Maria Corley BS Rauthors 111616

Maria Thompson Corley

Contributor

BSR Contributor Since August 30, 2010

Maria Thompson Corley is a Juilliard-trained concert pianist and published novelist. She lives in Lancaster, Pa.

Jamaican-born Canadian pianist Maria Thompson Corley gave her first public performance at the age of eight. Since then, she has appeared on radio, television, and concert stages in Canada, the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Europe, both as a solo and collaborative artist, including performances in Budapest at the Liszt Academy, and in Carnegie Recital Hall, Aaron Davis Hall and Alice Tully Hall, all in New York City. She has collaborated with such artists as Metropolitan Opera soprano Priscilla Baskerville, internationally renowned clarinetist James Campbell, Peter Kenote, a violist in the New York Philharmonic, and Dara Morales, principal second violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra. Her performances as soloist with orchestra include engagements with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gunther Schuller, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Gunzenhauser, and the Allegro Chamber Orchestra, with Brian Norcross. She has also performed with the Philadelphia-based Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, directed by Jeri-Lynne Johnson.

Her first CD, Dreamer, a collaboration with tenor Darryl Taylor, was released internationally on the Naxos label. Her subsequent discs, on Albany, include a recording of the first 12 of African-American composer Leslie Adams’s études for solo piano and Soulscapes, consisting of music for solo piano by African-American women. Maria Corley’s recording of “Troubled Water” by Margaret Bonds, included in Soulscapes, was featured in the HBO Family documentary, Kabreeya’s Salad Days. Her self-released CDs include Of the Father’s Love Begotten: A Contemplative Christmas and Letting Go; Music from the Novel.

Dr. Corley’s undergraduate work was completed at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where she studied with Alexandra Munn, whose teachers include Irwin Freundlich. Maria Corley received both master’s and doctorate degrees in piano performance from the Juilliard School, where she was a student of renowned Hungarian pianist, Gyorgy Sandor. Maria Corley was the only pianist admitted into Juilliard’s doctoral program for the period of two years. She was also chosen to represent her alma mater in a tour of Central America, where she gave performances and master classes.

Aside from being an accomplished pianist, Maria Corley is a voice actor, whose credits include spots for Unisys and Suntrust, and an author. She has contributed to Broad Street Review, an online arts magazine, and blogs for Huffington Post. Her first novel, Choices, was published by Kensington, and her current release, Letting Go, is available on Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords. She is also a composer and arranger of music for both solo voice and chorus, with pieces commissioned and recorded by the Florida A&M University Concert Choir, the Tallahassee Boys Choir, countertenor Darryl Taylor and soprano Randye Jones. Her choral music is published by Walton Music Corporation. Her arrangement of “Steal Away” is featured on countertenor Darryl Taylor’s Albany release, A Charm of Spirituals.

Maria Corley leads an active and busy concert life. Her appearances include a collaboration with countertenor Darryl Taylor in a concert sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum of African American History, featured artist at the Epidaurus Festival in Cavtat, Croatia, and engagements in Alberta, Canada, and North Carolina. Maria Corley is also half of Duo Chiaroscuro (Sara Male, cello), whose endeavors include Silence Optional concerts for people on the autism spectrum, or others who can't attend classical concerts because of difficulties with remaining absolutely still.

She serves as the music director and organist for St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Lancaster, Pa.

By this Author

72 results
Page 1
Carl Ellenberger BS Rbooks 112918

'Theme and Variations: Musical Notes by a Neurologist,' by Dr. Carl Ellenberger

Listening in

Neurologist and flutist Dr. Carl Ellenberger's new book about the effects of music on the brain continues in the vein of the great Oliver Sacks. Maria Corley reviews.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Articles 3 minute read
'A Wrinkle in Time' director Ava DuVernay, actor Storm Reid, and an on-set hairstylist make movie magic. (Photo via IMDB.com.)

Black Hollywood is (and has been) ready for its closeup

Helping Hollywood help itself

When black people are given the opportunity to take charge behind the camera, they can diversify every other aspect of a film. When that happens, everyone benefits. Maria Corley considers.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Articles 4 minute read
We could learn a thing or two from the gentle baboons of Forest Troop. (Illustration for BSR by Hannah Kaplan.)

Humans going ape

It's time for us to evolve

The mass shooting in Las Vegas was just another sign that something in our culture is fatally flawed. Maria Corley thinks she knows what that might be.
Maria Thompson Corley Illustration by Hannah Kaplan

Maria Thompson Corleyand Illustration by Hannah Kaplan

Essays 3 minute read
The Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Cville Dog, via Creative Commons/Wikimedia.)

Confederate monuments down, racists still standing

Beyond sheetcaking

Maybe the nation's Confederate monuments will all come down, but what will we do about the racists who are still standing? Maria Corley considers.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Essays 5 minute read
L to R: Jon Michael Hill's Moses and Ryan Hallahan's Mister in Antoinette Nwandu’s 'Pass Over,' at Steppenwolf Theatre. (Photo by Michael Brosilow.)

Hedy Weiss, Antoinette Nwandu, and taking ownership

What language does critique speak?

When a reader from the U.K. reviewed Maria Thompson Corley's new novel, it reminded her of the Hedy Weiss/Antoinette Nwandu reviewing controversy.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Essays 5 minute read
Author Janet Benton. (Photo by Steve Ladner)

'Lilli de Jong: A Novel,' by Janet Benton

For Mother's Day, a mother's tale

Janet Benton's debut novel, 'Lilli de Jong,' offers a view of single motherhood in late-19th-century Philadelphia. Maria Corley reviews.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Articles 4 minute read
Tradition: Fred Barnard's 1870 illustration of Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit. (Image via Creative Commons/Wikimedia)

When fake news invades real life

God help us, every one

When a fake news story took over the headlines in Maria Corley's Lancaster County town, people suffered, which was bad enough; but even worse, she believed it.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Essays 5 minute read
Please join us in formally welcoming Citizen Corley. (Photo by Maria Thompson Corley)

Gaining citizenship, losing confidence

Yearning to breathe free

Maria Thompson Corley, a Canadian citizen, got her long-awaited U.S. citizenship after the election ended. So, now what?
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Essays 4 minute read
'A strong spirit transcends rules.'

Why Prince was special

‘Better live now’ — and so he did

Why did an entertainer like Prince inspire a classical pianist like me? Because he refused to be pigeonholed or controlled by any force except the Almighty.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Articles 4 minute read

Lennox Randon's 'Memoirs of a Dead White Chick'

Experiencing another life

Memoirs of a Dead White Chick is a lively, entertaining read. It considers issues around gender and race — and the darker side of America's history of them — without delving too deeply into their horrors.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Articles 5 minute read
Finding meaning, hope, and forward movement: Jeanne Krausman. (Photo courtesy of the author)

Meet Jeanne Krausman

A long musical life

She gave herself a “musical Bat Mitzvah” at 83, followed, at 85, by seven consecutive daily performances of a short living room recital. Jeanne Krausman was preparing for her final concert, at 89, when fate intervened.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Articles 4 minute read
Malcolm at work. (Photo by the author)

An autistic artist communicates

The power of art

I was moved by seeing all of those little brown faces become more animated as the half hour went by and all pretense of cool faded away. They were so excited about art and life.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Essays 4 minute read
Helen Mirren, at 70, is still regarded by many as sexy — should we emulate her? (Photo by See Li via Creative Commons/Wikipedia)

Does sexy have an expiration date?

I will, on occasion, pull together an outfit purely for the fun of pleasing myself aesthetically, but when I'm dressed that way, I don't assume anyone is deciding whether I'm “toothsome” or not — I figure that, at nearly 50, I'm pretty much invisible, and at this point I don't care if people are assessing me or not.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Essays 4 minute read
Serena Williams in 2012. (photo by Charlie Cowins via Creative Commons/Flickr)

The many kinds of success of Venus and Serena Williams

Raising champions

That Serena and Venus are excellent, well-adjusted, and curious about things outside their area of expertise is phenomenal. That they are best friends on top of that is even more amazing; the investment Oracene Price and Richard Williams made in their children has paid many important dividends.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Essays 5 minute read
Kiana takes flight: the author's daughter on her way to the Berklee summer program.

Help! My daughter is a music major!

Despite my best efforts to guide her, my daughter's love for music wore me down. Now I'm hoping for the best.
Maria Thompson Corley

Maria Thompson Corley

Articles 4 minute read