Mr. Ray Calderon

Minister of Music & Arts

Since making his conducting debut in 2001, Mr. Calderon has gone on to lead several successful and highly praised engagements, covering varied genres, displaying his quick study and command for repertoire. Noted as “a wonderful pianist, overall incredible musician”, and “a distinguished real leader”, by Willie Anthony Waters of Connecticut Opera, he continues to bring out the best from those he works with.

His travels have led him to make appearances with Grandview Opera (where he serves as General & Co – Artistic Director), Light Opera Company Of Salisbury (General & Artistic Director), Prelude to Performance (Associate Conductor), Amore Opera (Principal Conductor), Connecticut Opera, Connecticut Concert Opera, Greater New Britain Opera, Berkshire Opera, Bardavon Opera, Jacksonville Lyric Opera, Opera Ischia (Italy), Bronx Opera, Amato Opera, Regina Opera, Bleecker Street Opera (Associate Conductor), the Greater Middletown Chorale (Vocal Coach), the New Britain Symphony Orchestra, the Belleayre Music Festival, American Opera Preview, at Bechstein Hall, Merkin Hall and Lincoln Center. Mr. Calderon has also appeared as a guest accompanist at the Hartt School of Music, guest organist and conductor at Holy Family Church, NY, First Church of Christ in historic Wethersfield, CT and currently serves as Music Director/Organist to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church- Bronx, NY.

Ray is a regular soloist with numerous chorales in the U.S. and Europe, including Crescendo, the Berkshire Chorale Festival, St. Ignatius Loyola in New York (conducting debut), First Church of Christ in historic Wethersfield, Connecticut (site of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival), where he made his Connecticut organ debut and returns regularly as a soloist, and the Greater Middletown Chorale, where he served as vocal coach and in December of 2008, conducted the Chorale’s New York debut. Having served on the faculty of Bronx House School of Performing Arts and Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, he was personally selected by Mignon Dunn to conduct her Opera Scenes Performance Concert at Manhattan School of Music. He has made several well – received guest appearances throughout the United States, Europe and Australia and has been featured as a concert opener for Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco and Ray Barretto.

As a recording artists, his catalogue numbers over two hundred in several genres with numerous orchestras including the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra, Kostelanetz Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. His solo performances have also been broadcast on Channel 15 (Hartford) and WJMJ FM (New Haven).

A graduate with honors from Fordham and the Music Conservatory of Westchester, Mr. Calderon is the proud recipient of such awards as the Hartt performance arts scholarship, the Fordham Excellence Award in music, the Berkshire Chorale Festival performing arts scholarship and the Tito Puente Performing Arts Award in 2001 & 2002. In 2007, he was presented the Decades of Achievers Award from his alma mater Villa Maria Academy, honored as the representative of his graduating decade; and was recently nominated to receive the Servant of Christ Award of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.

Mr. Calderon holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the Hartt School of Music. He earned his Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music.