Our Career Paths
Patricia Gray holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory (BM), the University of Wisconsin/ Madison (MM), and from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (DMA). She is the former Artistic Director and Pianist of National Musical Arts (NMA), for 21 seasons the resident ensemble at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC, and the founder and Director of NMA's BioMusic Program. As pianist, she has performed at The White House, is the recipient of the prestigious Franz Liszt Commemorative Medal from the government of Hungary, a soloist with leading orchestras, and has collaborated in performances with renowned composers and artists. As Executive Producer, she created and produced international concerts with 18 foreign Embassies, a companion concert for an international art exhibition, and productions with the National Broadcasting Company, Inc., the Motion Picture Association, ASCAP, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Smithsonian, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As music researcher, Dr. Gray leads teams of distinguished scientists and musicians that explore the musical sounds in all species and is particularly known for her research with bonobo apes. She was the lead author of a BioMusic article in the journal, Science, and represented the Biomusic Program in articles for: NYTimes, BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, The Boston Globe, London Daily Telegraph, and media in Latin America. Dr. Gray was Co-PI for a $3 million BioMusic science exhibition – Wild Music – funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that toured nationwide; and servesd as PI for the NSF funded BioMusic curriculum project - UBEATS. In 2002, Dr. Gray was appointed Senior Specialist by the Fulbright Program, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars to serve as a special consultant to foreign institutions and organizations worldwide. Dr. Gray is retired from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro where she served as Clinical Professor and Senior Research Scientist in the Music Research Institute.
Joseph Di Piazza has performed extensively in the United States, Canada, China and Europe as a recitalist, chamber player, and concerto soloist. He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including: Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto soloist in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Chopin recital at the Chicago Art Institute as winner of the Chicago’s Women’s Club Piano Competition, MacDowell recital at Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University as winner of the Illinois National Federation of Music State Competition. In addition to numerous University guest artist recitals such as the University of Alberta, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Kentucky, other venues include the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for the Performing and Cultural Arts, and Concert Series at the Art Museums of Washington DC, Cincinnati, North Carolina and Kentucky. He has participated as a performer, clinician and adjudicator in festivals at Interlochen, Michigan; Eastern Music Festival, Greensboro, NC; Chicago Spring Arts Festival; Beethoven Festival on Long Island, NYC; and Focus on Piano Literature Series at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro School of Music where he was a member of the piano faculty for 43 years. Concerto performances include the canon of Russian Romantic Concertos: including Tchaikovsky 1st and Rachmaninoff 2nd and 3rd with numerous Symphony Orchestras. Dr. Di Piazza holds degrees from DePaul University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.