Hornist Mary Lee trained at the University of Toronto, in the city where she was born and raised. Her principal teachers there were Wayne Jeffrey and Eugene Rittich, but special mention must go to her grade 7 music teacher, Mr. Barnes, who, upon first handing Mary her instrument, insisted that she not attempt to make a sound on it until AFTER hearing Denis Brain’s recording of the Mozart horn concertos. He set the bar high, and Mary credits the Toronto public school music programs for giving her a strong start. Along the way, she was fortunate to spend two summers at the Banff Centre, participating in the brass and wind masterclass programs, as well as summer masterclasses in Freiburg, Germany. After completing her undergraduate degree, Mary packed up her horn and moved to the Netherlands where she spent a year at the Utrecht Conservatory furthering her horn and orchestral studies. Shortly afterwards she played a season with the Israel Sinfonietta and then joined the Symphony Nova Scotia horn section in 1989, where she has played ever since. In addition to performing, Mary greatly enjoys working with horn students of all ages and is on the faculty at Acadia University and the Maritime Conservatory. She coaches the NSYO horn section, and has given workshops and adjudicated at schools, festivals and music camps throughout Nova Scotia.
Mary is also a founding member of the woodwind quintet Fifth Wind, and playing with this group has led to many wonderful and diverse adventures in chamber music.
1985 BMus, French Horn Performance, University of Toronto
Fifth Wind Quintet www.fifthwind.org/about.html