Mary began learning the piano at the age of 3 with her late Mother, Patricia and by the age of 5, she had successfully auditioned to study with internationally renowned pianist, Dr. John O'Conor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. When she was 4, she commenced her violin studies with the late, great Fr. Brendan McNally.
When she was 8, Mary performed Shostakovich's The Clockwork Doll on the Late Late Toy Show, an experience she will always treasure. She gave her first recital at the age of 10 in Stranmillis Training College (now Stranmillis University College), Belfast, at the invitation of an adjudicator who was impressed by her advanced technique for her years. An annual prize-winner at the Dublin Feis Ceoil, Dublin Feis Maitiu, Belfast, Ballymena and Newry Music Festivals, prestigious awards at the Dublin Feis Ceoil included the Junior and Senior Concerto Cups, Mabel Swainson Award (Junior Recital), Nordell Cup (Sonata), Heneghan Cup (senior recital), Benson Cup (Baroque) and all the piano duet competitions at Junior and Senior levels, partnering with her sister, Catherine.
Mary was a member of the National Youth Orchestra from the age of 10, playing both violin and orchestral piano with them. As a professional musician, she has played both violin and piano with the RTE Concert Orchestra, and piano with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Crash Ensemble. On numerous occasions, she performed as piano soloist with both the RTE Co and NSO as part of the Irish Times Music in the Classroom series, devised and directed by Gearóid Grant. She was also invited to perform Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major with the UCD Symphony Orchestra in the National Concert Hall.
Mary read Music and Irish at Trinity College, Dublin, where she was awarded a coveted Scholarship, and graduated with First Class Honours. There, she led the TCD Orchestra for a number of years and performed both as violin and piano soloist with them. She continued her studies with a Higher Diploma in Education and a Masters in Multimedia, before embarking on a two year Masters in Performance programme at the RIAM, which she completed with First Class Honours. Following her Masters, Mary took up a music performance lecturing position at the Dundalk Institute of Technology. During her time working in Dundalk, she co-directed a number of operas and musicals, and was Musical Director of the Dundalk Musical Society and the Cloughmore Male Voice Choir and achieved another diploma in Conducting in the Community, under Marion Doherty at St Patrick's College / DCU.
Variety is the spice of life, and Mary has been fortunate to have performed in many different settings! She has performed with lots of big name acts on stage and on television, including Michael Bublé, Westlife, Kanye West, Rod Stewart, Katherine Jenkins, Celtic Woman and Il Divo, to name a few. Mary is a member of the Classical Crossover group Everdream (formerly Affinití), who are in demand as corporate entertainers and with whom she tours annually in the USA. She also founded the Munster String Quartet in 2013, which has become one of Ireland's most in demand Quartets for weddings and corporate events. Mary performs regularly with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra and the Cork Pops Orchestra. She also accompanies on a freelance basis with MTU Cork School of Music and Cork ETB School of Music, and is the official accompanist with the Carrigaline Singers.
In 2011, when Mary moved to Cork, she built a music studio at her home near Kinsale. The studio boasts a Kawai K3 baby grand piano and the acoustics in the room are excellent. She is available to accompany all levels and with gentle encouragement and Mary's expertise as an accompanist and teacher, she will bring out the best in young performers.