Mary Brandal is a 23 year old cellist from Columbus, Ohio, who has her Bachelor's degree in Music, cello performance, at Ohio University. She is a registered Suzuki cello teacher for books 1-4.
Mary switched to cello from violin at the age of ten, fell in love with it, and has been playing ever since. As a young cellist in high school, she participated in the Chamber Music Connection in Columbus, Ohio, as well as the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Youth Philharmonic Columbus Orchestra, and the OMEA Regional and District Orchestras. Every year throughout middle and high school, Mary entered the OMEA solo competition. She attended Whetstone High School and was often a featured soloist at their concerts. At Whetstone, she won awards for "Best Musician" and "Most Improved Musician". Mary performed solo Bach at her high school graduation in the Ohio Theatre.
More recently Mary has studied with Pei-An Chao and Michael Carrera and has performed in master classes for Peter Takacs, Regina Mushabac, Robert Domaine, and Janos Starker. Mary studied the Suzuki method of teaching with Suzuki master teacher Jean Dexter, and has spent time observing Suzuki instructors Carol Tarr and Amy Barston. Mary was a finalist in the Ohio University Concerto Competition two years in a row; 2011 and 2012. She attended and performed at the Montecito International Music Festival in 2009, 2010, and 2013.
Mary is currently a cellist in the Ohio University Symphony Orchestra and has taught for three years as a cello teacher for the Athens Community Music School. As a trained Suzuki instructor, she teaches students of all ages. Mary currently plays on a 2010 cello, named "Valentino", made by luthier Richard Compartino in Quebec, Canada.
Mary has played with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, and has been a featured guest artist with the Calliope Women's Choir. She also plays at art shows, weddings, coffee shops, and other events all over Ohio. Her repertoire is diverse; she plays everything from Bach to Lady Gaga. She combines her classical training with pop and rock music to create a fun and unique sound. She especially enjoys playing what she calls "cello karaoke" and is gaining a reputation as a "karaoke cellist".