Ms. Mary JS. So

Violin Teacher, Student

Mary So

SAA Member

Mary So, age 18, has been practicing and playing her violin for 5,720 (and counting)
consecutive days! She began her violin studies at the age of two with the Ottawa
Suzuki Strings, directed by Alice Joy Lewis, in Ottawa, Kansas and studied with Shirley
Star. Mary has been studying with Joseph Kaminsky at the Kirkwood Academy of
Music in Kirkwood, Missouri since 2017. She has had the honor to have masterclasses
with musicians and teachers, Mrs. Almita Vamos and Mr. Roland Vamos, Brian Lewis,
Erin Schreiber, Noah Geller, and Joseph Genualdi. In 2014, 2016, and 2018 she was
selected to be in the Suzuki Association of the Americas Biennial Conference Youth
Orchestra in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In March 2020 and 2022, Mary was a summer
camp scholarship recipient for the Steinway Early Festival for Federation of Music
Clubs. She was a winner of the St. Charles Community College (SCC) 3rd Annual
Recital Competition which premiered on March 12, 2021. In the fall of 2021 and 2022,
Mary was a recipient of the G.A., JR. and Kathryn M. Buder music scholarship. She
placed first in the Rising Talents Competition and had her debut performance with the
Town and Country Symphony Orchestra in St. Louis on March 28, 2022. On April 3rd,
Miss So was the winner of The Northland Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist

Competition in North Kansas City, Missouri. On May 14th, 2022, Mary was the first-
place winner of the MFMC State Concerto Competition in the Strings Division. In

November 2022, she received first place in the Missouri Teachers’ National Association
(MTNA) Young Artists Competition for the Senior Division in the State of Missouri. She
was also selected to be the 2nd place runner up for the MTNA semi-finals out of 7
states (MN, MO, IA, CO, AR, OK, KS).
This fall, Mary will be applying for the Curtis Institute of Music and the Oberlin
Conservatory of Music while taking classes at the Metropolitan Community College
(MCC), in Kansas City, Missouri. As a student, Mary has been invited to the Phi Theta
Kappa Honors Society, which allows her to help and assist with her local community
and it offers brilliant leadership skills. She has also been recently invited to the Phi
Sigma Pi honors program as a part of her academic achievements. She also enjoys
playing classical guitar and competes in Global Traditional Martial Arts (GTMA)
tournaments as a Third-Degree Black Belt. This past summer, she has earned the title
of the “2023 Grand Champion” in the Global Traditional Martial Arts Organization. In
addition, towards her martial arts potential career path, she has been selected from 13
out of 100 members to be on the GTMA Global Demonstration Team. This winter, the
GTMA team will have the opportunity to perform on the Princess Cruise Ship and Mary
will be able to train with gold medalist Olympians and coaches as well. She currently
works as a Level 3 Taekwondo Instructor at IXL Martial Arts.
Mary has been a member of the Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis “Share a Stand
Program” since 2019. Since the Fall of 2022, Miss So plays in the first violin section in
the Northland Symphony Orchestra. She is on the music ministry team at her church,
Blue River Bible Church in Kansas City, Missouri. Her goals include being accepted
into the Curtis Institute of Music and maybe someday competing in the Yehudi
Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists.