Mary Schallert has lived in Anchorage, Alaska, since 1977. She has been referred to as the “Pied Piper of Anchorage,” and has taught and played in Alaska’s villages. As director and designer of the Alaska City Folk Arts camp in Anchorage each summer (since 1993), she makes sure that students learn that music is a fun, creative and a social activity -- for many of them it is life changing. Mary also teaches music year round to both children and adults, privately and in groups and orchestras. In 2013, Mary was named Alaska’s BP teacher of Excellence. She has been active in the Anchorage folk festival as workshop coordinator and performer, and is currently co-directing an orchestra called Society Of Strings (SOS), an adult group of recreational classical musicians.
Mary teaches multiple styles of fiddle, sings, and also plays piano, bass and guitar. She has been playing music, and arranging and writing songs her whole life. Over the years, she's played with a variety of bands, including The Moms, The Just Met Band, The Bowheads, Contra Cohos and The North Star Band. Her style is eclectic; she's played with bluegrass bands, square and contra dance bands, for cloggers and Irish dancers, old time bands and an Irish band. In addition to playing solo, she can sometimes be heard with her own band, Mary Schallert and the New York City Boys.