Born, educated and brought up in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Gerald Kirby first gained experience playing in brass bands and local theatre orchestras and ensembles. From 1978 to 1982 he studied timpani, percussion and piano at the Royal College of Music.
On leaving the College, Gerald started playing in West End shows, touring the UK and working in London with orchestras as well as theatre productions.
In November 1991, he joined the Percussion section of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. During this time he became involved in teaching percussion, and in 2009 he was appointed Percussion Teacher at the Royal Military School of Music.