PARKES has hit the international music stage, with the born-and-bred Gary McPherson receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Lund University, Sweden last month.
The Honorary Doctorate (Artium Doctorem Honoris Causa) from the university, that was founded 1666, was based on Mr McPherson's international reputation as a leading researcher and music educator.
He is is regarded as a great inspirer with a long and multidisciplinary international career.
Mr McPherson, the son of George and Lorna McPherson (now deceased) of Close Street, Parkes, is a fourth-generation resident and spent all of his youth growing up in Parkes before leaving high school in 1972.
While at school, Mr McPherson played in the Parkes Town Band and won various regional, state and national awards on the soprano cornet - and this is where his love for music began.
He went on to study and gain academic qualifications from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Indiana University, Trinity College (London) and the University of Sydney.
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Gary performed professionally on the trumpet for many years and has had a long, illustrious career as an academic; with well over 250 publications including 12 edited or authored books for Oxford University Press.
He has also held professorial positions at major universities in Australia, Hong Kong and the United States, and during the last 12 years has served as the Ormond Chair of Music at the University of Melbourne, where he served for 10 years as the Director of the Conservatorium.
The formal ceremony was conducted via livestream on Friday May 15, and took place in the Lund Cathedral (which was built in 1145).
Lund University is one of the oldest and most prestigious research-intensive universities in Europe and honorary doctorates have only ever been awarded to musicians on two previously occasions: in 2010 to Beatles producer George Martin and in 2015 to Nina Stemme, a Swedish dramatic soprano.
During the ceremony Gary was bestowed with the insignia: a hat, gold ring and diploma.
The doctor's hat symbolises freedom and power and is covered with black, pleated fabric.
The ring is made of gold and symbolises loyalty to science.
The diploma (in Latin) is the written confirmation of the rights awarded to honorary doctors.
Gary has been married to his wife Roslyn for 45 years, having met and married her while an undergraduate student at the Sydney Conservatorium.
Together they have two sons, Glen who lives in Sydney, and Darren who lives in New York.
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