This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Janice L. McKay.
Janis L. McKay, author of “Played Out on the Strip, The Rise and Fall of Las Vegas Casino Bands,” is associate professor of bassoon and principal bassoon of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra. She also performs as principal bassoon for the Classical Music Festival in Austria and as Contrabassoon for the Reno Philharmonic.
McKay has held positions and performed with numerous orchestras including the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston (WV) Orchestra, the Springfield (OH) Symphony Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and the Louisville Orchestra among many others. A busy free-lance musician in Las Vegas, McKay has performed and/or toured with such artists as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Charlotte Church, John Williams, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Metallica, Stevie Wonder, and Tony Bennett.
She has twice been a featured soloist with the International Music Festival in the Ukraine, twice with the Classical Music Festival touring Austria and Hungary, and once with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. She may be heard on Summit, d’Note, Starkland Records, and First Edition recordings. McKay has given masterclasses and recitals at numerous locations including the Shanghai Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, the Ohio State University, the University of North Texas, Florida State University, the University of Georgia, Butler University, Miami University, Arizona State University, and the Musikschule Eisenstadt among many others.
McKay received her DMA from The Ohio State University, the Master of Music degree from the University of Louisville, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia. Her major teachers were Christopher Weait, Matthew Karr, and William Davis. McKay previously taught at Baylor University, Capital University, the Ohio Wesleyan University, and Wright State University. She was also a faculty member of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.