Biography of Mary Knickle

CompositionsSongwriting/ArrangingOrganizationsPerformingSongwriting AwardsEducationRecordingsTeacher of SingingComposer

Compositions

1981 – Collaborative composer for songs in “The Farm Show” with Acadia University
1986 – Collaborative composer for songs in new musical “KC Superstar” with Mulgrave Road Coop
1990 – Lyricist and Composer for “The Really Little Theatre Company” children’s productions
2007 – Lyricist and Composer for musical “Champlain” book by Malcolm Calloway
2007-2009 – Performed, composed and arranged music and songs for children’s Theatre group: The Triplets “Christmas Show” and “The Food Show.”
1981 – present – has written over 100 songs that are performed by folk bands and used in vocal studio’s by professional voice teachers. Released three albums of original material. Songs from the album Weave are still played regularly on internet radio around the world.
2011 – Morgan Le Fay – 2 hour Musical/Opera produced by Maritime Concert Opera and performed at the Pearl Theatre in Lunenburg and at the Music Room in Halifax Nova Scotia. Received a rave review in Opera Canada Magasine
2012 – Choral work “Tarry” published by Cypress Choral Publishing, Vancouver, BC
2013 (January) – Miryam – A 25 minute Musical Drama for voices and string quartet. Miryam is the story of the nativity told from the point of view of Mary and the women.
2014 – The Seafarers Requiem ‘for those lost at sea’ performed February 8th in Lunenburg and 9th in Halifax with piano, flute, violin, percussion, SATB choir, and SATB soloists

Songwriting/Arranging

Released three albums of original music:
On the Wind and the Sea Produced by Rick Whitelaw recorded at Inception Sound Studio
Who Will Take the Throne? Produced and recorded by CBC (Glen Meisner, Karl Falkenham, Steven Naylor)
Weave Produced and recorded by George Herbert and Mary Knickle

1987 – 1990 – Wrote and arranged for, and played music with, several Celtic female groups.
1990- 1998 – Formed a collaborative band under her own name with core members Laurence Stevenson (www.myspace.com/laurencestevenson) and Don Moore, one of Canada’s top composers Jeffrey Ryan www.jeffreyryan.com/) and Paul Camrass. For the next 8 years they travelled across Canada performing in major venues (Molson’s Stage, Harbourfront, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts etc.) Folk Festivals (Owen Sound, Mariposa, Lunenburg Folk Harbour etc. and folk clubs (Seaside, Tranzac, Oasis etc.). At that time they appeared on TV shows including the Eye of Toronto, The Dini Petty Show, Global Morning Show & Global Music Evening, Breakfast TV’s across Canada as well as many radio interviews. She has performed with major folk singers in joint concerts, song writing work shops and Festivals.
1995 – “Female Sailor” used in Mariposa Folk Festival Compilation
1996 – Original vocals used in CBC’s “The Nature of Things” opening theme song.
2001- Original vocals in Hans Hug recording “Blue in the Dark.”
2003 – present – arranges and writes for several youth student groups, choirs and singing groups. Currently working on a Song Cycle and new one act Opera.

Organizations

ACWC – Association of Canadian Women Composers (Atlantic Representative)
SOCAN
EQUITY ACTORS ASSOC.
NATS – National Assoc. of Teachers of Singing

Performing/Musical Theatre/Opera – 1982 – Present

Performed in musicals, plays and operas in Theatres across Canada: (Neptune, Leah Posluns, Victoria Playhouse, Chester Playhouse, Mulgrave Rd. Co-op, Great CDN Theatre, and many more). Has also performed in Radio dramas (CBC Road to Avonlea) and films. Over the past 12 years Mary resumed her classical, folk and musical theatre career alternating between musicals, folk festivals and classical concerts. She performed in a Musical Theatre Duo extravaganza in Chester Playhouse and Victoria Playhouse (PEI). She performed in “Broadway Our Way” through Maritime Concert Opera under the direction of Bill Shookoff. She performed Vivaldi with the Halifax Baroque Ensemble, 2nd Witch in Dido and Aeneas, and Mistress of Novices in Suor Angelica with The Maritime Concert Opera and many individual solo concerts including guest soloist for Faure’s Requiem and Rutter’s Requiem. The past two years she has performed the Mother in Menotti’s Opera Amahl and the Night visitors with Maritime Concert Opera’s first fully staged and costumed opera. She recently performed as Sister De Sales in the premiere of Elizabeth Raum and Rex Deverall’s new Opera “Time of Trouble” to be remounted in the summer of 2016.

Songwriting Awards:

2009 -One of six finalists in the Folk Alliance 2008 Mountain Stage New Song Contest
2008 – album WEAVE – Best Provincial Folk CD at the TEMA’s
2008 – song “Weave the Yarn – Best Provincial Folk Song at the TEMA’s
2008 – song “The Grail” – Semi-Finalist at UK Songwriting in association with British Academy of Composers and Writers.
2006 – song “Weave the Yarn” – honourable mention in the singer/songwriter awards out of London, UK through “We Are Listening”

Education

COMPOSITION Acadia Music School (4 years of counterpoint), Socan Songwriting & WRITING workshops, Creative Writing I, II and III with Russell Barton. Has had some composition tutoring under Peter Togni and Robert Aitken

ACTING: Howard Fine, David Martin, Sue Ott-Bennett, Carol Rosenfeld
MUSIC THEATRE: Karen Gustafson, Michael Sartor
DANCE: Piper Pickrell, Barry Weiss, Harry Woolever
VOICE: James Sugg, Florence Bower
CLOWN: John Towsen, John Beale

SCHOOLS: American Musical & Dramatic Academy, New York (2 years)
Acadia University, Nova Scotia (B.A. Music – Voice Major)
Banff School of Fine Arts – Summer Musical Theatre Program

Recordings

Her most recent album WEAVE turned heads with her personal blend of traditional song writing. She was one of six finalists in the Folk Alliance 2008 Mountain Stage New Song Contest. Her title song “Weave the Yarn” received honourable mention in the 2006 singer/songwriter awards out of London, UK through “We Are Listening”, and “The Grail” semi-finalist in the UK Nationwide songwriting contest. Recently WEAVE won Best Provincial Folk CD and Weave the Yarn won Best Provincial Folk Song at the Toronto Exclusive Music Awards. The TEMAs give recognition to nominated artists from across Canada. WEAVE also has received accolades from many magazines and e-zines and is currently being played worldwide on Internet radio and iPod.

Over the past 12 years Mary resumed her classical, folk and musical theatre career alternating between musicals, folk festivals and classical concerts. She performed in a Musical Theatre Duo extravaganza in Chester Playhouse and Victoria Playhouse (PEI). She performed in “Broadway Our Way” through Maritime Concert Opera under the direction of Bill Shookoff. She performed Vivaldi with the Halifax Baroque Ensemble, 2nd Witch in Dido and Aeneas, Mistress of Novices in Suor Angelica and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with The Maritime Concert Opera and many individual solo concerts. Her songs have been performed by artists across Canada and she continues to write and arrange music.

Teacher & Vocal Coach

For the last 15 years she has lived in Lunenburg Nova Scotia teaching singing in classical, musical theatre, folk and other styles working around her performing and composing career. She strongly believe in music for high school students and formed a popular small harmony group called Hodgepodge to give young students confidence in harmonies and performing. She is considered a voice technician more than a vocal coach and her voice students have performed in the Provincials in Musical Theatre and classical voice for 8 years, winning the junior category in Musical Theatre in Provincials in 2006 and 2014. Mary has a small but dedicated studio and students are accepted through audition and when openings become available. Past students include Emma Cook (emmacookmusic.com) and Jennah Barry (myspace.com/jennahwinfredbarry).

Composer

As a composer Mary came late to composing larger works. She always heard ‘orchestras’ and arrangements in her head but thought this was the norm. She discovered this talent later in life. In school she studied 4 years of counterpoint and orchestrations. She studied poetry and two years of creative writing as well as many songwriting workshops. Over the past years she has put these to work in her larger creations. In the past she was a Collaborative composer for songs in “The Farm Show” with Acadia University, Collaborative composer for songs in new musical “KC Superstar” with Mulgrave Road Coop, Lyricist and Composer for “The Really Little Theatre Company” children’s productions, Lyricist and Composer for musical “Champlain” book by Malcolm Calloway, Performed, composed and arranged music and songs for children’s Theatre group: The Triplets “Christmas Show” and “The Food Show” and has written over 100 songs and many choral arrangements. In 2011 her first Opera on Morgan La Fay was presented by Maritime Concert Opera and received a rave review in Opera Canada Magasine. Her smaller opera or musical drama was presented in 2012. Miryam is the story of the nativity told from the point of view of Mary and the Midwives. It is written for voices and string quartet. Her newest composition “The Seafarer’s Requiem” is a tribute to those lost at sea and those left behind. For SATB choir, SATB soloists it will be performed in 2014 February 8th and 9th in Lunenburg and Halifax. Mary has found her love in composing large works and has a new musical entitled ‘Sing’, a song cycle, and another one act opera all in the works.