Department Coordinator, Science
Gary Mattison is department coordinator for the Science department, overseeing budgets and contracts, coordinating staff support, and working with administration and other areas of the Getty Trust on operations and related issues.
Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Gary has lived a life greatly centered around the arts. At six, he began piano lessons, and by high school, he was serving as the musical director and pianist for musicals at local high schools. At St. John's University in Minnesota, he majored in piano and then earned a master's degree in piano performance from Wichita State University. Although interested in film scoring and drawn to California, he returned to St. Paul and spent seven years as the cofounder and director of the St. Paul Piano Conservatory, performing, teaching music, and writing published pieces for piano.
He moved to California in 1986, going to work at South Coast Repertory in Orange County, working his way up to annual fund manager. In 1990, he was hired as development director for the Orange County Philharmonic Society. He then moved to Los Angeles in 1994, where he worked briefly as director of development for an AIDS organization before being hired as the office manager for Disney Television Legal, coordinating the handling of contracts for Disney TV shows and placating attorneys' egos.
In 1996 he was hired as the administrative manager for a large shopping mall. At the same time, he joined the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles; in addition to singing, he was elected to the board, organized fund-raising events that helped fund a tour of Russia, and served as editor for the Chorus's nationally recognized newsletter, Choruspondence. Four years later, he assumed the presidency of the West Hollywood Orchestra, established a board of directors, hired a musical director and staff, and created marketing and fund-raising strategies—all while working full-time at other jobs.
Gary started at the GCI in 1998. He enjoys his work immensely, both because of the engaging character of his colleagues and because of the continuous learning curve the job provides. He also appreciates the wide variety of projects and the opportunity to meet conservation professionals from around the world.
As for music, Gary continues to perform solo piano recitals and compose—of late, mostly songs for friends to use as audition pieces. He's now writing a musical theater show about the rise and fall of televangelism.