Meet Our Gala Hosts: Gary Bridges

Wynnefield Branch Board Member Gary Bridges

Our 113th Anniversary Virtual Gala, presented by Tompkins VIST Bank, is right around the corner, airing online on May 20! While we get ready for the big night, allow us to introduce one of the evening’s hosts: longtime Wynnefield Branch Board member and alumni parent, Gary Bridges.

Though this year’s gala celebration is online, Gary will be joining us live from our Mary Louise Curtis Branch to guide us through our special performances and stories of what makes Settlement such a unique creative community. No stranger to broadcasting, Gary has worked with ABC, CBS, and NBC; he’s been a reporter on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition; done political commentary for the Marketplace Morning Report; written and narrated an award-winning documentary, The Glory Days of New York Baseball; and, for Rolling Stone Magazine, hosted a weekly music history series in worldwide syndication called The Continuous History of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Years ago, in search of musical guidance for a four-year-old son, Adrian, who seemed to turn everything in sight into a drum, Gary and his wife, Deb, found Settlement. Their Settlement journey started with Children’s Music Workshop classes with Martha Glaze-Zook at our Germantown Branch and followed the family right up until college, when Adrian entered New York University’s Jazz Program. Gary remembers Settlement as “the place that immediately ‘got’ our kid, and not only recognized something in him, but knew the path he wanted to explore and helped to welcome him into that world.”

To this day, Adrian is still on that musical path that started right here at Settlement, working in sound design and writing music for theater in New York City. Even after his son moved on to college, graduate school, and a professional career, Gary remained an active part of our Settlement community, joining our Wynnefield Branch Board and eventually serving as its President then Treasurer. He is also the recipient of Settlement Music School’s 2015 Founders Award.

Why spend all this time volunteering his time for Settlement’s Gala, Settlement 100, Communications, and Strategic Planning Committees even after his son had graduated? “Because I know we’ve got something special that EVERY kid could use.”

Don’t miss our 113th Anniversary Virtual Gala stream at 7 p.m. ET on May 20 on YouTubeFacebook, or Comcast X1!