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Gerald Gray (Tenor)

Born: Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

The American tenor, Gerald Thomas Gray, received Bachelors degree in Music (voice) at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee; Masters degree in conducting at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York; Masters degree in voice and Doctoral degree in conducting at the University of Iowa. (He has completed his doctoral degree). He has studied voice with Sharon Mabry, Scott McCoy and Sharon Daniels, and choral and orchestral conducting with Donald Neuen, George Mabry, William Hatcher and James Dixon. Hw won the National Federation of Music Club's Student Competition.

After his initial conducting studies, Gerald Gray toured France with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers and was also a member of the Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw, where he participated in numerous landmark recordings on the Telarc label. Further studies at University of Iowa were followed with years as a professional chorister with Boston Baroque (under Martin Pearlman), Emmanuel Music of Boston, Bach Aria Festival, Carmel Bach Festival and Handel and Haydn Society of Boston where he sang under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, Christopher Hogwood, Andrew Parrott, Martin Pearlman, Craig Smith, Harry Bicket, Paul McCreesh, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Bruno Weil, Robert Spano, John Harbison and Grant Llewellyn.

Gerald Gray is an alumnus of Emmanuel Music where a thirty-five year tradition of weekly performances of J.S. Bach's Sacred Cantatas continues under the direction of Craig Smith. With Emmanuel Music Gerald Gray has performed over forty of Bach's Sacred Cantatas as a soloist, over one hundred as a chorister and has performed much of the music of Heinrich Schütz. He has appeared in Emmanuel Music's evening concerts in G.F. Handel's Saul and Brockes Passion, HWV 48, Schubert's Mass in E flat, and J.S. Bach's St. John Passion (BWV 245) (1725 version) which was subsequently recorded on the Koch International label. On the operatic stage he has performed such roles as Anatol in Samuel Barber's Vanessa, Quint in B. Britten's Turn of the Screw and Pedrillo in W.A. Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. He has been a soloist for Seiji Ozawa, Christopher Hogwood, Harry Bicket, Christoph Wolff, John Harbison, Bruno Weil, David Hoose, Grant Llewellyn and others.

As a tenor soloist, Gerald Gray performs throughout the USA primarily in the music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Highlights include the role of "Tempo" in George Frideric Handel's Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra of Los Angeles and a European tour of G.F. Handelís Acis and Galatea with the Wiener Akademie both under the direction of Martin Haselböck, one-voice-per-part performances of J.S. Bach's sacred cantatas and a solo program of sacred Italian music all with the American Bach Soloists of San Francisco under the direction of Jeffrey Thomas which received critical acclaim, and the role of "Narrator" in Monteverdi's Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with the Bach and Beyond Festival in Fredonia, New York. Gerald returned to Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra to perform a concert of J.S. Bach's Sacred Cantatas and returned to the American Bach Soloists for a series of critically acclaimed performances of the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244). Gerald Gray returned to the Bach and Beyond Festival to perform J.S. Bach's solo tenor cantata Ich armer Mensch, Ich Sünden kneckt (BWV 55) and Georg Philipp Telemann's solo tenor cantata Ich weiss, dass mein Erloeser lebt. In the following season he will perform Orff's Carmina Burana with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Syracuse Symphony. He will also be performing Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin in an historical edition with David Breitman, forte pianist at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Past highlights include appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society in a staged production of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers for which the Wall Street Journal hailed the "sensuousness of his vocal line". Gerald Gray performed the title role in G.F. Handel's monumental oratorio Samson and the title role in Carissimi's Jephte with the Amor Artis Chorale and Orchestra in New York City. At Harvard University he has performed Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde and has appeared in J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243) under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. He also appeared in Lully's opera Thesee in Boston Early Music Festival's main-stage production of 2001.

Gerald Gray taught voice at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Now, as the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Voice at the State University of New York at Fredonia and as guest conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus Gerald Gray shares his experience with choirs of all levels from fully professional choirs to the smallest church choirs. These experiences afford him an intimate understanding of the art of choral singing and style. As director of Choral Activities at Fredonia, he has established the Fredonia Chamber Choir, a highly select 24 voice ensemble comprised of the top singers from a large undergraduate and graduate vocal program. He teaches and supervises graduate students in choral conducting and literature, prepares choruses for numerous major works and has established an annual holiday concert performing J.S. Bachís Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), Advent and Christmas Cantatas and G.F. Handelís Messiah with international players and soloists. He considers his involvement in numerous workshops, performances and recordings with the late Robert Shaw as the fundamental influence upon his approach to choral technique.

Source: Gerald Gray Website; The Artist (June 2006, August 2012)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2001); Gerald Gray (June 2006, August 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Craig Smith


BWV 20, BWV 133, BWV 151, BWV 245

Craig Smith


Member of Emmanuel Music:
C-1 (1999):
BWV 133, BWV 40, BWV 151, BWV 65
C-2 (2001):
BWV 2, BWV 20, BWV 39, BWV 75, BWV 76

Links to other Sites

Gerald Gray (Official Website)


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