With Heavy Hearts: Terrance Malone Gray 1963-2022

Terrance Malone Gray looks directly a the camera with a slight smile. He is wearing a black sweater

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share the news that Associate Conductor Terrance Malone Gray passed away yesterday. 

Terrance was CYSO’s longest serving employee, leading ensembles with his trademark enthusiasm for nearly 30 years. Thousands of young musicians played under his baton and the inspiration he provided as a role model and mentor is unmatched. Terrance was also a vital force within Chicago’s music community, touching the lives of countless fellow players and audience members alike. His legacy is one of boundless joy and unparalleled musicianship.

As a tribute, tonight’s Tour performance at the Rudolfinum in Prague was dedicated to Terrance and his extraordinary life in music and beyond. 

Music Director Allen Tinkham shared this remembrance of Maestro Gray:

Terrance Gray was my friend and colleague for over 20 years. We spent countless hours together listening to auditions and planning concerts. He stepped in to lead my rehearsals when I was ill and I did the same for him. He is the only person who had been at CYSO longer than me. 

Terrance was as passionate about music and teaching as anyone I’ve known. When the music wasn’t right, he challenged his students to fix it, and when it was right, his joy was palpable. He loved music and people openly and unabashedly in a way we should all aspire to. I know I will miss him when our next staff meeting proceeds uninhibited by Terrance’s desire to chat with any colleague he hasn’t seen in a while. His boisterous, often mischievous laugh still rings in my ears and will for many years to come. 

Terrance was a beautiful musician and person — the type with which you enter the profession of music hoping to collaborate. There will be other conductors at CYSO, but we will never replace Terrance. 

We will share more information about a memorial as it becomes available. In the meantime, our hearts go out to Terrance’s family and the many, many individuals whose lives he touched.

We’ve uploaded some of our favorite photos of Maestro Gray over the years to CYSO’s Facebook page. You can view them here.

Other remembrances of Terrance Gray:

The Violin Channel: American Conductor Terrance Malone Gray has Died, Aged 59

The Strad: Chicago conductor Terrance Malone Gray dies aged 59

League of American Orchestras’ The Hub: Obituary: Chicago-based conductor and violinist Terrance Malone Gray, 59

Slipped Disc: Death of a Chicago Conductor

Guarneri Hall: Remembering Terrance Gray

Chicago Sinfonietta statement

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