Marc LeMay is a composer known for music that is at once “pleasingly muscular” and “passionately lyrical” (New York Classical Review), while navigating the spaces of spirit and humor, gravitas and grief in-between. Through his music he seeks to express the ineffable, to communicate comfort to what makes us vulnerable, and challenge what makes us complacent.
Marc’s most recently filled commissions and premieres were from the Miami-based BrassTaps Duo (Trust Fall), the Chicago-based CHAI Collaborate Ensemble (What I Did For Love), and the Philadelphia-based vocal sextet Variant Six (INNERVISIONS of a Trebled Soul in a Troubled America). He has also written for The Colonials, Ensemble39, cellists Paul Dwyer and Craig Hultgren, and many others. In recent years Marc has spun his professional experience in both music and theatre into a passion for opera, having completed a two-year residence as a composition fellow of the American Opera Projects Composers & the Voice workshop.
Much of Marc’s work is collaborative in nature. In addition to his work with librettists and poets, he also has composed a multimedia piece, The Nervous System Symphony, in collaboration with artist Michelle Wang, which has been shown in Philadelphia and Brussels. He worked with the InVersion Theatre company to devise an interactive soundwalk for iPhone, Mirroring Sky, which features original music and sound sculptures that morph as users move along a proscribed path through Center City Philadelphia. His evening-length dance drama for six musicians and ten dancers, Ordinary, was created in collaboration with choreographer Austin Selden; he created orchestral arrangements for singer-songwriter Steven Lamphear’s debut album The Unreliable Narrator; and he has written numerous incidental scores for plays and films.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Marc began his life in the arts as an actor, theatre technician, photographer, and self-taught singer-songwriter. After a few years on the theatre and music scenes of Birmingham, he decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in music, with concentrations in guitar performance and music technology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Music. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in composition from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and in 2017 completed a Ph.D. in composition at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Music. He has taught private guitar lessons and university music theory courses since 2005.
Marc currently lives in Atlanta, where he is a faculty Lecturer of Theory and Composition at the Georgia State University School of Music. He previously taught theory courses at Rowan University, the University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and University of Alabama at Birmingham. He enjoys exploring cities, cooking, reading, maps, watching comic book movies, and spending time with his partner, the musicologist Maria Ryan, and their feisty cat Nina Simone.