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About Us

It all started with a piano.

Marianne Henry’s earliest memories are of her great grandmother’s piano and the legacy of music that has been passed down through generations in her family. Marianne’s great grandmother put each of her 10 surviving children in piano lessons. Each morning before school the children would line up and take turns practicing the piano. The siblings would encourage each other and support one another on their musical journey. A lesson Marianne values deeply today. 

 

Marianne’s grandmother was one of the 10 piano playing siblings. Her grandfather also came from a family rooted in music, where his brother played clarinet in Louis Armstrong’s band. When Marianne’s mother was old enough to take piano lessons, she did. When her mother started a family, she continued the family tradition of piano lessons and Marianne fell in line taking lessons at age 3. 

At eight years old, in her third grade class, Marianne sat quietly at her desk as a guest musician entered her classroom to introduce a local violin program. As the musician lifted her violin and began to play the familiar tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” Marianne watched in wonder. She was captivated and thought, “that was the most beautiful version of the song I have ever heard.” How did the music flow so beautifully out of the f holes and speak directly to her heart? Marianne HAD to learn the violin. After school, she shared her experience with her mother who was delighted that her daughter was interested in learning a new instrument. Her mother wasted no time at all asking around for a violin for Marianne. Soon, a borrowed violin was placed on the living room couch and Marianne plucked the strings and attempted to discover how it made such a beautiful sound. 

 

Marianne and the violin have been together ever since that momentous day. 

Piano Restoration
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For over thirty years, Marianne has passionately taught private lessons and passed her passion and love for the violin and music to others, including her son. Through these lessons, she knows the importance of family support and what the lack of support ultimately means. Marianne is hopeful to change the statistics of underrepresented peoples in the classical field by cultivating an encouraging learning environment for families in Bryan College Station. She has a vision of having the most diverse string chamber youth orchestra in the region to enhance and fortify strings in the BCS area.

About the Founder

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 Marianne Henry, has toured extensively as a founding member of the Marian Anderson String Quartet. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Ms. Henry holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance, from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. She received a second Master’s degree in Chamber Music Performance at Rice University in Houston, Texas. 

Ms. Henry is a devoted teacher of violin and chamber music as well as performer. She has served on the faculties of the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City, New York City College, California State University, Los Angeles, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University and Blinn College. Her students have won spots to participate in the Texas All- State Orchestras, summer programs at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Tanglewood Institute, Brevard Summer Institute, Heitz PEG Institute, and the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall programs. 

She was also recognized by the American Protégé International Concerto Competition 2022 “For the extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of teaching music and presenting students to perform at Carnegie Hall.” 

As first violinist and in recognition of the quartets accomplishments, the Congress on Racial Equality awarded the Marian Anderson String Quartet the 2006 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture; in 2008, the Quartet received Chamber Music America’s coveted Guarneri String Quartet Award; and in 2010, the Quartet received a National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpiece award. 

The Quartet has presented residencies, concerts, and talks at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Brown University as the Heimark inaugural artists-in-residence at the Center for the Study for Slavery and Justice, Tedx Blinn College in Bryan, Texas, the Quad City Arts in Iowa, Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, New York and at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. 

Ms. Henry has been a soloist on KUSC Radio’s “Sundays’ at Four”, a featured soloist with the List-Glenn Festival Chamber Orchestra, the South-Central Chamber Orchestra, and the Afro American Symphony. She has been involved in a myriad of other orchestral work, which includes Phantom of the Opera, the Academy Award Orchestra, and The American Music Awards Orchestra. She has reserved as the concert master of the Brazos Valley Symphony and more recently has played as a section violinist with the Colour of Music Festival’s All-Female Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and Master’s Orchestra based in South Carolina. 

Locally, she has enjoys playing with the Brazos Civic Orchestra and playing around the BCS area at various churches and with the Brazos Valley Chorale, Texas A&M University Singing Cadets, Century Singers and Women’s Chorus. Ms. Henry also treasures spending time with her husband, (author and singer) and her 16 year old son, (virtuoso organist and pianist). 

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