006 in Event Productions

Concept and Music by Joe Scruggs
Choreography by Stephen Mills
Music Arranged & Produced by Gary Powell

Most people remember seminal events in their lives. For me, the phone call from Wink Tyler at Austin Recording Studio to produce a new children’s singer-songwriter Joe Scruggs was it! In fact, Joe Scruggs, his partner Pete Markham and I were all the same age in 1982. Joe and Pete are quite a bit older now however.

The Headliners Club of Austin

Celebrates 50th Anniversary

By on 1-16-2006 in Event Productions

by Gary Powell, Event Producer

Gary Powell Tom Granger Event Photo

Click Photo at Right to Enlarge

Tom Granger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Headliners Club in Austin, Texas, invited me to serve as event producer for the Austin club’s 50th Anniversary Gala held at Renaissance Hotel on January 12, 2006. The Headliners Club has a rich history with members who MAKE history and NOT just Texas history. Over 800 attendees were treated to a “roast” of White House Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, served up by Mark McKinnon, John Sharp, Mary Matalin and Lowell Leberman.

The very clever Ralph Wayne, President and CEO of the Texas Civil Justice League, Ralph Wayne at Podiumwho is sort of like Bob Hope (except for being smarter, more energetic, more likeable and funnier) served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies using his long-gone hairline as adroitly as Hope used his golf club.