Mary is an avid lover of Early and Baroque music. Her studies with renowned lute performer and scholar Paul O’Dette, as well as her continued research post-graduation, have given her particular insight into the keyboard music of J. S. Bach. This year, she is recording all six keyboard partitas, and will release the 2-CD set in the fall of 2017 in celebration of the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation. In addition, Mary has commissioned Josh Rodriguez to compose a partita, which will include older dance forms as well as rhythms and dance forms of contemporary significance. The project as a whole will both acknowledge the rich tradition and heritage of classical music as well as welcome fresh and contemporary perspectives.
"If you are a pianist, I encourage you to seek out a new work of Bach's to practice, reflect upon, enjoy, and share! I invite you to take up this Bach Project along with me!"
Brahms' Ghost Piano Trio
Mary formed the Brahms' Ghost Trio in 2014. The name “Brahms’ Ghost” gives a nod to influential composers who might have ‘haunted’ Brahms, as well as to composers since Brahms who might feel they work forever in his shadow: Brahms’ Ghost renders faithful and engaging performances of classical masterpieces, as well as gives voice to lesser known works and new commissions. In March 2016, the trio toured California over ten days, performing and teaching at schools and universities. Their concert program included a newly commissioned piece by their composer-in-residence, Josh Rodriguez. The new piece, "That Crazed Girl Improvising," was well received by enthusiastic audiences. The trio consists of Marilyn Marks Taylor on violin, Robert Nicholson on cello, and Mary Vanhoozer on piano. To find out more about upcoming concerts and programs, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/brahmsghosttrio/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE
Rooted and Renewed
Mary and her husband, Josh Rodriguez, became Directors of Music at New City Presbyterian Church, Royal Oak, in 2014. Their musical vision is to represent the Church in time (history) and space (geography): they aim for a liturgy which acknowledges both the Church's rich history as well as its ethnic and cultural variety. In December 2015, they wrote, arranged, and co-produced New City's first album, Rooted and Renewed, which features ethnic percussion, folk and fiddle music, as well as traditional choir and hymn arrangements. They are currently working on a second album to be released December of this year. To hear samples of tracks, visit iTunes or click the following link:
Songs of Day and Night
In November, 2015, Mary released "Songs of Day and Night," an album of original songs based on the poetry of Christina Rossetti, Eugene Field, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson. This song collection represents Mary's diverse musical range. Her choice of instruments (Scottish fiddle, mandolin, djembe, and hammered dulcimer) reveals her continued passion for folk music while the melodies themselves show an influence of early French and Spanish music. To purchase a CD, or to download songs, click on the following link:
Mary's passion for making live music in her local community has led her to innovative ideas for drawing musicians together in concert. In 2014 she organized the Starving Artists Chamber Music Series in Westwood, CA. This series was designed to create a professional performance venue for recent music graduates seeking to share their talent. Members performed solo as well as chamber music at the Westwood Hills Christian Church, with all proceeds from the concert going to charity.