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Remembering Pianist Ray Jones

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It is with great sadness that I share the news that former Manhattan Country School Piano Accompanist Ray Jones passed away on Friday, November 6 at St. Luke’s Hospital. 

A wake will be held Thursday, November 12 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The funeral will be held Friday, November 13 at 10 a.m. Both will take place at The Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration (74 West 126th St., between Fifth and Lenox avenues).

Born in the Bronx and trained at Julliard, Ray was the piano accompanist at MCS for 27 years, retiring in 2012. An excellent pianist, adept in classical, R&B and jazz traditions, he was a gift to MCS assemblies, concerts and sing-a-longs, and an invaluable support to Choral Directors Clint Ingram and Donavon Soumas and Lower School Music Teacher Susan Harris. 

Ray was also an avid chess player who could be found playing in New York City parks or with Clint in the Music Room. A profile of Ray, written by Susan, was published in the MCS Courtyard the year he retired. As I note his passing, Susan’s closing paragraph rings even more true: “…it’s best to end with saying that the best musicians are the ones that you might not notice at first, but you would definitely notice if they stopped playing. Thank you, Ray Jones. All of us at MCS will notice when you’ve stopped playing.”