has been active in New England filking for over 10 years.
Gary has run filk programming for Boskone for several years, building a fine tradition of concerts, filk guests, and lively open filk. He chaired the very successful ConCertino 1999, which ran with amazing efficiency; moreover his committee found him a pleasure to work with. He has been a mainstay of the northeastern filk club MASSFILC since its inception. In September 2001, he gave up his longtime tenure as clerk of MASSFILC, and was elected its president. He is also massfilc.org’s webmaster.
He has become a legend in producing filk songbooks. His willingness and talent for turning submissions made on tape into sheet music has made available the tunes of many original filk songs that have never been released as commercial recordings. His many releases include the second edition of the NESFA Hymnal Volume 2, the Pegasus Winners Volume 1, and several Worldcon songbooks. He has prepared and published most of the combination program guides and songbooks that have become a feature of the Northeast filk con. He has released an album, “Shrink Wrap Blues”, and a songbook of his own filk songs, “The Mad Scientist’s Songbook.”
Gary is a talented and prolific songwriter of both original songs and parodies and has contributed many songs to other people’s songbooks. His humorous songs, such as “The Mad Scientist’s Love Song” and “Axe of Destruction” have reduced us to helpless laughter, while his more serious ones have left us pensive. He was a member of the filk choir Critical Mass and performs both alone and as a member of several groups, including his current group, “Odd Numbers”. Gary sings and plays keyboard beautifully, performs frequently in concerts at cons, and is willing to accompany anyone. He also does multi-part arrangements of his own and others’ filk songs.
Gary has been a passionate advocate of filk and has helped to build a solid network of cooperation and goodwill between MASSFILC and other groups. In particular, he has been influential in maintaining cooperative exchange of services between MASSFILC and NESFA. Before Gary went to FilkContinental, he learned conversational German. He has since maintained an active presence on the German filk group online, and has even written filksongs in German, for the delight of overseas fans. He has tactfully and unofficially moderated filk circles when needed, is consistently welcoming and encouraging to newer and quieter members, and has taken turns hosting filksings in his home.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Gary McGath is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-seventh day of March, two thousand and four.
Photo credit: Debbie Ohi