Mary Alice Rich
Award-winning composer Mary Alice Rich began her musical training in 5th grade
in the Fairmont, Minnesota public schools under the direction of Don Peterson
and Linda Thompson. She studied violin with Marilyn Bos through high school
and attended the University of Illinois where she received her bachelor’s
degree in violin performance under Paul Rolland. She began her master’s
degree under Mr. Rolland and served as his teaching assistant until his death
in 1978. She completed her master’s degree in performance under Sergio
Luca. Ms. Rich then played in many professional orchestras including the Tulsa
Philharmonic, the Ft. Worth Symphony, and the Dallas Opera Orchestra. In addition
she freelanced throughout the Dallas area, taught at Texas A&M University
at Commerce, and maintained a private teaching studio. Currently she serves
on the faculty of the Dallas Symphony-sponsored “Young Strings Scholarship
Program” for African-American and Hispanic students.
In 1992, Ms. Rich was diagnosed with Focal Dystonia, a crippling condition
in her left hand that concluded her days as a performing violinist. It was
at that time she turned towards writing music. Her composition teachers were
Ted Hansen, Jack Waldenmaier, and Winston Stone. For Mary Alice, music composition
became a natural extension of her teaching. Her music has been performed throughout
the United States and has reached audiences abroad as well.
Ms. Rich is a back-to-back 1st place winner of the Texas Orchestra Directors
Association Composition Contest. In 2000, she won with her string orchestra
piece, Prelude and in 2001 she won with her full orchestra composition, Overture,
published by Neil A. Kjos Music Company. Ms. Rich has also been recognized
by The Dallas Songwriters Association and A.S.C.A.P for her superb compositions.
Ms. Rich is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra
Directors Association, ASTA with NSOA where she received the 2004 Citation
for Leadership and Merit, and the Texas State Chapter of ASTA with NSOA where
she served for five years as the String Solo Festival Chair.
Ms. Rich currently resides in Texas with her husband Bruce Wittrig, a violinist
with the Dallas Symphony, and their daughter Melanie.