Gavin was raised in Virginia, before moving to Iowa at age 13. His music is known for incorporating rich harmonies and dramatic counter lines. His compositions for choir, concert band, jazz band, and various chamber ensembles have been performed by school, university, and community ensembles throughout the United States. Students and teachers find his music to be accessible and enjoyable to play. Many high school bands have received superior ratings at contest performing his works. Gavin has received several commissions throughout the United States including a grant from the Iowa Arts Council. He was also the winner of the University of Kansas New Music Ensemble Composition Contest and various other awards.