Evelyn Julia Weiss Mariani
Evelyn Mariani, a pianist, taught at four Seventh-day Adventist academies and an Adventist university during her career. Now retired and residing in College Place, Washington, she is still active as a piano teacher and performer, is an adjunct faculty member at Walla Walla Community College, and serves as minister of music at the College Place Presbyterian Church.
Mariani was born and raised in Argentina. She grew up in a musical family in which music was an important activity and everyone participated. She took her first piano lessons from her oldest brother and at an early age started playing for church services. She took additional study at the Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires and studied privately with Poldi Mildner, an Austrian concert pianist. She found study with Mildner to be an inspiring experience and in later years referred to her as one of the best teachers she had had in piano.
She attended an Adventist day academy for three years and then completed her fourth year at a public high school. She came to the U. S. in 1966, where she enrolled at Andrews University as a music major. Three years later, following study with Blythe Owen and Hans Jorgen Holman, she graduated magna cum laude with a B.Mus. in piano performance. During this time she won first place in a Bach competition at Kalamazoo College.
She then enrolled at Michigan State University, studying piano with Ralph Votapek, piano artist in residence and superb teacher. Two years later, in 1971, after graduating with an M.Mus. in piano performance, she accepted a teaching position at Maplewood Academy in Minnesota, where she taught for the next six years. Following a year at Georgia-Cumberland Academy in Georgia, she taught for three years at Thunderbird Academy in Arizona, from 1978 to 1981. While at TA, she pursued additional graduate study at Arizona State University.
In 1981, she accepted a position at the University of Montemorelos in Mexico, where she taught for the next eight years. During her years at UM, she taught lessons and music theory II, counterpoint, form and analysis, piano pedagogy and literature, and music history classes. She also lectured, gave frequent recitals and master classes, and was a soloist and accompanist on numerous occasions. She was honored by the university as Outstanding Professor of the Year in 1989, her final year at the school.
From 1989 to 2003, she taught at Monterey Bay Academy in California. She was chosen Teacher of the Year in 1997 and was listed in Who's Who in America in 1999-2000.
Mariani started work on a doctorate at Michigan State University in 1983, while teaching at UM. She spent a year in residence in 1985-1986, and started her research in 1987. She completed her Ph.D. in musicology in 1995. Her dissertation was titled: Samuel Marti (1906-1975), a Mexican Ethnomusicologist: His Work, Theses, and Contributions.
From 1994 to 2001, Mariani collaborated with the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, helping facilitate their acquisition of Marti's papers, giving lectures on him in 1998, and also participating in that same year in a roundtable discussion of musical anthropology in Mexico in the 21st century.
Sources: Interview with Evelyn Mariani, February 2008 and Information sheet completed by her at that time; personal knowledge;