Ray has composed music throughout his life. He made up his first song, with words and melody, at age 4. In middle school, he often imagined writing music for a band of his friends, and in high school he started composing songs and small instrumental works. He wrote his first serious works as an undergraduate and was first published in FEAST, Occidental College’s annual Arts and Literary Review.
The mid-1980s were a big time for trumpets and fanfares in Los Angeles, because of the 1984 Olympic Games held there and the Olympic Fanfare Trumpeters, which were featured during opening and closing ceremonies. As one of these 112 trumpeters, Ray soon found himself booking corporate fanfare trumpet gigs, and it seemed natural to offer to write original fanfares for these clients.
In 1986, when asked to provide ten minutes of continuous trumpet fanfares for the Los Angeles appearance of the Choir of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor in their first-ever US tour, Ray offered to compose a new work for three trumpets and organ, thus saving three trumpeters from an early audience with Gabriel. FANFARE PROCESSIONAL was the result and immediately became popular in Southern California for big events, concerts, weddings, and recitals. It has been performed in many states and countries, as far away as Russia.
With the 1990 premiere of his DOUBLE CONCERTO FOR FLUTIST, TRUMPETER, AND ORCHESTRA, Ray started Premiere Press to publish his music. His publications now number in the hundreds. He has fulfilled many commissions for orchestra, band, choir, and chamber music, but he might be best known for his brass chamber music. You can read HERE about commissioning new music.
Premiere Press also publishes Ray’s book, BRASS CHAMBER MUSIC IN LYCEUM AND CHAUTAUQUA, his COMPLETE BRASS QUINTETS, and his CD, WATERCOLOR MENAGERIE, which features 14 of his works recorded by the Premiere Brass Quintet.
American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)