Maureen McCarty began the violin as a 4 year old in Ithaca, NY, with 8 Suzuki lessons, before her family moved to Madison, Wisconsin. She played in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) for six years during middle school and high school. In 1976 she was part of the WYSO orchestra that represented Wisconsin during the Bicentennial celebrations at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Maureen received a BA in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a student of Vartan Manoogian. While attending college during spring terms, she performed for five seasons as a musician with American Players Theatre, occasionally appearing onstage as a minstrel, soldier, or townsperson. After college, she moved to Spain, performing one season in the Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona (Barcelona City Orchestra) and two seasons in the Orquesta Filharmónica de Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands.
In addition to her orchestral experiences in Spain, Maureen has performed with various orchestras in five midwestern states, including the Madison Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Dubuque Symphony, the Illinois Philharmonic, as well as orchestras in Indiana and Michigan. She has also performed for theater productions at the Madison Repertory Theater and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. In 1999, she returned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a teaching certificate and taught strings and general music for grades 3-12 in the Oregon and Monona Grove School Districts for over seventeen years.
Ever since high school, Maureen has enjoyed teaching private lessons to students of all ages, and continues to do so. “I always hope to bring many elements into a lesson but recognize students need a variety of approaches. Private lessons allow me to address a student’s individual and unique needs as a growing musician and therefore perform at their very best!” Besides teaching at Prairie Music & Arts, she teaches violin and viola lessons in Monona, works with the McFarland School Orchestra program, coaches WYSO chamber ensembles, and tutors Spanish. She has been a member of the Camerata String Quartet since 2001, playing for weddings, memorial services, and special events.
Outside of teaching and playing music, Maureen enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to movies/theater/music performances (especially when her son is performing) walking her dog, traveling, taking photographs, and researching/writing about family history.