Clyde McKaney, a Jackson native, is principal violist and frequent solo violist with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and has enjoyed teaching at the Symphony’s music school since its founding in 1992.
He began his musical studies in the Jackson Public School’s 6th grade string program playing the violin. In 1981, while still in high school, he joined the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. Just a couple of years later Clyde fell in love with the sound of the viola and decided to major in viola performance at the University of Michigan where he studied with renowned viola soloist Donald McInnes and principal violist of the Detroit Symphony, Nathan Gordon. He also majored in viola performance at Michigan State University where he studied with the New World String Quartet’s violist Robert Dan.
While attending MSU he was often invited to perform with faculty in honors recitals. He went on to study in New York with Joseph Fuchs of the Juilliard School of Music. While there, Clyde was appointed principal violist of the Bach Chamber Orchestra performing Bach’s Double Concerto with Mr. Fuchs and Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. McKaney has held principal violist positions and has been solo violist with many symphony orchestras in and around the mid-Michigan area including Battle Creek, Hillsdale, Lansing, Jackson, University of Michigan, Michigan State, and Interlochen Arts Academy.
Among his frequent solo performances with the Jackson Symphony, including the complete “Der Schwanendreher” by Paul Hindemith, Telemann, Stamitz, Bach and Mozart concertos, was the world premiere performance of “Quixote!” written by Dr. Bruce Brown of Spring Arbor University specifically for Mr. McKaney to perform with the orchestra.
Now residing in Jackson, Clyde enjoys teaching the violin and viola, performing with the Symphony, directing and performing with the Symphony’s “Community String Ensemble,” cooking… and training his horses!!