Mary Alice Rich received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance under Paul Rolland at the University of Illinois. She began her master’s degree under Mr. Rolland and served as his teaching assistant until his death in 1978. She completed her master’s in performance under Sergiu Luca. Ms. Rich played in several orchestras including the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Ft. Worth Symphony, and the Dallas Opera Orchestra. In addition she taught at Texas A&M-Commerce and maintained a private teaching studio. Currently she is on the faculty of the Dallas Symphony-sponsored “Young Strings Scholarship Program” for minority students and also serves as head of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestras community outreach program which provides low-cost group lessons to inner-city students.

In 1992 an injury caused her to explore composition. She has studied with Jack Waldenmaier, Ted Hansen, and Winston Stone.

As a composer, Ms. Rich is a back-to-back 1st place winner of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association Composition Contest. In 2000 she won the string orchestra category with PRELUDE (Fountain Park Music Publishing) and in 2001 the full orchestra category for OVERTURE (Neil A. Kjos Music Company). She also won the “Children’s Song” category of a national contest hosted by the Dallas Songwriters Association in 1994.

Her compositions have been played by professionals throughout the United States and abroad. In 2006 her QUINTET FOR CLARINET AND STRING QUARTET was commissioned and premiered by Kansas City Summerfest which led to its being featured in a “Voice of Change” concert in Dallas. The following year her LETTERS FROM THE FALLEN was premiered by VOC.

Two All-State orchstras–North Carolina and Texas Private School All-State–and several Region and All-City orchestras have performed her works. A PRAYER FOR PEACE (FPMP) was played at TMEA by the 2004 Texas Honor Orchestra-Plano West. In 2007 ISLAND BREEZES (Latham Music, a Lorenz company) and in 2008 BOSSA NOVA TRISTE (Kjos) received performances by the Dallas All-City Orchestra.

Ms. Rich feels privileged to have served as guest conductor for many school orchestras. Three times she had the honor of conducting her compositions with the Ivy Camerata Youth Orchestras in Plano, and in 2005 she was the All-Region Middle School Clinician in McAllen, TX. In April of 2007 she was composer/conductor for the Phoenix, Arizona All-City Full Orchestra Festival which commissioned DESERT MOON. In February 2009 she was the clinician for the TPSMEA Middle School Honor Orchestra with 2 of her compositions featured.

Ms. Rich has received 9 paid commissions, the most recent being a $7,000 commission from St. Alcuin Montessori to write an orchestral composition in honor of the Jean-Claude Saada Family premiered by the New Philharmonic of Irving in December 2008.

Mary Alice Rich lives in Dallas with her husband Bruce Wittrig, a violinist with the Dallas Symphony, and their daughter Melanie.