Collaborative pianist, Mary Castello, is the Staff Accompanist for the School of Music at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She holds an MMus in Collaborative Piano Performance from McGill University, where she studied with Michael McMahon. Originally from Kitchener, Ontario, Mary received a BMus in Piano Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, as a student of Leslie De’Ath.
An alumna of several operatic training programs, including Opera NUOVA in Edmonton, AB, COSI in Sulmona, Italy, Opera McGill, and Opera on the Avalon, Mary has worked as a rehearsal pianist with conductors Rosemary Thomson, Leslie Dala, Patrick Hansen, Boris Brott, Christopher Larkin, and Judith Yan on repertoire ranging from Mozart to 21st century.
In July of 2016, Mary participated in the Franz-Schubert-Institut Master Course "Poetry and Performance of the German Lied" in Baden Bei Wien, Austria, where she performed in masterclasses given by Helmut Deutsch, Julius Drake, Wolfram Rieger, Roger Vignoles, Elly Ameling, Olaf Bar, Robert Holl, Andreas Schmidt, and Birgid Steinberger.
Mary spent the 2016-2017 season as a member of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program at Vancouver Opera, where she had the privilege of acting as principal repetiteur for their production of Hansel and Gretel, with conductor, Alexander Prior, and chorus rehearsal pianist for Otello and Dead Man Walking, with conductors, Jonathan Darlington and Kinza Tyrrell, during Vancouver Opera’s inaugural festival. Mary also provided musical leadership for the young artist school tour production, Opera Tales, and the young artist production of Viardot’s Cendrillon.
Recent projects include recitals in Southwestern Ontario with soprano, Bethany Hörst and mezzo-soprano Leah Giselle Field, as well as recitals in Ontario, Michigan and Ohio with mezzo-soprano, Marie Engle, and flautist, Melissa Mashner.
Mary spent eight weeks during summer of 2018 as an Apprentice Artist at Opera Saratoga, where she was an apprentice rehearsal pianist for the season, working with conductors Andrew Bisantz, Anthony Barrese and David Alan Miller, and performing in several concerts.
Mary holds an Associate Diploma in Piano Pedagogy from Conservatory Canada, and has taught piano, theory, music history, and musicianship to students of all ages since 2010. She has experience as a choir accompanist and sectional leader, having worked at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, and with the Inter-Mennonite Children's Choir in Kitchener for several years, before and during her years with Wilfrid Laurier University's Chapel Choir. Mary is a current member of the Manning Chapel Choir in Wolfville, NS.
Mary is based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where she maintains a freelance performing and private teaching schedule in addition to her work at Acadia University.