Mary Beth is an extremely active private cello instructor in Tucson and she has spent many summers participating in Suzuki teacher training courses throughout the U.S. Communicating joy through music is central to her philosophy and the educational programs TSO presents are among her favorites. She especially enjoys getting the chance to “ham it up” playing characters in musical renditions of children’s stories. She is indebted to local author Susan Lowell, and composers Ilona Vukovic-Gay and Michael Fan for giving her the chance to develop this “fun” side of her musical personality. It’s a blast!
How long have you played your instrument?
I’ve played piano since the summer before kindergarten and cello since 6th grade.
How much do you practice?
Only practice on the days you eat!
Funny musical experience: My string quartet likes to do dramatizations of children’s books. Now we are used to each other doing and saying funny things, but a long time ago, we weren’t. One time, David screamed in a way that our usually unflappable narrator laughed so hard she could not continue the story. I ended up having to say her part for her.
Most exciting musical moment: At Interlochen Music Camp, I was in the high school World Youth Symphony Orchestra and we played Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin with a teenage soloist. At the very end of the piece he played the last note standing up. It was thrilling! When i went back to my cabin to tell my friend, I demonstrated for her. I was sitting on a bottom bunk and when I stood I clonked my noggin so hard on the wooden bed that I had to be taken to the infirmary.
What would your career be if you hadn’t chosen to be a musician?
I would definitely be a teacher of some kind. I absolutely love helping kids learn things and do their best.
Hobbies: My biggest hobby is reading. You can do it just about anywhere, anytime!
Favorite pets: I adopted a cute little Boston terrier named Audrey. She never barks at all, but she yelps and sings and howls when I practice, or during my students’ lessons. She doesn’t make a sound for any other musical instrument.