Born in a small town on the Canadian prairies last millenium, Gery Weisschadel has always had an affinity for music. He comes by it honestly as, according to his maternal grandmother, his great grandfather from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, had his own string orchestra for which he composed.
Some of Gery's earliest memories about music go back to his kindergarten days. Class was held in the renovated attic of the teachers house. About once a month, she would invite her students downstairs and play classical music on her record player. At these times, Gery would maneuver himself as close to the speaker as possible... the better to hear the music.
Gifted with a clear singing voice, Gery loved the music components of school in the primary years and would participate with relish. In grade four, Gery took up the violin, but, alas, balked at practicing. Despite his reluctance to practice with any regularity, he was chosen to participate in a musical duo at the students' concert. Later, in junior high school, Gery took up the clarinet in band class. Unfortunately, Gery got into arguments with the band director over music selections. The intervention of the assistant director, who felt Gery was too good, prevented Gery from being kicked out of the class. He eventually quit anyway.
At 12, Gery first began to realize that, besides picking out tunes by ear on his grandmother's piano, he could create his own. His family determined that he was musically gifted and he begin formal piano lessons. Once again, Gery chafed at the regime: can we say undisciplined? Having discovered his ability to compose, he didn't want to play other people's music; he wanted to focus on his own. Practicing invariably lead to improvising and composing. He went through a series of instructors and, though they recognized his skill and ability (one had him taking grades one through five concurrently), he wasn't sufficiently inspired by any of them to take practicing seriously. In later years, Gery was heard to comment that, if his teachers had taken his writing a little more seriously and told him that the practice would help with his composing while encouraging him to continue to write, things might have turned out differently. The upshot of all of this is that Gery's musical education was haphazard at best.
Things didn't begin to gel until his 16th year when his mother asked if he'd like her to pick anything up while she was on a trip to the US. He requested the record album Switched on Bach and, from the first track, Gery was hooked. While his peers were listening to Deep Purple, Lead Zeppelin, the Doors, etc., Gery was grooving to Bach, Beethoven, and Handel among others. What also caught his attention was that this music, performed on a synthesizer, was created by basically one person. He loved the sounds of the synthesizer, he loved the music, and he loved the idea that an orchestra wasn't needed. Gery came to believe that music was his calling and took his composing more seriously. Within the next couple of years, he entered the local Rotary Music Festival and won first place in composition. He also entered the local music teachers' festival in composition and took first place two years running.
Deciding to enlarge his musical horizons, in his early twenties, Gery joined a prog rock band working on original material. Coming from a self-taught classical background, he saw this as a wonderful learning experience. He could hone his rock chops as he went along. This was a very enjoyable time for Gery. He liked the collaborative approach the band members took, with ideas sparking off one another in numerous jam sessions. From these sessions, song material took shape and form. Gery also keenly appreciated the positive comments his bandmates offered. He was all too aware of his shortcomings due to his lack of formal training and their support went a long way in bolstering his confidence.
During its history, the group became a copy band, but, after one gig at the local college, they decided to re-focus on their own material. Towards the end of his tenure with the band, their music was beginning to lean towards jazz fusion. After five enjoyable years, it was over. One of the band members called it quits and the band folded.
After the band shut down, Gery continued to write and compose and, upon lending a tape of his material to the Head of the Music Conservatory at the local college, was encouraged to consider a career writing music for movies and TV. Before long, he was working with a woman who had a local marketing company. His job was to provide music beds, in various genres as needed, for ad copy. Gery was also playing piano regularly in church during this time (something he continues to do to this day), providing music for the services, supplying original music for special occasions, such as Christmas and Easter concerts, and composing processionals and recessionals for the weddings of friends.
Seriously considering formal education in the field, he requested information from various universities and colleges. Only one bothered to answer, Berklee College of Music in Boston. He went so far as to participate in one of Berklee's scholarship tours, qualifying for a place in the auditions with a demo tape he'd sent them. Traveling to Los Angeles for the audition, the Chair of the Film Scoring faculty was to later tell him that, based on the comments from the audition and a follow-up demo tape he'd sent along, he'd have no problem getting in. Unfortunately, his choice to audition as a writer and not a performer had kiboshed any scholarship hopes due to a technicality. Interestingly enough though, the Chair later sent some of his music to Gery and asked Gery's opinion on it. It was also at this time that Gery was told that his music had a 'European feel and style' to it. Lacking the funds to attend, Gery disappointedly cast his eyes elsewhere.
'Elsewhere' turned out to be the West Coast and, in 1997, Gery moved his family of five and three cats to Victoria, BC. There, he began playing piano at a local restaurant where he was fortunate enough to be able to play his own material. There were frequent requests for CDs of his music. Unfortunately this only lasted a year for the restaurant closed under him. Problems arose in his personal life as well, and, shortly thereafter, Gery moved to Vancouver to start over by himself. He got involved in doing some extra work in movies and TV (acting was another love, going back to his teens when he was 'treading the boards' in children's and musical theater). He also picked up a gig, playing in a local lounge. However, that was short lived because the lounge soon shut down their live entertainment and, later, closed down altogether.
Wandering into the world of computer sales, Gery made a serendipitous discovery one day while online. He connected with relatives in the US, one of whom, he was delighted to find out, worked in the movie industry. Through that relative's connections, Gery was approached with an offer to score a movie with a new production company based in Arizona.Things have currently been slow in that area though he was contracted to score a promotional video for a local theater in Tuscon AZ and write some music for a small play.
In April of 2007, Gery had his first public concert of some of his piano works. After some frustating delay, Gery headed into the studio in October of 2011 to record a solo piano CD of original music.
Gery currently resides in Vancouver, BC, with his youngest daughter Ariel and their cat Onyx Sheen Ninja.