Winner of the 2011 ole “Hitsville” contest in Nashville and a single song contract with ole for her song, “Instead of Roses,” Mary Haller has in a few short years gone from being one of Boston’s most respected arts publicists to a respected artist in her own right.
Currently enrolled in Berkleemusic.com’s Master Songwriting Certificate Program, Haller is recipient of Berkleemusic’s 2009 Paul Simon Celebrity Scholarship. With one foot in Boston, one in Nashville, and roots in the Midwest, she combines her musical background with her love of language in crafting songs aimed at the commercial country and pop markets.
I’ve always loved words," says Haller, "I’ve always loved music. I’m in awe of the power they both have to make us feel, make us heal, to paint pictures, to spark our senses.”
Her interest in songwriting was sparked in 1996 when she attended one of Pat Pattison’s lyric-writing workshop at Berklee College of Music. “I’ve always been a ‘word nerd’ of sorts,” she said. “Hearing Pat talk about elements of lyric-writing like family rhyme, and devices like assonance and alliteration reminded me how much I’ve always been fascinated by the sonic power of words, as well as the psychological pleasure of metered verse and storytelling.”
With a young daughter at home, Haller was intrigued when Pat mentioned that Berklee had an online extension school. “It ended up being exactly the right thing for me,” said Haller. “Berkleemusic.com classes are giving me a handle on both the craft and the business of songwriting in a supportive, stimulating environment with the flexibility I need in my shedule,” she said. “I’m getting top-notch instruction while meeting and networking with fabulous instructors and interesting students from literally every corner of the globe.”
Haller is a classically-trained musician (keyboard, flute) who performed actively for many years as a flutist in ensembles at the University of Michigan (Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band) and in Boston-based orchestras (Civic Symphony of Boston, Mystic Valley Orchestra). She was a member of the 1979 McDonald’s All-American High School Band. Haller has also studied African drumming, and loves learning complex rhythms.
As a writer and publicist, Haller worked for 20 years for a number of Boston-area arts and educational institutions, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and MIT. “Thanks to Berklee and Berkleemusic.com, I am thrilled to now be applying my writing skills and music background and to the art and craft of songwriting,” she said. “It’s a real honor to be a part of the Berklee and Berkleemusic.com communities.”
Berklee Songwriter’s Club
Experience & Education
Director of Arts Communication for MIT Office of the Arts1991 to 2007 (over 16 years)
PR, media relations, web development, artist promotion, writing and editing on behalf of the music, theater, dance and visual arts programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
BA in English, Music at University of Michigan1979 to 1983 (4 years)