Born in 1973, to a very small mining town nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado West of Boulder, Matthew Gurnsey was raised to crisp high altitude air, hard work, and particularly to an early love of music. His father, a hard rock miner had built his own log cabin above the town where he savored the tranquility and freedom afforded by his lifestyle.
Matthew had quite a shock coming out of his Montessori school when he was placed back in the public school system for Jr. High (age 13 – 15). He immersed himself in the study of fine arts, his family sent him to a school out of his normal district because of it’s excellent fine arts program. Matthew sang in every choir he could find, the Jr. High had two audition only choirs, Madrigals and Jazz which met after school, he juggled them with whatever theater rehearsals were going on at the time, and made money on the side by running the schools light and sound system for special interest groups renting the theater in its off hours.
He attended Fairview High School in Boulder with a class of about 650, where he became the president of the schools International Thespian Society Guild as a 4star honor thespian with more than 500 theater hours, sang in 7 school choirs (5 of which were by audition including Madrigals for two years and Excalibur), became president of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy club, and TAG (talented and gifted) program. Finding not enough time to take advantage of all these fine arts activities and keep up with his regular curriculum, Matthew supplemented his course load with correspondence courses from Brigham Young University, and won various awards while completing the LDS seminary program. He also participated strongly in the schools peer support team, and played various sports. During the summers when he was not working at the environmental education center, he worked at Boulder’s Dinner theater, and the Country Dinner Playhouse in Denver.
After High School Matthew served an LDS mission living in, and performing two years of community service for the Philadelphia, PA area (to places like Camden, NJ). When he returned home (age 21), he married, attended the University of Northern Colorado for a degree in Music Education, continued to take correspondence courses through BYU, became a Scoutmaster for the BSA, pioneered two very successful programs for at risk youth, and youth already within the judicial system (one of these programs still flourishes in the Front Range of Colorado), and divorced (age 25). Over the next few years (ages 25-28) he took a long awaited trip to Scotland and the Orkney Islands, Worked with the Red Cross in disaster recovery such as the Oklahoma City Tornado (5/99), went to the University of Alaska for a Journalism degree, fished of the coast of Alaska on a professional shrimping vessel, Became the director of the hospitality program for the University of Alaska at Anchorage, and upon returning home to Colorado at last became the Director of Property Management for Pearl Street Mall Properties, in Boulder.
For nearly 10 years The Muses toured through 42 U.S. States, and internationally, playing around 200 performances per year including 10 of
the largest Scottish/Irish festivals in the country and countless other venues. By 2007 they had 6 albums and a DVD out. They were working on a new album and music video for their faithful following when in 2009 catastrophe struck. The Muses’ 40’ tour-bus was involved in a roll-over accident which totaled the bus and everything in it. The loss was impossible to financially recover from, and at the beginning of 2010 the band broke up leaving Matthew with considerable debt. Matthew divorced shortly thereafter and settled in the Colorado Rockies. In April of 2011, Matthew’s best friend (Bejorn, his dog of 15 years) passed away, then in November, disaster struck again and Matthew’s home burned to the ground as the result of an electrical fire which started inside the walls. He was not at home, and there were no injuries… but all of his instruments, kilts, belongings, and the two new CD’s he was working on were lost. After two years, he finally finished rebuilding in the same location, and then after living in the house for a month his whole town washed away in the Colorado flooding.
Matthew’s latest CD is appropriately titled “Hard Times”.
Matthew enjoys eating homemade ice cream, walking his new dog (a Newfoundland/Malamute mix named after St. Brendan the Navigator), and playing music in front of the fireplace. After a year’s recovery and hiatus, Matthew is writing music again, has shows scheduled within Colorado and is starting to tour nationally again.