Our Resident Conductor

Mary Gerard is celebrated for her success as a teacher of violin and viola. Throughout her career she has produced string students who now occupy principal positions in noted professional orchestras throughout the nation.

Mary held first violin and viola positions with the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Opera Orchestra and Starlight Opera. Her career has included a professorship in the music department of SDSU, teaching violin, viola, symphonic literature, chamber music literature, and coaching chamber music classes.

But enough with this old standardized list of accomplishments. Let's hear what some of those people from the first paragraph have to say about the matter.


Ben Russel

He studied at the Amsterdam and New England Conservatories.

He's performed with the Portland Symphony in Maine and The Bryant Park Quartet in New York City. Now he's freelancing and playing his own music. And it all started with Mary...

You have to hear this! See if you can pick out Mary's influence on the first nine years of Ben Russel's career.

Hint: it won't be easy. It has little to do with classical.

Chris Vitas

talks about the old days with Mary and the new days with his Ned Steinberger electric

Anna Rose

learned phrasing and complex musical forms from Mary. She has since played for (and with) 75 celebrities, including Pavarotti, Henry Mancini, Tony Bennett, Led Zeppelin, and two U.S. presidents.

Paul Grant

is an orchestra director in Orange County, CA.

Watch the video to actually witness the single moment in one lesson

when Mary completely turned his life around.

Katy Mattis

is associate principle viola with the St. Louis Symphony. She reminisces with Mary about her journey getting there.

Joan Zellickman

played in the Calgary Philharmonic, and the Mexico City, Portland, and Vera Cruz Orchestras before coming home to the San Diego Symphony.

Santa Maria Pecoraro Di Vittorio

is a violinist and orchestra manager of The Chamber Orchestra of New York. She's also a skilled video producer. She puts all her skills and talent to use in this beautiful tribute to her "key mentor."