Clarinetist Dr. Vanessa Davis-McKay teaches at Stephen F. Austin State University and performs with the Lone Star Wind Orchestra and is a Buffet Crampon Performing Artist-Clinician. She teaches in the Garland and Northwest Independent School Districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. She is a contributor to The Instrumentalist, NACWPI Journal, the journal of the International Clarinet Association The Clarinet, and College Music Society Symposium Journal. As a soloist she has performed throughout the United States and internationally, most recently in Belgium and Canada. She has been a featured soloist at numerous conferences including the Texas Clarinet Colloquium, Las Vegas Clarinet Day, International Clarinet Association Conference, NACWPI National, College Music Society International, and American Single Reed Summit.
is a member of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra and plays Eb clarinet with the Mesquite Symphony. Prior to that she regularly performed with the North Texas Wind Symphony. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Meyerson Symphony Center, Moody Performing Arts Center, Eisemann Center, Clemens Center, Corning Museum of Glass, Portsmouth Music Hall, Symphony Hall in Boston, and Proctors Performing Arts Center in New York, among others. She has been a member of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, the Boston Civic Symphony, Reading Massachusetts Symphony, Cambridge Symphony, Mercury Orchestra, the Metropolitan Wind Symphony of Boston as well as other orchestras and chamber groups around the Boston Metro, Finger Lakes, and Dallas Fort-Worth areas.
Dr. Davis-McKay has given numerous conference performances and presentations and her fall 2019 season schedule is busy. She will be giving a faculty recital at Stephen F. Austin State University, giving a solo recital and a lecture at the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference in Iowa in addition to her performances with Lone Star and Mesquite.
Dr. Davis-McKay takes pedagogy and teaching very seriously. With her over fifteen years experience as a private instructor, she has amassed a large studio of private students across three districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Her students have been successful at the district, region, area, and state levels. Under her guidance students have successfully auditioned for and attended the Tanglewood Summer Institute, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Interlochen Arts Academy Summer Festivals among others. Her students have also earned numerous awards and honors including positions in the All-Eastern Band and Orchestra, the International Junior Ambassadors of Music, All-State Orchestras and Bands, and the All-New England Wind Ensemble and have attended Michigan State University, SUNY Potsdam, the University of North Texas, the California Institute of the Arts, the University of Connecticut, the Eastman School of Music, Hofstra, and the Ithaca College School of Music. She teaches primarily private and group clarinet lessons and masterclasses, but is equally comfortable in a classroom setting because of her Music Education and high school teaching background. She strives to cultivate a life-long love of learning about music and desire to play the clarinet in each and every one of her students, no matter what their primary area of study.
Dr. Davis-McKay has also worked extensively at summer institutes. Most recently she was on the faculty of Camp Encore/Coda in Sweden, Maine for five years where she taught clarinet, coached advanced chamber music, and conducted the Symphonic Winds, a small wind ensemble comprised of the youngest students at camp. Prior to that the was on the faculty of the Summer Youth Music School in New Hampshire for ten years.
Dr. Davis-McKay graduated from the University of North Texas with a Doctor of Musical Arts in Clarinet Performance. Her dissertation, "A Concept-Based Pedagogy Approach to Selected Unaccompanied Clarinet Repertoire" won the Toulouse Dissertation Award in Fine Arts. The document addresses the benefits of concept-based pedagogy in producing students able to truly think and create, rather than simply reproduce. At UNT, she worked as a Teaching Fellow in the Wind Studies Department and taught Woodwind Methods in the Music Education Department. She also performed in the North Texas Wind Symphony under Eugene Migliaro Corporon. Prior to that, she taught Clarinet Techniques at the Ithaca College School of Music and Introduction to Music at the University of New Hampshire. She has studied with Dr. Kimberly Cole Luevano (University of North Texas), Richard MacDowell (University of Texas, Austin Butler School of Music), Dr. Richard Faria (Ithaca College), Elizabeth Gunlogson (University of New Hampshire), and David Seiler (University of New Hampshire).
Dr. Davis-McKay currently serves as the Secretary of the South Central Chapter of the College Music Society. She also has served as an audio reviewer for the International Clarinet Association journal The Clarinet, the Content Editor for the College Music Society Journal, Symposium, and is currently on the Ithaca Council of Advocates. She currently resides in Dallas with her husband Kyle and their pooch, Charlie.