Nancy McRay – pianist, rehearsal assistant
Born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, Nancy McRay started her lifelong career as an accompanist in grade school, where she was fortunate to have a music teacher who actively encouraged student participation. She received her bachelor of music degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio and her master’s degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Over the years, she has worked with singers, instrumentalists, and a variety of choral and musical theater groups.
Before moving to Boston in 2003, she was a busy musician for more than forty years in the Chicago area. In addition to accompanying, she had a full studio of piano students and was musical director and/or pianist for more than fifty Broadway musicals staged in educational, community and professional venues. She continues that latter interest with the local Sierra Stages theater company.
In her special area of expertise collaborating with brass players, she expanded her playing horizon from universities in the Chicago area to venues such as the Harmony Ridge Brass Festival in Vermont, the International Tuba Euphonium Conference and the International Trumpet Guild Competition.
In 2008, Nancy’s husband, Richard, had an offer from a Silicon Valley company to do some specialized technical work. This enabled them to “test drive” California life for a couple of years before becoming permanent Nevada County residents, a decision that has proven to be an extremely happy one.
Nancy now works with Ken Hardin and the Sierra Master Chorale as rehearsal assistant and pianist, as well as performing as a pianist for InConcert’s orchestra concerts.