~ Restoring beauty one note at a time ~
Mary Vanhoozer is a creative and engaging multi-instrumentalist and melodist. A classical pianist by trade, she has performed solo recitals and taught masterclasses throughout the United States. She has also appeared as soloist with the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra and the Lake Forest Symphony. Her debut album for solo piano, From Leipzig to LA features the complete partitas of J. S. Bach, as well as a new commission by composer Josh Rodriguez, Partita Picosa. Mary is also an avid performer of renaissance and baroque dance music and has appeared on violin and vielle a roue (hurdy gurdy) with the UCLA Early Music Ensemble.
Mary began piano lessons at age five in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her father, an amateur pianist and academic theologian. At age seven, she started violin lessons with June Nelson, a member of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, and developed an enduring love of folk music. Years later Mary studied traditional French folk music for vielle a roue with Richard Taylor.
These formative experiences continue to fuel Mary's artistic work and creativity today. In 2019 she officially launched Bard and Ceilidh: a classically trained, folk-inspired multi-track recording project. This project has grown to include and incorporate early music instruments as well as some performance practice techniques.
Mary released her first album of original music in 2015, Songs of Day and Night. The music reflects both her love of folk music as well as early music sensibilities, demonstrated in dance rhythms, transparent textures and modal melodies. Mary's second album of original music, Bard and Ceilidh, features instrumentals as well as songs. Mary is also joined on some tunes by lute player Laudon Schuett and cellist Robert Nicholson. The album received positive reception, and has been broadcast on the UK National FM radio. Mary released her most recent album, Jubilate, in September 2020. Written and recorded largely during the quarantine, the album's instrumentals represents an attitude of determined joy in the face of turbulent times, while the more intimate and introspective tracks offer comfort and peace to those suffering from isolation.
Mary received her degrees in piano performance: her BM from Wheaton College Conservatory, her MM from the Eastman School of Music, and her DMA from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is grateful for the artistic inspiration and musical mentorship of: Daniel Shapiro, Daniel Paul Horn, Douglas Humpherys, Paul O'Dette, Peter Slowik, June Nelson, Carol Honigberg, and Richard Taylor.