Maya Stone is a faith-filled, Black female classical musician, creator, performer and educator. Her creative output is filtered through that personal and professional lens.
As a performer and creator, Maya Stone is the tenured 2nd bassoonist of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and a bassoonist with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra. She regularly gives recitals and leads masterclasses around the U.S. each year. Maya Stone is frequently engaged as a freelance musician based in the Nashville, TN and upstate New York regions. Some of her freelance activities include studio (recording) musician, and serving as a member of Nashville alternative classical ensembles (Chatterbird and Intersection). Dr. Stone received her D.M.A. in bassoon performance from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010, an M.M. in bassoon performance and woodwind specialty from Michigan State University in 2003, and a B.M. in music education from SUNY Potsdam in 2001. She has held multiple teaching positions, including visiting professorships at the University of Missouri in Columbia and Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Dr. Stone was the Assistant Professor of Bassoon at Middle Tennessee State University, and in 2004, she held a visiting professorship in Double Reeds at Austin Peay State University. She currently maintains an active teaching schedule in both private and academic settings, where she focuses on developing the musicianship and life skills of young people. As a musical entrepreneur, she founded and now manages the Negus (nēɡəs) Bassoon Ensemble, an ensemble of all-Black bassoonists dedicated to presenting Classical works by Black composers from the present and 100+ years back. She also performs with the Rushes Ensemble, a group of seven bassoonists which premiered, and tours, composer Michael Gordon’s hour- long work Rushes.
Other creative and entrepreneurial collaborations include working with spoken word artist, Stephanie Pruitt-Gaines. Together, they created a set of pieces titled Peace Like a River. A previous collaboration, Solo Bassoon in Black Gospel Music, features the bassoon as gospel soloist with piano. For this project, she engaged composers Raymond Wise, Mark Lomax II and William Menefield. Stone has commissioned and premiered several works by living composers, including, Molly Herron, John Steinmetz, Shannon Sea, Gary Nash, Paul Osterfield, Spencer Lambright, and Stephen Gorbos.
Dr. Stone is a public speaker and educator. Her voice projects from a personal connection of mental, spiritual and physical healing and health. These three focal points are all connected, and benefit from alignment. Her discourse is filled with experience, persistence, hopefulness and a desire for growth. Through her development over the years, Maya has cultivated a flexible perspective. This perspective continues to challenge and be challenged by the world we live in. This informs her approach to speaking and pedagogy.
Active behind the scenes with several musical organizations, Maya previously served on the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) Executive Board as a Member At Large from 2015 to 2019. She also as the ROPA Delegate and Alternate Delegate for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Players Association. Maya enjoys exploring matters of health and wellness. She loves walking other peoples dogs and dancing out loud.