Charles J. Gray is currently the Director of Bands at Riverside King High School, where his Band and Guard have an unprecedented record of accomplishments! He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and a California Teacher’s Credential, both obtained from California State University, Fullerton. He is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor throughout the Southwest. He has judged band competitions in California and has done clinics with bands throughout the State.
Recognized for his musical excellence, knowledge and promotion of literature for band, Charles Gray and his groups have performed and recorded works by Copland, Rossini, McBeth, Claude T. Smith, Forsblad, Grundman, Clifton Williams, Alfred Reed, Strauss, Nelhybel, Vaughan Williams, McGinty, Moussorgsky, Brahms, Holsinger, Tchaikovsky, Franz von Suppe, Wagner, Gustav Holst, Percy Grainger, Dmitri Shostakovich, Leroy Anderson, John Williams, and John Philip Sousa. His impassioned leadership has resulted in invitations for the Riverside King Band to perform throughout the United States, Europe, and major conferences and conventions!
In his thirty-two year teaching career, bands under his direction have appeared in the annual Garden Grove Strawberry Parade, the South Gate Christmas Parade, the Philadelphia Freedom 4th of July Parade and the Orange Blossom Parade. They have competed in some of the finest band reviews in the Western United States. These include: The Hawaiian Invitational, The Tracey, Arcadia, Mount Carmel, Chino, Rowland, and The Tournament of Champions Band Reviews! They have also had the honor of being the lead unit in the “62nd Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade,” a performance viewed by an estimated 340 million people worldwide. One of the highlights for Mr. Gray has been the New Year’s Day performance of his band marching down Colorado Boulevard in the 2007 Rose Parade.
Bands under his leadership have performed throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii. They also have traveled along the East Coast giving concerts and marching in major parades in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. While in Washington, DC, they gave a “Command Performance” at the White House. In April of 1996 they went to Europe. They were the Official Band from the State of California to represent California and the United States as they took part in the “American Musical Salute to Austria” as they celebrated Austria’s Millennium! Their travels took them to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria with performances in Frankfurt, Innsbruck, Lucerne, Heidelberg, Salzburg, and Vienna. In 2001, the band traveled to the United Kingdom to represent the State of California as “Ambassadors of Music”. Their travels took them throughout London, Oxford, Strafford, York, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, and Glasgow.
His groups have performed at the “Orange County Performing Arts Center” in 1995, 1996, and 1997. They also have performed for numerous celebrities, state and national politicians, and have been seen many times on nationally televised parades including the 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, and 1995 Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. In December of 1996, 2000, and 2001 they took part in the Fiesta Bowl National Band Championships. In 2000 and 2001, his band was named National Grand Champions, becoming the first group to ever achieve back-to-back National Champions! Upon his return to the Fiesta Bowl in December of 2007 and 2011, his band captured all Sweepstakes awards on the street and was named National Parade Band Champions. They also appeared in the 118th Rose Parade on January 1st, 2007 and took part in the London New Year’s Day Parade in 2011 and 2014. They also marched in the Celebration of Three Kings in Madrid, Spain in 2014. On January 1st, 2016 they will march in the New Year’s Day Parade in Paris, France!
His groups have been referred to as “Hollywood’s Band”, and have been seen on television and in the movies! They were feature in the 2010 Gary Marshall film “Valentine’s Day” and in April 2011 landed a feature role in the NBC television show “Harry’s Law” with Kathy Bates”. They have also been in several other television shows and commercials including: “Rizzoli and Isles”, “The Middle”, “Vegas.com”, “Verizon”, and Super Bowl-featured commercials in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Highly regarded by the Walt Disney organization, his groups have appeared at Disney Theme Parks many times over the past 32 years.