Janis McKay
Janis McKay
Bassoonist • Educator • Author
photo credit: Trent Black

photo credit: Trent Black

Janis McKay is the Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Principal Bassoon of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra. She also performs as Contrabassoon for the Reno Philharmonic and was for twelve years the Principal Bassoon for the Classical Music Festival in Austria. McKay has held positions and performed with numerous orchestras including the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston (WV) Orchestra, the Springfield (OH) Symphony Orchestra, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and the Louisville Orchestra among many others. As a free-lance musician in Las Vegas, McKay has performed and/or toured with such artists as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Charlotte Church, John Williams, Seth MacFarlane, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Metallica, Stevie Wonder, and Tony Bennett.

She has twice been a featured soloist with the International Music Festival in Ukraine, twice with the Classical Music Festival touring Austria and Hungary, and once with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. She may be heard on Summit, d'Note, Starkland Records, and First Edition recordings. Her new solo CD, Dark Wind, will be released by Troppo Note Publishing in 2017.

Janis McKay received her D.M.A. from The Ohio State University, the Master of Music degree from the University of Louisville, and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia. Her major teachers were Christopher Weait, Matthew Karr, and William Davis. Dr. McKay previously taught at Baylor University, Capital University, the Ohio Wesleyan University, and Wright State University.

She is the author of a book about Las Vegas casino musicians titled Played Out on the Strip: The Rise and Fall of Las Vegas Casino Bands (2016) that is published by the University of Nevada Press. 


Downloadable bio is available on the Media page.

Updated October 2016. Please discard any previously dated material.