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William Jon Gray (Choral Conductor)

Born: USA

The American choral conductor and music pedagogue, William Jon Gray, had his Undergraduate Study in Vocal Performance The Juilliard School, where he studied with Oren Brown and Martin Isepp (1976-1978); and his Graduate Study in Conducting and Vocal Accompaniment at the Boston University College of Fine Arts, where he studied with Thomas Dunn and Allen Rogers (1983-1985). He obtained his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Laurence Bogue and Lorna Cooke deVaron (1983); and his Doctor of Music in Choral Conducting, Music History, and Organ Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Blommington, where he studied with Thomas Dunn, Marilyn Keiser, Jan Harrington and Carmen Helena Tellez (2008). He performed frequently with Robert Shaw as a member of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, both in recordings and in concerts in France and at Carnegie Hall.

From September 2000to July 2014, William Jon Gray held the Chair of the choral department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he conducts the Indiana University Pro Arte Singers - the university's internationally recognized early music chamber choir - and teaches graduate-level conducting, choral literature, and score reading. In this post he also directed the Oratorio Chorus; Opera Chorus; Indiana University Singers; Indiana University Chorale; Philharmonic Orchestra; Indiana University Chamber Orchestra; Symphony Orchestra; Orchestral Score Reading; Doctoral Seminar in Choral Literature; Master's Seminar in Choral Literature; Doctoral Conducting; Master's Conducting; Choral Conducting. Since July 2014, he is Director of Choral Studies at University at Albany, New York Area, responsible for Chamber Singers; University-Community Chorale; Survey of Operatic Literature; Diction; Conducting.

William Jon Gray served as Artistic Director of the Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra of Washington, D.C., from 1986 to 1993 and was Artistic Director of the Bach Chorale Singers from 1994 to 2010, conducting more than 100 performances of major choral works. With the Bach Chorale Singers, he received national critical acclaim for the commercially released recording, "In Praise of the Organ: Latin Choral and Organ Music of Zoltán Kodály". In November 2012, "Jubilate", a new recording of early and modern Christmas music was released featuring the professional chorus and orchestra of Chicago's Music of the Baroque. He was named Chorus Director of Chicago's Music of the Baroque in 2010, collaborating with conductors Jane Glover and Nicholas Kraemer. He has been associate conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival in California, leading major choral and orchestral works and preparing performances with internationally renowned conductor Bruno Weil. He has also been assistant conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston.

William Jon Gray has made guest appearances with orchestras and at festivals around the USA, including the Handel and Haydn Society, Princeton Festival, National Chamber Orchestra, Billings Symphony, and Lafayette Symphony. He has appeared as guest director of the professional chorus of Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival, collaborating with Carlos Kalmar in performances of Dvorak's Requiem and The Spectre's Bride, as well as Haydn's The Seasons. He has prepared choruses for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the National Chamber Orchestra, and he currently serves as faculty director of opera choruses for Indiana University Opera Theater, collaborating with such notable directors as Tito Capobianco (La Traviata), Colin Graham (Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes), Vincent Liotta (A View from the Bridge), and Tomer Zvulun (Faust). Recent conducting appearances include George Frideric Handel's Esther in Charleston with the Indiana University Pro Arte Singers and Baroque Orchestra, Haydn’s The Creation in Indianapolis and Bloomington, and Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah with Metropolitan Opera baritone Timothy Noble and mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson.

Of his performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers in San Francisco Heuwell Tircuit of the San Francisco Classical Voice said, “William Jon Gray conducted the combined [Carmel Bach] Festival Chorale and members of the Festival Orchestra in a religious masterpiece, not one of Bach’s but the massive Claudio Monteverdi Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610 to the largest packed house I’ve seen at Old First in over 35 years of on-and-off reviewing there. It created a sensation, as indeed it deserves when so ably presented. Fine playing and excellent vocal work littered the evening with one peak experience after another...the applause hit like a prolonged tsunami.”

Source: Jacobs School of Music - Indiana University Website; Univ ersity at Albany Website; William Jon Gray profile on LinkedIn
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2015)

William Jon Gray: Short Biography | Indiana University Pro Arte Singers | Indiana University Chamber Orchestra | Recordings of Vocal Works

Links to other Sites

William Jon Gray (Jacobs School of Music - Indiana University)
William Jon Gray (University at Albany)
William Jon Gray (Music of the Baroque)

William Jon Gray on LinkedIn
William Jon Gray - Conductor (Official Wenbsite) [Empty]

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