Kay joined the Fredonia School of Music faculty in 1993 while she was concurrently
the recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Grant to Ghana, West Africa.
During her year in Ghana, Kay worked with the Ghana Dance Ensemble at the National
Theatre where she studied xylophone styles of the Dagara people with Bernard Woma,
and various indigenous drumming patterns of Ghana with Francis Kofi. In return, Kay
was able to share her knowledge of contemporary music through a course that she taught
at the University of Ghana at Legon on music of the twentieth century.
Kay completed a Doctor of Music in Percussion Performance degree at Indiana University
(1992), with additional study areas of Ethnomusicology and Jazz History. During the
pursuit of the degree she also held teaching positions as an Associate Instructor
of Percussion at Indiana University, and as Lecturer in Percussion at the State University
of New York at Fredonia. During this time Kay also performed in Germany, France,
and the former USSR with the Stuttgart (Germany) Opera Orchestra, and presented solo
percussion concerts in Munich and Konstanz, Germany.
Immediately following her undergraduate studies, Kay participated in many orchestral
ensembles throughout the USA and was a member of the Baltimore Symphony percussion
section. After moving to New York City, Kay performed in over 20 Broadway and off-Broadway
shows. As a freelance player in New York City, she recorded TV and radio commercials
and was a founding member of various chamber, jazz, and percussion ensembles. Kay
also participates in many women's music events, from the First National Congress on
Women and Music at New York University to performances at the Bloomington (IN) Women's
Music Festival and beyond.
As a participant in Renaissance and Medieval ensembles, where many ethnic percussion
instruments are used, Kay developed an interest in performance of ethnic percussion
instruments. This interest led her to study ethnomusicology at Indiana University,
concentrating on various aspects of musics of the Middle East and Africa, i.e. frame-drumming,
amadinda (log xylophone from Uganda), gyil (xylophone of the Dagara people), and West
African drumming styles.
At Fredonia, as a part of our multicultural awareness, and in an attempt to include
world music performance in our program, we offer African xylophone and drumming styles,
and instruction in Mexican Marimba Ensemble through participation in percussion ensemble
and class instruction.
In addition to teaching, Kay is the timpanist with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra
and the percussionist and hammered dulcimer player for Fioretto, an ensemble based
in Finland that is dedicated to the performance of medieval and renaissance music.
Kay has several recordings to her credit, the most recent being the music of Eric
Richards for New World and a forthcoming release with Fioretto.