Mary Syretha Gatchell

Visiting Lecturer of Music Affiliation: Visiting
Education: Bachelor of Music New York University; Master of Music New York University

Research Areas: Piano, voice, singer, oboe, composition, songwriting, Broadway, classical music, jazz, pop/rock, soul

NYC’s Mary Gatchell is a multi-faceted composer, singer, songwriter, oboist, pianist, conductor, music director, and educator. She grew up in Epping, New Hampshire and is a graduate of NYU with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Theory and Composition and a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Performance in Jazz Piano.

Mary has performed in NYC venues such as the Blue Note, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Birdland, Knitting Factory, Bitter End, Cutting Room, Rockwood Music Hall, Groove, CBGB’s, as well as Broadway theatres namely the Lamb’s Theatre, Minskoff Theatre, Lena Horne Theatre (formerly Brooks Atkinson Theatre), and Barrymore Theatre. She has brought her original music to Europe and Africa. She has performed in large stadiums, such as Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Newark’s Prudential Center with legendary rock band The Rolling Stones for their 50th Anniversary tour with NYC’s premiere a cappella choir, Ghostlight Chorus, in which she’s been a member since its inception in 2010.

Mary is a singer in the NYC-based New Orleans southern funk bank, Strangeland, that plays regularly in the village at the legendary, Bitter End.

In summer 2023, Mary was principal oboist with the Leon Lacey Orchestra, in which she’s been a member since 2008, performing in Brooklyn’s historic Kings Theatre accompanying gospel greats, Yolanda Adams and Donald Lawrence. This fall, Mary will be playing principal oboe with the New York Chamber Players at Carnegie Hall.

A passionate teacher, from 2015-2022 Mary was a faculty member at Nyack College in NYC, teaching ear training, music theory, acting, and conducting. She was also the co-director of the Chorale and the music director and choreographer of the musical productions for West Side Story, In the Heights, The Wiz, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Dreamgirls.

In 2018, Mary was the pianist for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar starring John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper, which aired on television Easter Sunday live on NBC. Starting in 2019, she became a substitute for the conductor and pianist on stage on Broadway for Sara Bareilles’ show, Waitress. Mary is currently a rehearsal pianist and substitute conductor for the Broadway hit, Six The Musical.

In connection with the Worldwide Orphans Foundation Mary has traveled to Ethiopia where she implemented a sustainable music curriculum for HIV-infected and impoverished children, and to Bulgaria to teach music to orphans with special needs.

Mary was the co-founder and artistic director of the Italian chamber music festival, Siena Summer Music held in Siena, Italy from 2008-2016. Here, composers, instrumentalists, and singers came from around the world to hone their skills and perform in cathedrals, concert halls, and unique Tuscan outdoor settings.

As a bandleader and prolific songwriter, Mary has released seven albums of her original music including a children’s album, as well as three albums of hymns and spirituals, a Christmas album, and a jazz album of standards. Mary is currently working on her 13th album, What’s My Name? Destiny, setting music to a collection of love poems from poets Rabia of Basra, Rumi, Hafiz, St. Catherine of Siena, and Farouk Henry of NYC.

This past summer of 2023, her classical composition, Paradiso Canto 33, was premiered in Siena, Italy setting Dante’s beautiful text to music for a cappella choir.

Mary’s music and more can be found on her personal website and is available on all streaming platforms.

Courses Taught