Mary Beth Woodruff, Founder, Artistic Director, Conductor
Ms. Woodruff grew up in Southern California and began studying the violin at the age of 7. At the age of 15 she was accepted at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan. While at Interlochen, she served as co-concertmaster of the IAA Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Honors Quartet with whom she was a prize winner in both the Downbeat Magazine Chamber Music Competition and the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition. Following graduation, Ms. Woodruff matriculated at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At M.I.T. she majored in both chemistry and music and was awarded an Advanced Music Performance Scholarship. She was honored with membership in the Burchard Scholars in the Arts at M.I.T. and received the Von Ness Scholarship for Best Performer in the Arts. While studying in Boston, she was member of the Boston Philharmonic, Emmanuel Music, the MIT Chamber Music Society, and the New England Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Woodruff attended Carnegie Mellon University for graduate school with a full scholarship to study with Andres Cardenes, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony. During this time period, she participated in the Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra Winter Festival in Israel and was co-concertmaster. Upon receiving her Masters she began teaching at Biola University Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles where she taught violin, viola, music history, strings literature/repertoire, strings pedagogy, and was Head of Chamber Music Studies. During her 7 years at Biola, she led a group of students on a chamber music concert tour of mainland China and soloed with the Biola Symphony Orchestra on a concert tour of Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Upon the birth of her first child Ms. Woodruff left Biola to focus on performing and opened a Violin/Viola teaching studio in Santa Barbara county. She and her husband now have three children and reside in Solvang. In 2009, Ms. Woodruff expanded her work in training young musicians and created SANTA BARBARA STRINGS which not only trains young musicians in orchestral and chamber music ensembles, but also in the composition of works written and performed by the players and Artistic Director.
Ms. Woodruff has collaborated/performed with Menachem Pressler, Andres Cardenes, and Julia Bushkova. In Santa Barbara, she has performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, was assistant concertmaster for the Opera Santa Barbara and for the past 5 years with the Radian String Quartet. She is currently the Concertmaster of the Santa Maria Philharmonic. Her principal teachers have included Ronald Copes, James Buswell, Julia Bushkova, Andres Cardenes, John Harbison and Arturo Delmoni.