Mary studied piano at the prestigious St. Joseph Convent Music school in Milwaukee, WI throughout grade school and high school. In Junior High she began harp studies with Jeanne Henderson in the Milwaukee Public School System.
She also studied string bass. cello, guitar, violin and voice. In 1977 she earned degrees in applied harp and music education from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI. During the next 10 years she taught elementary general music, elementary band, choir and music theory. Along with teaching in the public schools, Mary taught harp privately. She is trained in the Yamaha keyboard method, and is licensed and certified to teach the excellent MusikGarten curriculum. She is working toward certification in a clinical music program.
Mary free-lanced in Houston for 11 years, also serving as substitute harpist with the Houston Symphony and second harpist with the Houston Ballet Orchestra.
She has served as president of the San Jacinto Chapter of the American Harp Society, SW Regional director of the American Harp Society, president of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen, and Scottish Harp Society. She chaired the International Folk Harp Conference held in Galveston in 1998 and has served as editor-in-chief of the Folk Harp Journal for a six-issue interim.
In 1993 Mary and her husband John Gill opened Melody’s Traditional Music & Harp Shoppe, a harp specialty store. In 1999 they established Afghan Press Music for the Harp, specializing in harp music publications. Afghan Press is named after John and Mary’s beloved Afghan Hound, Melody. (1987 – 1998).
Mary instituted the harp events at the TX Scottish Festival in Arlington, and has chaired the harp competition events for the Houston Highland Games. She was a winner in the Florida Summer Harp Seminar pop harp competition in 1994, and is the 1995 Texas champion Scottish harper. She performs and gives workshops throughout the country on harp techniques for relaxation, ensemble ideas and improvisation.
Along with maintaining the web site for Melody’s Traditional Music and Afghan Press Music for the Harp, she teaches piano and harp for MPS, and is the coordinator of music at St. Therese Catholic Parish in Milwaukee.
She is a member of the American Harp Society, Scottish Harp Society of America, American Guild of Organists, MacDowell Club of Milwaukee, International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen, Wisconsin Federation of Music, Nat’l Association for Music Education, and Music Teachers National Association.
Mary teaches private and group lessons in Wauwatosa and Milwaukee.