Musical Director

Mary Ashford, Master Director


Mary grew up in a musical environment listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme and all the major crooners of the day. She played saxophone and other woodwinds throughout her high school years. She also sang in the choir. She competed in regional and state music competitions in both instrumental and vocal.

After high school, she entered the University of Wisconsin majoring in instrumental music. She then joined the US Army Band and spent 3 years stationed in Germany. Being a versatile player of all woodwinds, Mary was actively involved in marching, concert & jazz bands as well as smaller jazz combos.


Mary discovered Sweet Adelines in 1996 when she joined the ChannelAire Chorus in Region 11. Shortly thereafter, Mary completed her Director Certification Program and went on to direct the South Valley Chorus for 11 years. During that time, Mary served on the Regional Management Team as the Directors' Coordinator. She served as the President of the Winners' Circle, Region 11's Quartet Champions. And she sang Bass for 8 years with the International Top 10 Quartet, Shimmer!

Mary joined the International Judging Program in 2010 in the category of music. In 2015, Mary switched to Tenor with her quartet, Chemistry, and they took 4th place. She returned to Bass with the Region 11 quartet, Cachet, who won in 2015 and 2016. In 2010, Mary joined Harborlites Chorus, singing Bass.


Mary works full-time as a New Accounts Specialist for a financial planning firm in Carpinteria, CA. She enjoys lunchtime walks on the bluffs overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. In her spare time, she enjoys attending local theater performances and her tortoise cat, Miss Prisskiss!

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