headshots by Katherine Shay

headshots by Katherine Shay


Trey Makler (b. 1994) is a musical storyteller.  He crafts dramatic, poignant narratives with stylistic versatility, taking the listener on an unexpected journey through memories of hope, play, struggle, and triumph.  

Trey’s music, running the gamut from solo to chamber, orchestral to opera, has been featured on programs throughout the United States and Brazil, and in institutions such as the Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Gallery, National Sawdust, Alice Tully Hall, the Missouri Theatre, and the Mesa Performing Arts Center.  He frequently collaborates with dancers and choreographers, having participated in the Charlotte New Music Festival Dance Co-Lab, the Composers and Choreographers Workshop at The Juilliard School, as well as the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of the New York City Ballet. His passion for dance collaborations comes from the powerful experiences of seeing his music in movement, the sense of adventure found through experimentation, and the highly-collaborative processes that go into generating movement.

Aside from his work as a composer, Makler enjoys teaching kids through music.  He has worked throughout New York City as a teaching artist with both The Juilliard School Office of Community Engagement and the New York Philharmonic’s critically-acclaimed Very Young Composers program.  His curriculums place a diverse roster of composers at the center, exploring the contributions of under-recognized artists to music. Aside from listening and discussions, he also includes cross-disciplinary exercises, arts integration strategies, and non-traditional composition pedagogies, such as improvisation and graphic notation.  As a teacher, Trey firmly believes in the inherent creativity that lies within all people and uses this as a starting point as students develop their own creative voice, regardless of style, aesthetic, or training.

Upon completing his Masters in Composition, Trey has begun reacquainting himself with his passion for poetry, due in part to his realization of the inextricable link he feels between the two art forms, which he believes inform and inspire one another.  He intends to use writing and music as vehicles for the development of a series of immersive, highly interactive concerts which blur the line between audience and performer in an effort to transform “shows” into “experiences.”

Trey is pursuing a PhD in Theory and Composition at the University of California - Davis and holds degrees from The Juilliard School and the University of Missouri.  His primary teachers have included Drs. Melinda Wagner, Stefan Freund, and W. Thomas McKenney.