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Mary Beth Orr

Mary Beth Orr (2024)


Mary Beth Orr, who plays third horn in the Grand Rapids Symphony, won second prize in the professional division of the 2013 International Horn Competition of America. The following year, she took second place in the Horn Division of the 2014 International Women’s Brass Conference Solo Competition.

Mary Beth holds faculty positions with the Charleston Horn Institute in Charleston, South Carolina, and with the Tucson Summer Brass Workshop as the French hornist for the resident quintet, Variance Brass. She performs as core second horn for the Breckenridge Music Festival in Colorado. During the summer of 2017 she was a featured chamber soloist in a three-person recital engagement during the Piccolo division of Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston.

A native of Charleston, Mary Beth began her musical studies on both piano and French horn, attending the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts. She continued her studies at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia, where she double majored in performance on both instruments. She has been privileged to work with such performers as Jerry Folsom, David Wakefield, John Zirbel, Karl Hill, Adam Unsworth, Corbin Wagner, and Karl Pituch, some of whom were at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she attended in 2000 and 2002.

Upon graduating Mary Beth played briefly with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, she began performing frequently with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra while holding core positions with the Breckenridge Music Festival, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and Midland Symphony Orchestra. During the summer of 2010, she was on the faculty for the Interlochen Horn Institute with Gene Berger, Karl Pituch, and Kerry Turner of the American Horn Quartet. In 2012 she performed again at the Interlochen Horn Institute with Nicole Cash Saks and Eli Epstein.

Currently, Mary Beth lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband, two children, and two dogs, enjoying anything involving the outdoors and water. Both Mary Beth and her husband, Kerry Krick, are certified scuba divers. Mary Beth is passionate about the benefits of yoga and practices and teaches vinyasa, hot vinyasa, and yin yoga. When time allows, she enjoys songwriting and painting.

Mary Beth won the third horn position with the Grand Rapids Symphony in 2015. In December 2017, she completed her master’s degree in horn performance at Michigan State University as a prestigious Distinguished Fellow.

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