Ray likes to refer to himself as "made in New York!" Born on Manhattan's West 50th Street and raised in Queens by creative, artistic parents, he received his BBA degree from City College and his MA in Educational Theater from New York University. He was a New York City elementary school teacher for 31 years, teaching most grades, but ultimately choosing to work with children in creative programs, including pantomime, improvisation, puppetry, music, and dance. He was also the drama specialist at a magnet school for theater arts.
Ray's true connection with theater and the arts began while in City College's Drama Society, where he played leading roles in many well-known musicals. Over the years he has pursued his love for singing and performing, doing summer stock, dinner theater, and an Off-Broadway musical. He has also sung with various prominent choruses at home and abroad, including the New York Oratorio Society, even singing several solos at prestigious Carnegie Hall.
Ray remembers, as a teen, standing in front of the family's stereo console "conducting" a recording of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Tonight fulfills a lifelong dream - to lead a live orchestra! He is honored to be making his "conducting debut" with this most exciting Chelsea Symphony!