A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Ray is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. where he studied violin with Carroll Glenn and received the Bachelor of Music degree in 1975. He received a Master of Music degree in 1977 from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia where he was first violinist with the Graduate String Quartet in Residence.
From 1985-2007, Ray was Instrumental Music Department Chair, as well as a founding faculty member, of the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia. He was founder and conductor of the Governor’s School for the Arts Symphony Orchestra which performed concerts in England, Scotland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Canada.
He has been Assistant Concert Master of the Virginia Symphony, a member of the Richmond Symphony, and the Virginia Opera Association.
Ray performed for many years with the Nova Piano Trio which, in 1987, was one of only four piano trios selected internationally to perform in masterclasses at the Banff Festival (Canada) with pianist Manahem Pressler of the famed Beaux Arts Trio.
He is a former string and harp instructor with the Hampton and Norfolk Virginia Public Schools. Ray is the composer and arranger of numerous published works for orchestra (MSB Publishing) and is active as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. In 2004, he was one of twenty arts teachers nationally to receive a Fellowship from the SURDNA Foundation to attend the Sosterberg International Music Festival in the Netherlands where he pursued advanced violin and conducting studies with acclaimed violinist Sidney Harth, former concertmaster of the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras.
Ray performs regularly on the Las Vegas Strip for Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Spamalot, The Producers, and Showstoppers.
He has performed at Guardian Angel Cathedral since 2007.