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Andrew Gray, Musical and Artistic Director of Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal
May 7, 2018
Portrait of Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray has vast and varied experience in choral music, in sports and arts management and in business administration. He has traveled widely and has worked with choral groups and artists from around the world.

Since his arrival in Montreal in 2010, Andrew Gray has rapidly established himself in the region’s music scene as a choral director and choir trainer. He is the artistic director of the Montreal Choral Institute, the chamber choir voces boreales and the Chœur des enfants de Montreal, founder and director of SingMontréalChante and assistant conductor at the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul. Andrew has worked as guest chorus master with Chœur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Chœurs du Nouveau Monde and Cirque du Soleil. He has prepared choirs for conductors and composers, including Kent Nagano, Zubin Mehta, Karl Jenkins, Joby Talbot, Gregory Charles, Iwan Edwards, Jordan de Souza, Jean-Pascal Hamelin, Robert Ingari, Alain Trudel and Stéphane Laforest, and has directed vocal ensembles for popular artists Cœur de Pirate, Les Trois Accords, the Beach Boys, Nikki Yanofsky, Marie-Mae, Malajube, Radio Radio, Sarah McLachlan, Kenny Rogers, Roger Water (The Wall) and the Canadian Tenors. In 2011 Andrew conducted both the opening and closing choral/orchestral concerts of the Mondial Choral Festival in Laval. He is also the general manager of the St. Lawrence Choir.

Born in the United Kingdom, Andrew sang in the church choir directed by his father at the age of six, and before his seventh birthday left home to begin a music education as a resident chorister at Durham Cathedral. He has a Bachelor of Arts Combined Honors Degree in Music and Drama from the University of Birmingham, with studies in orchestration, voice, music therapy and movement therapy, lighting and stage design, dramatic methods, theater history and modern dance. He moreover founded an a cappella octet and a big band, conducted the chamber orchestra, directed the University Musical Society and sang with a number of university and semi-professional groups. Next Andrew worked extensively with the choir and orchestra of Ex Cathedra (directed by Jeffrey Skidmore). At the same time he helped establish and develop their county-wide choral education project and worked as a tutor for these and similar projects for the British Federation of Youth Choirs. He taught music in secondary schools, was a private singing teacher, voice and elocution coach, and trained in “positive assertive discipline.” In 1997 Andrew joined the internationally renowned a cappella group the Swingle Singers and toured the world with them for five years, singing all styles of music (from classical through jazz and contemporary opera) and giving workshops and masterclasses in schools and universities. He had the privilege of working directly with Luciano Berio on performances of his opera Outis at La Scala in Milan and Le Châtelet in Paris, as well as on a DVD recording (under Péter Eötvös) and numerous performances of his Sinfonia with conductors Pierre Boulez, Yan-Pascal Tortelier, David Roberston, David Zinman and Arturo Tamayo, among others, and with Kent Nagano on a live recording of Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd.

From 1999 to 2009 Andrew managed a professional chamber chorus and taught at Aiglon College in Switzerland. Additionally he sang with Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne under the direction of Michel Corboz and hosted masterclasses for smaller groups like Octuor Contretemps. He regularly toured and recorded with Tenebrae, a British professional chamber chorus well known around the world. Andrew created and led the Suisse Villars Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and was the choral expert for the MMA International Conference in Switzerland (the Music Masters and Mistresses Association – a conference for music directors from international schools across the globe).

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The dancers Constantine Allen and Emily He in front of a Leonard Cohen painting
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