After more than 25 years of association with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Robert Ray will soon retire as director of the SLSO’s IN UNISON Chorus. Ray, who will remain a professor of music at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, founded the community gospel choir in 1994 and helped connect the SLSO to black churches in the St. Louis area.
“In 15 years, he has made a greater impact than many people make in a lifetime,” SLSO Music Director David Robertson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a story published Feb. 7.
Ray will lead two more IN UNISON concerts: the SLSO’s “Lift Every Voice: Black History Month Celebration” on Feb. 19 at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis and an April 25 concert at Westside Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis. The concert at Powell Symphony Hall will feature vocalist Jermaine Smith, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music at UMSL in 1998.