Marcie Ray is an Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Michigan State University College of Music. After 10 years as a coloratura soprano specializing in Mozart and Menotti roles, Ray now translates her training and experience into her work as a music historian. She holds degrees from the University of Texas (B.M. in vocal performance) and the University of California, Los Angeles (M.A. and Ph.D.), where she was a Chancellor's Fellow. Her published research investigates issues of gender, class, and sexuality in particular. Her courses, however, broaden this view to examine how music intersects with these issues, as well as race, ethnicity, religious identity, and Deaf and Disability Studies.
Her book Coquettes, Wives, and Widows: Gender Politics in French Baroque Opera and Theater (forthcoming, University of Rochester Press) illustrates how composers and librettists transformed and diminished early feminist literary characters when they adapted them for the French Baroque stage. A portion of this research has been published in Música em Perspectiva (2013) and Early Music (2016). Similar work, on Jean-Philippe Rameau’s ballet-bouffon Platée, ou Junon jalouse, appeared in the essay collection entitled The Libretto as Enlightenment Text (2015). Finally, Ray’s article on the presence of second-wave feminism in the film adaptation of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady appears in American Music (2014).
She has presented her research in papers and lecture-recitals at several national conferences, including the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Feminist Theory and Music, and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, as well as at international conferences in Rome, Lisbon, and Oxford.
The most important aspect of her work, however, is how her research returns to the classroom. Ray was a Lilly Teaching Fellow (2014-15), which resulted in an essay on critical music literacy published in Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy (2015). She was awarded the Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant from MSU’s Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives to create a “social justice curriculum” for undergraduate students (2017). Finally, for her dedication to her students she has won several teaching awards, including UCLA's most prestigious teaching honor from the Academic Senate Committee and the Dortha J. and John D. Withrow Excellence in Teaching Award (2017).