Mary Vanorny has performed with many groups based in Minnesota, including the award-winning Back Porch Band, which released its trio album The Road We Traveled in 2003, and currently with Brass Lassie, Twin Cities Ceili Band, The Frothy Band, and O'Shea Irish Dance's Kickin' It Irish. Mary also performs regularly with Norah Rendell and Brian Miller as the Two Tap Trio.
Her style strikes a balance between the technical elements of her classical music upbringing, and her love of all types of fiddle music. Although she has a particular enthusiasm for Irish fiddling, she has also been heavily influenced by her family connections in Nova Scotia, spending many summers fiddling along the coast in Pictou County, or attending square dances in Cape Breton. These elements combine to make her playing unique, while remaining rooted in tradition.
In 2018, Mary released her solo fiddle album of Irish music, First Light of Day, which Dáithí Sproule of Altan describes as “lovely playing, lovely variations — lots of beautiful thoughts!” The album is accompanied by Ryan Johnson on piano, and also features local musicians Chad McAnally (Irish harp) and Matt Wehling (mandolin), as well as Mary's daughter, Claire (fiddle).
Other albums Mary has recorded on include Brass Lassie's self titled (2018), Chad McAnally's Ó Cearbhalláin~ Rí na nDall/King of the Blind (2018), Bob Douglas's Just Tunes (2016), Sherry Ladig's Maiden Rock (2016), Back Porch Band's The Road We Traveled (2003), and Back Porch Band's Between the Rhythm and Brew (2001).
Mary continues to be a sought after teacher and performer, and has been a guest artist/lecturer for the Minnesota Irish Music Weekend, Minnesota Celtic Fiddlers, Pint of Irish Celtic Music retreat (CA), Spanish Peaks International Celtic Festival (CO), and in schools. She currently teaches fiddle and ensemble classes to all ages at the Center for Irish Music in St. Paul, and Suzuki violin and fiddle lessons at her home in the south metro. All lessons are currently taking place over Zoom/Skype as a safety precaution during Covid19.