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One of the active and energetic musicians in the artistic community of Victoria, BC, Canada, Dr. Mary Byrne has devoted much of her professional life to performing, studying, and teaching the flute. Dr. Byrne began her instrumental studies during her school years in the Northern Virginia area of Washington, DC with Lois Wynn, continuing on with Carol Kniebusch Noe at James Madison University in 1981. After transferring to study with Keith Bryan at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor the following year, she completed a B.Mus. in Flute Performance and Music Education (1985) and an M.Mus. in Flute Performance (1986). She has also undertaken private and masterclass flute study with Bonita Boyd, Judith Bentley, Clement Barone, Susan Hoeppner, William Montgomery, Walfrid Kujala, Wissam Boustany, and Keith Underwood. Her Ph. D. in Musicology was received from the University of Victoria where she worked under Dr. Erich Schwandt. Additionally, she completed a course of private study in conducting with Dr. Elizabeth A. H. Green while still a student at the bachelors and masters level at the University of Michigan, and continues to pursue vocal studies, now with soprano Nancy Argenta.

Dr. Byrne has been deeply involved with the teaching of music and in academic music administration since her professional debut in the mid-1980s. She is in her third decade on the flute faculty of the Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM) and its associate programs with Camosun College (CC), and is co-founder of the Summer Flute Academy and Victoria Flute Workshop of the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She is a past Head of Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion (VCM), and Chief Examiner of Practical Examinations (VCM). She currently holds the administrative positions of Director of Post-Secondary Studies (VCM); Chief Examiner of Associate-Level Examinations (VCM); Member of the Artistic Directorate (VCM); Artistic Director of the Victoria Flute Workshop (VCM); and Chair of the Music Department (CC). She is widely-sought as clinician, masterclass leader, examiner, and music festival adjudicator at the local and provincial level throughout Canada and in the U.S.

Dr. Byrne boasts a thriving flute studio of students at all ages and stages of musical interest, and she is justifiably proud of her students’ many achievements. While most of her students study for the pleasure and joy of music without consideration of high music awards, many of her current and graduated flute students have attained high honours throughout BC and Canada. Student achievement includes: numerous prize winners at the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival; win/place performances at the BC Provincial Festival at all levels of competition; 2nd and 3rd place performance at the National Music Festival in the Woodwinds Division; consistently high scores and award winners from VCM examinations; consistently high marks at RCM examinations including Gold Medal (ARCT) and Silver Medal (gr. 6) recipients; engagements with elite training orchestras and with full and part-time professional orchestras; concerto and solo-artist performances across Canada; acceptance to music programmes of choice in universities throughout Canada and the US at the bachelors’ degree, masters’ degree levels, and apprenticeship levels, often with excellent music scholarship offers. Her current studio includes students ranging from ages 7 through retirement years, beginner through university / diploma studies, as well as those at professional and emerging artist-levels.

In the classroom, Dr. Byrne is instructor and coordinator of the Flute Literature and Pedagogy course of the VCM (PCTIA registered) for young and renewing teachers of flute in the studio setting, special instructor for the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Victoria conducting classes devoted to the study of the music by selected composers to adults with a general interest in music, and instructor of Camosun College’s university transfer Survey of Western Music course (MUS 115) and Introduction to Conducting (MUS 275 and MUS 275). She participates in leading the Victoria Conservatory’s weekly flute masterclasses and co-hosts focused flute study sessions in conjunction with these masterclasses: September Savvy and January Jump-Start. She joyfully conducts sessions and lectures in historical performance practice, bigger and smaller flutes, ethnic and historic flutes, flute choir and ensemble skills, flute pedagogy, and teaching repertoire of the flute.

In 1993 Dr. Byrne completed the requirements for a Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of Victoria. Her field of specialization is the pedagogy and performance practice of the flute performer/teachers at the Paris Conservatoire during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Her dissertation Tutors and Tooters is a study of the first large method-treatises published in Paris for the Boehm flute: Tutors and Tooters has been published by the National Library, Ottawa and is available on interlibrary loan from the University of Victoria. Her scholarly writings on music include liner notes for CDs by Toronto-based flutist Susan Hoeppner (Serenade for EMI Classics, Fantaisie Fran├žaise for ArchivMusic), Northwestern University of Louisiana’s McDermott / Bakenhaus / Zaitseva Trio (Trios for Piano, Flute, and Bassoon for Classical Records), and annual notes for the National Flute Association Sampler Concerts. She may be heard in lecture series throughout Vancouver Island.

Dr. Byrne has continued her work with flute pedagogy as a member of the Pedagogy Committee for the National Flute Association. With her colleagues on this committee she directed preparation of and co-authored three publications for the National Flute Association: Selected Flute Repertoire: A Graded Guide for Teachers and Students (2001, and web-edition [revised] 2004); Selected Flute Studies: A Graded Guide of Etudes, Daily Studies, and Method Books (2005), Selected Flute Repertoire and Studies: A Graded Guide (2009), and most recently the Commissioned Works and Quartet Repertoire Supplements to these series to be web-published in 2014/15. In 2010 she collaborated with colleagues Canada-wide to advise on the current Flute Syllabus of the Royal Conservatory Toronto and on the accompanying Overtones series (Frederich Harris). Her article "Between Handel and Chaminade: Repertoire Choices for the Intermediate Flutist" was published in the Spring 1996 edition of The Flutist’s Quarterly. At the invitation of the National Flute Association, her article "Challenge, Joy, and the Adolescent Flutist" has been published in The Flutist’s Handbook: A Pedagogy Anthology, Vol. 2. Dr. Byrne has presented and performed at numerous annual conventions the National Flute Association, including conventions in 1988 (Newly Published Music performer); 1991 (Professional Flute Choir performer); 1998 (Pedagogy Potpourri presenter [Musical Parenting]); 2001 (Pedagogy Potpourri presenter [101 Uses for Scale], Studio Policies Panel moderator, Pedagogy Sampler Concerts host); 2004 (One Professor to Another Panel moderator, Pedagogy Sampler Concerts host); 2005 (Pedagogy Potpourri presenter [Flute with Cookies], Pedagogy Fix-it Panel moderator, Pedagogy Sampler Concerts host, and artist/teacher of the Junior Masterclass); 2009 (Pedagogy Potpourri presenter [The Flutist’s Face as a Faucet], and Top-10 Teaching Tips session co-leader); and 2104 (member of the Pedagogy Fix-it Panel)

Dr. Byrne regularly performs throughout the greater Victoria region and Vancouver Island in a variety of venues. She is a frequent performer with the Victoria Symphony and the Sidney Classical Orchestra, and she performs as both a solo recitalist and in a wide variety of chamber ensembles on Vancouver Island’s stages. She is a founding member of the Aurora Trio (with Christine Prince, viola; and Annabelle Stanley, harp), founding host of the Harmonic Interludes chamber music lecture/concert series of the University of Victoria, and founding member of the Fairwinds Quintet (woodwind quintet). She has been a frequent guest performer with the Ten-Strings Duo (Kay Cochran, viola; and Douglas Hensley, guitar), Continuum Consort, Island Chamber Players, Old Schoolhouse Concert series, Palm Court Orchestra, and formerly with Chamber Music Victoria and Ars Nova Group. Her performances with the Pacific Chamber Winds and Victoria Festival Contemporary Ensemble have been broadcast on CBC fm. Past performances with Vancouver Island’s Palm Court Orchestra have been recorded for commercial release by that group. Her solo performance may be heard on Tapestries Recordings’ Butterfly Suite. As concerto soloist she has been featured in performances of the three "flute" Brandenburg Concerti and selected concerti by Vivaldi for flute and for piccolo with the Sidney Classical Orchestra and Vancouver Island Symphony. Her featured Music for a Midsummer’s Night solo recitals are a highlight of the Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Festival.

Mary carefully balances the demands of professional musicianship and family, and reserves some measure of time to indulge her love of knitting and other textile arts, and travel.

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