Dr. Kay R. Price

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Dr. Kay R. Price

Dr. Kay R. Price

Dr. Kay Pace has enjoyed a long and distinguished professional career as concert pianist, college music professor, music administrator, music educator, choral director, composer/arranger, ethnomusicologist, organist, collaborative pianist, workshop clinician, church musician, vocal coach, and author. She has been recognized for her versatility and skills in a broad range of musical styles: the Classics, Spirituals, African American Art Music, Gospel, Jazz, Broadway, Popular, Folk and the like. 

 Dr. Pace has toured nationally and internationally as a piano soloist and a collaborative pianist.  Her many awards include: 1st Place Winner of the Artist Presentation Society’ Young Artist Competition in St. Louis, MO; 1st Place Southeast Winner and National Finalist of the National Black Music Colloquium and Competition (Washington, DC); 1st Place Winner, the Illinois State Music Teachers Young Artist Competition; 1st Place Winner, Solo Artist Fellowship, Alabama Arts Council; Semi-Finalist, the University of Maryland International Piano Competition; and Special Award Recipient, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.  Dr. Pace was also featured in a nationally televised 30-minute PBS documentary “A Portrait of Kay Pace” and she was the first piano teacher in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Talent Development Program.

Dr. Pace has served as a college professor and/or administrator in several institutions: Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), Alabama State University (ASU Montgomery), Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), and Clark Atlanta University (GA).  At ASU, her longest post, Dr. Pace served as music professor and School of Music Dean where she secured full NASM accreditations for all music degree programs, graduate and undergraduate.  She also sponsored the only state-wide celebration to honor the life and work of world renown composer/arranger and native Alabamian, William Dawson, during his lifetime. Dr. Pace conducted and directed the ASU Choir which toured nationally to critical acclaim and premiered her time-honored musical “My Son, My Son.”  The ASU Reunion Chorus created the Dr. Kay Pace Choral Excellence Scholarship, which is given annually to an outstanding ASU choral music major.

Dr. Pace served as Head of the choral and piano departments at M. E. Stilwell Performing Arts High School and Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) HS Choral Lead Teacher. She also taught at the Fine Arts Magnet at Mt. Zion HS and North Clayton HS.  While there, her excellent Advanced Choruses consistently received Superior Ratings in LGPE and her choral students routinely made All-State Chorus, All-State Reading Chorus and the Governors Honors Program.  Her Stilwell Chorus was selected to sing at numerous venues including two GMEA In-Service Conventions, Spivey Hall, and Lincoln Center in New York City.  In 2018, the CCPS Board voted to name the newest fine arts magnet elementary school the Dr. Kay R. Pace School of the Arts in her honor.

Dr. Pace was also presented with a framed congratulatory letter from President Jimmy Carter by the Carter Presidential Library and Museum (Atlanta) in 2018.  In 2019 the Georgia American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) selected Dr. Pace to receive its first Distinguished Directors Award and in 2022 TAAMS (the Atlanta African American Music Society) presented Dr. Pace with its Atlanta Music Living Legends Award.  In 2023 the Yale University Oral History of American Music Project documented her life and work in an archived interview.

As choral clinician, Dr. Pace recently conducted high school Honor Choruses for Richmond County Schools, GMEA District VII, the DeKalb County Schools and the 2024 GMEA State-wide Elementary Honor Chorus. A versatile artist, Dr. Pace has served as conductor/organist/pianist at the Sanctuary Choir of Ben Hill U.M. Church, the MLK Sr. Choir at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and others. Her compositional output includes several sacred albums; concert works for solo piano, voice, and choral ensembles; Gospel songs; and arrangements of spirituals, hymns, and anthems.

A Mobile, AL native, Dr. Pace has a BA from Xavier University (Louisiana); MM, Southern Illinois University (Carbondale); DMA, the Peabody Conservatory of Music (Baltimore); PhD in ethnomusicology from Pacific Western University (CA); and teacher certification from University of West Georgia (Carrollton). She was elected to Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Societies and holds memberships in the Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, American Choral Director’s Association, National Association of Women in the Arts as well as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 


  • Master choral conductor, director, clinician available for guest conducting for Honor choruses—college, high school, middle school, elementary—on national, state, local levels.  
  • Motivational speaker for music advocacy events, Music in our Schools Month events, awards programs
  • Master clinician specializing in ethno-cultural music—particularly African American musical art-forms: spirituals and other folk songs, Gospel, jazz
  • Customizable arts-integrated lessons, workshops, assemblies and residencies for K-12 students.
  • Master concert pianists/accompanist available for solo piano concerts, collaborative accompanying, piano workshops, piano coaching, and contest adjudication
  • Customized professional development for whole-school arts integration strategies
  • Professional development/In-Service for educators and schools seeking STEAM designation
  • Professional development for educators and schools on how to build and strengthen school-based choral programs
  • Professional development to assist teachers with burnout and strategies for improving difficult programs 
  • Professional development for choral directors in schools on preparing for LGPE, repertoire selection, understanding the process
  • Professional development for auditions: Allstate, Solo and Ensemble, Reading Chorus, GHP, etc.
  • Professional development for concert preparation, selecting music for concerts, strategies for success 
  • Professional development on how to teach sight-reading to students with little background in sight reading 
  • Song writing or score arrangements adapted and customized for a variety of school settings


  • Listing ID: 7138