Skip Gray joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky School of Music in the Fall of 1980 and holds the rank of Professor of Music. He has appeared as a tuba soloist and clinician throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia. In addition to his teaching and performing activities, Dr. Gray served as Associate Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts from 1993 to 1998. In Fall 1998, he returned to a full-time appointment in the School of Music with a primary emphasis on the tuba and euphonium. He also has served as Principal Tuba with the Lexington Philharmonic since 1980. Skip Gray earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Master of Music from the University of Illinois where he was a student of Daniel Perantoni. He earned a Bachelor of Music from Baldwin-Wallace College in his hometown, Berea, Ohio studying the tuba with Ronald Bishop of the Cleveland Orchestra.
A special interest has been inducing new works for the solo tuba. He has commissioned and given premiere performances of many new works including the Fantasia for Solo Tuba and Brass Ensemble by Allen Vizzutti, Variations on an Aboriginal Melody for Tuba and Woodwind Quintet by Jim Curnow, and the Sonata for Tuba and Piano by Kent Holliday. During the 1988-89 season and in the Spring of 1990, Gray served as Principal Tuba in the Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI in Turin, Italy. In 1982 he was presented in Carnegie Recital Hall by Twentieth Century Innovations in a program of five new works for tuba and woodwind quintet.
Currently the immediate Past-President of the International Tuba-Euphonium Association (formerly T.U.B.A.), Skip Gray served the organization as Corresponding Secretary from 1982 to 1987 and became its first Executive Secretary, serving two terms in that office from 1987 to 1991. He hosted the 1992 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference held in Lexington at the University of Kentucky. Gray served on the T.U.B.A. Board of Directors from 1996 to 1998. He became a "Life Member" of T.U.B.A. in 1989.
Skip Gray has conducted throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. Gray is co-founder and co-music director of the Lexington Brass Band. During 1997-98 the group performed at the prestigious Midwest Band-Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, The International Trumpet Guild, Great American Brass Band Festival, and performed at and hosted the North American Brass Band Association Competition. In 1996, the Lexington Brass Band released a compact disc entitled "Pastime with Good Company" featuring highlights of the band's live performances from 1993 through 1996. Gray was also principal guest conductor of the Solitaire Tuba Ensemble, a professional group based in Melbourne, Australia. With this ensemble, he presented concerts for the Australia Broadcasting Corporation and in Melbourne and Canberra.
Dr. Gray is noted for his frequent appearances in public schools throughout central Kentucky that bond musical performance with specific learning goals from the "National Standards for Arts Education" as well as "Core Content for Arts and Humanities Assessment" that have resulted from the Kentucky Education Reform Act (K.E.R.A.). His "Tubas Around the World" program with the University of Kentucky Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble has been presented in schools throughout the state.