Collaborative pianist, Mary Castello, is the Staff Accompanist for the School of Music at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where she has the privilege of coaching many of the instrumental and vocal students. Mary also has an active freelance performing schedule, including work with Scotia Festival, Halifax Summer Opera Festival and the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. In 2019, she performed in recital with soprano Bethany Hörst, mezzo-soprano Paula Rockwell, flautist Jack Chen, cellist Rachel Desoer and mezzo-soprano Marie Engle. Mary is currently the accompanist for the Aeolian Singers in Halifax, and a member of the Manning Chapel Choir in Wolfville, NS.
Mary is an alumna of several operatic training programs including Opera NUOVA in Edmonton, AB; COSI in Sulmona, Italy; Opera McGill; and Opera on the Avalon. She 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. She was 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. 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.
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. She holds an Associate Diploma in Piano Pedagogy from Conservatory Canada.
Mary has been teaching piano, theory, music history, and musicianship to students of all ages for ten years. She is a member of the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers Association, and maintains a private teaching schedule in Wolfville, NS in addition to her work at Acadia University.