John A. Gosling

Is your surname Gosling?

Research the Gosling family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

John Alfred Gosling

Death: October 18, 2004 (76)
Immediate Family:

Husband of Margaret Ellen Gosling

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About John A. Gosling

John A. Gosling (May 18, 1928 in Trenton, New Jersey – October 18, 2004 in Savannah, Georgia) was an American trumpeter and conductor of classical music. He studied trumpet (under William Vacchiano) and conducting at the Juilliard School in New York. He served as music director of the Erie Philharmonic from 1967 to 1973, and of the North Carolina Symphony in 1973. He founded the Bear Valley Music Festival in Bear Valley, California in 1968, where he served until 1984 as conductor and music director.


Symphony conductor John A. Gosling, 76, of Savannah, died Monday, October 18, 2004 at Shadowmoss Plantation. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey on May 18, 1928. The son of John Coates Gosling and Clara Neumann Gosling, his father was from Stoke -On -Trent, England, a member of the Anglican Church, and came to America as a young man where he became a citizen of the United States. Maestro Gosling came from a musical family and his cousin, James Chambers, who was a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, held the position of principal French Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra and was later chosen by Leonard Bernstein as principal French Horn of the New York Philharmonic.

Maestro Gosling was a graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City which he attended on an honorary scholarship, studying conducting and the trumpet, which he had played since childhood. His teacher was the esteemed William Vacchiano who was a member of the Juilliard faculty for 67 years, and was Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic for 38 years. For several summers Maestro Gosling was on the Faculty of Transylvania Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina where he taught trumpet and conducted several concerts each season.

Maestro Gosling joined the U. S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C. (the President's Band) in 1950, as Assistant Principal Trumpet, was on the Conducting Staff and spent 10 years performing and conducting for official Government and State functions for visiting dignitaries at the White House. During that time he received his Doctor's Degree at the Catholic University of America in D.C. where he became a member of the Faculty, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orchestra and Chorus and taught conducting. He was a member of the American Symphony Oorchestra League and was chosen to participate in their Conducting Workshops under the direction of Dr. Richard Lert, who before he came to America, was Director of the Berlin Conservatory of Music and protégé of the legendary Conductor Bruno Walter.

Maestro Gosling participated in these workshops, studying with Dr. Lert, for several years on both East and West Coast and assisted Dr. Lert in several rehearsals and concerts in orchestral and choral music. In 1960, he was chosen as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Monterey County Symphony Orchestra on the Monterey Peninsular in Carmel, California. There he founded and conducted the 100 voice Monterey Peninsular Chorus in major orchestral and choral works often performed in the historic Carmel Mission. He also founded and directed the Monterey Youth Orchestra of 50 students. He was also on the Music Faculty of the Monterey Peninsula College.

In 1962 he was chosen as one of only five young American Conductors to take part in the International Conductor's Competition in England under the direction of Conductor Sir Adrian Boult. In 1967 he was chosen as Conductor and Artistic Director of the Erie, Philharmonic, in Eric, Pennsylvania, where he was also Conductor and Artistic Director of the Erie Philharmonic Chorus and Conductor and Artistic Director for the 75 member Youth Orchestra. He was also on the Music Faculty of Gannon College and Penn State University (Behrand Campus) as Instructor of Music Appreciation and Conducting.

In 1972, Maestro Gosling was chosen as Conductor and Artistic Director of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure he led the Orchestra to national prominence and major orchestra status. His debut at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra and the Duke University Chorus was bailed as "A triumph" (Raymond Ericson, The New York Times). He also conducted the Orchestra and the University of North Carolina Chorus in concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and in Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Illinois. The North Carolina Symphony is a State supported Orchestra with performances throughout the State.

Maestro Gosling was responsible for Lectures, Classes, Educational Programs and over 200 Concerts throughout the State each year. Maestro Gosling was also Founder, Conductor and Artistic Director of the "Music From Bear Valley" Festival held each August in the High Sierra of California. This unique Festival brought together Orchestra, Chamber Music, Opera, Educational Programs, Lectures, classes, and guest artists from around the world. The Festival was televised nationally and featured on the NBC "Today Show". He had numerous world premieres to his credit including "Suite for Toy Piano and Orchestra by John Cage and he commissioned a work by the celebrated composer Ned Rorem, "Assembly and Fall", which he conducted at Carnegie Hall.

His opera performances included the world-premiere of "The Decorator" by Russell Woolen in Washington, D.C. and performed on NBC Television. Maestro Gosling spent three summers at the famed Music from Marlboro Festival in Vermont directed by the legendary cellist Pablo Casals. In addition he was the recipient of numerous awards and honors and received a Rockefeller Foundation Grant from the American National Theatre Academy for advanced conducting studies abroad. He was awarded the "Governor's Award" by the Governor of North Carolina, the most distinguished award in that State and presented for excellence in the Arts and outstanding contribution to the State.

On September 29, 1997 he was one of 500 dignitaries invited to the White House by President and Mrs. Clinton for the occasion of the presentation of the National Medal of Arts and Humanities. He guest-conducted major Orchestras through-out the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, England and Scandinavia. He was a resident Guest-Lecturer at the Vienna Conservatory and appeared at the Vienna Festival with Conductor Joseph Krips. He conducted the Paris Radio Orchestra and toured France and Italy. He was Guest Conductor and Lecturer at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y., and many other Music Schools and Universities . Maestro Gosling was appointed to the Board of Directors of the North Carolina School of the Arts, in Winston Salem, N.C. and was a member of the Board of Directors, Conductor's Guild of the American Symphony Orchestra League, Washington, D.C. Maestro Gosling made several guest appearances with the Savannah Symphony through the years.

After moving to Savannah in 1982 with his wife, who is a native Savannahian, he was named Principal Guest Conductor and performed over 50 concerts, children's concerts and numerous Pre-concert Lectures. In addition, he was appointed as Conductor /Artistic Director of the Hilton Head Orchestra and also the Conductor/ Artistic Director of the Hilton Head Choral Society. Survivors: his wife, Margaret Ellen Register Gosling of Savannah and one daughter, Susan Jeanne Gosling of Santa Barbara, California. Funeral Service: 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 26, 2004, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 1 West Macon Street, Savannah, GA. Burial: Bonaventure Cemetery Reme mbrances: The St. John's Choir fund, St. John's Episcopal Church, 1 West Macon Street, Savannah, GA 31401.

Savannah Morning News, October 25 2004 Please sign our Obituary Guestbook at

view all

John A. Gosling's Timeline

May 18, 1928
October 18, 2004
Age 76