Lecturer, piano

Mary Jane Austin is enjoying a rich musical life in Vermont and abroad, where her interests range from recital work and full scale opera productions to teaching and choral conducting.  She has been the conductor of the Mad River Chorale since 2018 after a long tenure as a collaborative pianist for the organization.  She served as a vocal coach at the Italian opera program EPCASO from 1994-2016.  Currently principal keyboardist of the Vermont Symphony, in 2016 she was awarded the title of "Honorary Conductor" by the VSO.  She performs regularly with the Craftsbury Chamber Players, is a rehearsal pianist and chorusmaster for the Opera Company of Middlebury (OCM), and also regularly collaborates with TURNmusic, Eleva Chamber Players, and Vermont Virtuosi.  She co-founded Vermont Italian Opera with bass Erik Kroncke, and together they direct opera and operettas at the Unadilla Theatre in Calais every summer, as well as produce outdoor concerts at the State House in Montpelier.  In addition to teaching at UVM, she conducts musicals at Middlebury College, works as a collaborative pianist/vocal coach at Dartmouth College, and teaches at Northern Vermont University.  She is also the organist at the Waterbury Congregational Church and rehearsal pianist for both the Handel Society and the South Burlington Community Chorus.

After growing up musically through the preparatory department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, including the Young Artist Program, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in piano performance (B.M. 1992).  After that, she pursued graduate studies in vocal coaching and accompanying with Warren Jones at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, began teaching/coaching/collaborating there as a member of the adjunct faculty at D.U. while performing as a member of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble until 1999, when she moved to Vermont.  She continues here to support new music and living composers through collaborations with TURNmusic, Music-COMP, and Abundant Silence.

Mary Jane Austin

Areas of Expertise and/or Research