Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski

Introducing... Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski

Mary's early-life musical training with Michael Fernino of Ansonia, Connecticut, developed into a life-long love and study of music. When Julie began lessons, Mary was offered the opportunity to begin as well . . . but thought not! After a year passed, and Julie would repeatedly come home with an ice cream cone for a good lesson, she reconsidered her position on musical study!

She progressed rapidly, and worked hard to catch up to Julie. Both studied harmony and theory privately with Dr. Asher Zlotnik, then of Yale University and New York City.

Performances were numerous, and competitions were a regular part of growing up. By the time she reached early adulthood, Mary stacked up over 175 trophies and awards for State, Regional and National competitions. Her first "concert" appearance was at the age of 12 with the Fernino Quintet (which included Julie, too).

As a duo, Mary & Julie (pictured left with the late duo of Bill Palmer and Bill Hughes) held the U.S. Duet Championship for over 12 years. Performances "in concert" throughout the United States include solo appearances, duet appearances with Julie, and many as a member of the Accordion Symphony Society of New York, The Accordion Pops Orchestra, at the Latin Arts Festival at Southern Connecticut State College, and many others. (Julie and Mary pictured below with Elsie Bennett - center and Michael Fernino at a guest artist appearance for the Bennett Music School in Brooklyn, NY.)

She's appeared in "Fiddler On The Roof", and in 2001, a world-premiere of "Alcyone", (written by Thomas L. Read, based on an epic poem by F.D. Reeve, and conducted by Professor Neely Bruce) at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

Mary represented the United States in the Coupe Mondiale (World Accordion Championship) sponsored by the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes in Belgium (1971) and in France (1973).

Mary began her teaching career when she was in high school, building her skills, and helping young children build their self-esteem through music. Even then, early childhood education was a priority of Mary's. After many years as a private music educator, she developed her own system of working with pre-school students.

She subsequently attended Kindermusik courses at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and at Princeton University, and has attended numerous seminars on the psychology of teaching, technics for the "special needs" learner, and lots of education-related topics. Mary also serves as a music educator in the North Haven Department of Education Early Childhood Development Program. (Mary and Julie pictured below right with their own early music teacher Michael Fernino in 1957)

A member of many music associations, Mary's held positions as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and many Committee Chairs over the years. She currently holds memberships in the American Accordionists' Association (where she serves on the Board of Directors), the Accordionists' and Teachers Guild, International (where she also serves on the Board of Directors), the Music Teachers National Association, the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association, the New Haven Chapter of CSMTA, and has been a member of the National Association of Female Executives, and the Business and Professional Women's Association. As a member of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary Club of North Haven, Mary donates some of her time and talents back to the community!

Mary is the Director of Music Education at the Tokarski Music Center in North Haven, CT and teaches "special needs" children at a local elementary school. She is a respected adjudicator at local, national and international music festivals and events, often presents workshops on advanced student preparation and performance confidence, and along with the members of The "K" Trio is instrumental in the presentation of "How We Do It" - an in-depth workshop in ensemble performance techniques.

Along with her busy musical career, Mary enjoys bowling and needlework.

The "K" Trio, 15 Maplewood Lane, Northford, CT 06472 USA
Phone: (203) 484 5095     E-Mail:
mary.tokarski@comcast.net