Chicago Classical Review » » William Jon Gray 1955-2022

By Lawrence A. Johnson

William Jon Gray, choir director of Music of the Baroque from 2010 to 2019, died on July 27 in hospice care, aged 66. The cause of death was not disclosed.

The fortunes of the MOB Chorus were not at their peak when Gray took over the reins of the ensemble in June 2010. Almost immediately there was a noticeable improvement in polish, clarity, blending and articulation. – as evidenced by the magnificent choral singing a few months later in Bach’s Complete Christmas oratory.

“I have had many relationships with conductors throughout my career, but none are as special as the one with Bill,” music director Dame Jane Glover said in a statement released by MOB. “I learned so much from him and leaned on him a lot. He was always modest, calm, utterly attentive, meticulous in his preparation and charmingly supportive.

In addition to preparing the choir for vocal works with the MOB Orchestra, Gray often conducted the annual Brass and Choral vacation programs during his tenure. His programs for these events were dizzyingly rich, generous and varied, spanning the centuries with ease and audacity.

A full William Jon Gray obituary can be read here.

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