Robert Shay became Dean of the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder in August 2014, having previously served as Director of the School of Music at the University of Missouri (from 2008 to 2014) and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Conservatory at the Longy School of Music, in Cambridge, Massachusetts (from 2000 to 2008). From 1991 to 2000, he was on the faculty at Lyon College, in Batesville, Arkansas, where he directed the Concert Choir, taught courses in music history and appreciation, and offered studio voice instruction. He also served as Chair of Lyon’s Fine Arts Division for two years and was a visiting professor at Duke University in 1999-2000.
Shay’s writings on the music of Henry Purcell and seventeenth-century England are well known, particularly the book Purcell Manuscripts: The Principal Musical Sources (Cambridge University Press, 2000, co-authored with Robert Thompson), a recipient of the Music Library Association’s Vincent H. Duckles Award, given annually to “the best book-length bibliography or other research tool in music.” His edition of music by Henry Aldrich, Selected Anthems and Motet Recompositions (A-R Editions, 1998), represented the first modern edition devoted to Aldrich, and Shay’s articles have appeared in the journals Early Music, Music & Letters, and Notes: The Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association. He has also contributed chapters to the books Purcell Studies (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and King Arthur in Music (D. S. Brewer, 2002), and the entry on Aldrich in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Shay has been active in the American Musicological Society, serving as a member of the New England Chapter’s program committee from 2004 to 2006, and is a founding member of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, serving as treasurer from 2000 to 2003 and chairing the program committee for the 2004 annual meeting. He has been an invited lecturer at Brandeis University, Northwestern University, the Round Top Early Music Festival, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Western Illinois University, and has presented on administrative topics several times at the annual meetings of the National Association of Schools of Music, for which he serves as a visiting evaluator.
Shay holds the M.A. and Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the M.Mus. in choral conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music, and the B.Mus. in vocal performance from Wheaton College (Illinois). He also studied voice and conducting during two summers at the Aspen Music School, and participated in Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management in 2006.