Jeffrey McCray was appointed as Assistant Professor of Bassoon in 2007 after serving as an interim lecturer for the 2006-2007 school year. In addition to bassoon, Dr. McCray also teaches courses in music theory, ear-training, symphonic literature, and chamber music. He performs with the Moran Woodwind Quintet, and frequently leads wind sectionals with the UNL Symphony Orchestra. Dr. McCray is the principal bassoonist of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, and he is a member of the bassoon section of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
Dr. McCray holds a bachelor’s degree in bassoon performance and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University, where he studied with Robert Barris and Victor Yampolsky. Additionally, he studied with Bernard Garfield, former principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and earned a master’s degree in bassoon performance from Temple University. In 2007, Dr. McCray completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Michigan State University, where he studied the bassoon with Michael Kroth. He has served on the faculties of Baylor University, Western Michigan University, Albion College, and the University of Michigan-Flint; has held positions with the symphony orchestras of Battle Creek (MI), Lansing (MI), Waco (TX), Allentown (PA), and Haddonfield (NJ); and has performed extensively with the Grand Rapids (MI) Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Opera Delaware, and the Pennsylvania Ballet.
An advocate of contemporary music, Dr. McCray has appeared as both bassoonist and conductor in contemporary music concerts throughout the United States. His 2001 recording of M. William Karlins’ Four Inventions and a Fugue, for bassoon, piano, and female voice (on Hungaroton Records) received praise from numerous critics.
Recent solo performances include a 2009 performance of Dan Welcher's Concerto da Camera for bassoon and small orchestra with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra as well as solo performances with the student ensembles at UNL. Additionally, Dr. McCray regularly performs at the annual conferences of the International Double-Reed Society and gives recitals and masterclasses throughout the Midwest.