The American bass-baritone, Charles Mays, Jr., has done post-graduate work at the University of Hartford, after completing a Masterís Degree at the Manhattan School of Music, and receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Performance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His teachers have included Neil Rosenshein, Mark Oswald, Jon Humphrey, and Irene Gubrud.
Charles Mays, Jr. has been a featured soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician with many international orchestras, festivals, and galas, and has been heard in concert halls around the world. He has been seen in concert on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, the Cairo Opera, and the Alexandria Opera in Egypt, singing operatic roles such as Colline in La Bohème, Caronte in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, and Leporello in Mozartís Don Giovanni. In addition, Charles boasts orchestral and oratorio credits such as the title role in Elijah, the baritone soloist in Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, the bass soloist in L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and his Choral Fantasy, Mozart's Requiem and Vespers, many Bach cantatas, Haydnís Creation and in the role of Pilatus in Johannes-Passion (BWV 245). This past season, Charles was the Bass Soloist with the Hartford Symphony in George Frideric Handelís Messiah, in Haydnís Die Schöpfung with the Brattleboro Music Center, in addition to his other recital and concert appearances. This current season, Mays looks forward to singing several concerts in Germany, including the Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann for baritone and orchestra with the Göttingen Symphony Orchestra and J.S. Bachís Cantata, Ich Habe Genug (BWV 82).
Equally at home in the recital hall as the concert hall, Charles Mays, Jr. has given recitals in Vienna, New York, Hartford, Washington D.C., and Vermont, and his powerful and rich voice was showcased last season on tour with Musicians from Marlboro. Mays has been a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Competition in 2004, and continues to receive prizes and accolades for his scholarship and artistry. In addition to singing, Charles Mays, Jr. is also a noted vocal instructor and coach. Although currently living in New York City, he is originally from Washington, D.C., where he returns to give recitals and talks to elementary students on the historic power of song in the Black-American community.