Gary studied with one of the Northwest's premiere accordionists, Joe Spano. Gary won numerous awards in his early years as a performer. His tenure as a professional accordion instructor started during 1960 at Joe Spano Studios where he continued to teach until 1974. His instructional books and song books, published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. contain critical fundamentals for playing the accordion that had never by previously addressed in print. Gary's professional music career, lasting over six decades, resulted in an impressive body of work including hundreds of individual arrangements and several collections.