Gray Smiley - French Horn instructor at Lesson With You

Gray Smiley

French Horn

Degree: D.M.A. James Madison University (Present)

Harrisonburg, VA


About Gray

Born in Greenville, North Carolina, Gray Smiley is a freelance hornist and teacher working in Virginia at present. He has played in diverse ensembles ranging from quintets to full orchestras, with repertoire spanning from the Baroque to new-composed pieces.

Smiley is currently a doctoral student in Ian Zook’s studio at James Madison University and freelance hornist in Virginia. Previously, Smiley studied with Maria Serkin at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (2021) and with Dale Clevenger and Denise Tryon as primary professors at Indiana University (2023). He is also proficient with natural horn, having studied with Richard Seraphinoff and Nate Udell, and enjoys playing Baroque and Classical repertoire on period instruments. Smiley is an avid performer of musical theater and opera, having played around the United States—most recently employed in the summer of 2023 with the Ohio Light Opera Company—and in Italy. Smiley has performed in master classes for hornists such as Jeff Nelsen, Eric Ralske, Michelle Baker, and others.

Outside of direct performance, Smiley is passionate about teaching-artistry, helping new audience members develop meaningful connections with the arts, creating new, collaborative art, and bringing new perspectives into music.

Performance Videos