Charles Gray earned a B.M. from Wheaton College, an M.M. from the University of Michigan, and he received a chamber music certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he pursued additional study on viola. His principal study was with Paul Makanowitzky and Sylvia Rosenberg (violin), with Atar Arad (viola), and with the Cleveland Quartet (chamber music).
Gray was the violist of the Casella String Quartet, winner of the 1981 Cleveland Quartet Competition and the Grand Prize at the1983 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. He has performed as a solo recitalist at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, soloist at the National ACDA and AGO conventions (multiple times) and as a chamber musician at the Aspen Music Festival and the Steamboat Springs Festival in Colorado.
He was a violinist with the Rochester Philharmonic (N.Y.) and the Grand Rapids Symphony (Mich.), concertmaster of the Bloomington Symphony (Minn.), and 20 year regular viola performer with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is employed as conductor of the 40+ member orchestra at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, Minn. In recent years he has been featured as a violin and viola soloist on many occasions with the St. Olaf Choir, St. Olaf Cantorei, and the St. Olaf Orchestra. He has been honored as “Minnesota Master String Teacher of the Year” by the American String Teachers Association.
In March 2022 he will serve as string judge for the college, young artist and chamber music competition finals at the national MTNA convention in Mpls. He is often called upon to judge music events at MacPhail Music School in Mpls and work with the annual MN All-State Orchestra.