Mary Thornton has played the trumpet for a long time now. It seems that the precise number of years is of great interest to the thousands of children in outreach concert audiences around the world! It’s tough to do the math, but let’s just say it started with seeing Star Wars in 1978 followed by the instrument petting zoo in fifth grade soon after that. Turns out Mary’s grandmother played trumpet in the Mineral Point, WI, High School Band in the 1920’s and had an old trumpet buried in a closet. The horn had seen better days and was unplayable, but Grandma Betty could still show how to make an embouchure and it’s the basic setup Mary has used ever since.
After a lot of trial and error, school concerts, and quality time being sent to the basement to practice, Mary decided to pursue the trumpet as a career. It was the best decision she ever made. Deciding to be a musician as a profession entails giving in to your passion, not thinking about “safety”, and being open and accepting of the curveballs life can throw at you. It also means sacrifice and a joyful willingness to give of yourself as a human being. There is a life essence in the live performance of great music that cannot be replicated in any other way. You are a part, as a listener and as a performer, of something so much greater than an individual self. It is magical. And it is a magic that we can all understand.
Residing in Corpus Christi since 2001, Mary is Professor of Trumpet at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, and enjoys life on the Gulf Coast (despite hurricane season) and is a member of numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles including the Corpus Christi, Mid Texas, and Victoria Symphonies, and the innovative trio, Drumpetello. Her 72-pound standard poodle, Murphy, can attest to the fact that there are no basements in Corpus Christi used as practice space.
After a lot of training, more concerts, rehearsals, teaching, travel, disappointment, persistence, and practice, Mary still loves what she does and she hopes you will too. Enjoy the concert.