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Maria Banks began playing the harp at the age of 7. Within ten years, she debuted as a concerto soloist with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has worked with several professional ensembles such as the Arizona Opera Company, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the West Australia Symphony Orchestra. She has played several operas such as the Wagner Ring Cycle (The Wagner Ring Cycle Festival in Flagstaff, Arizona), and several musicals such as “A Chorus Line,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Fantasticks.”
As a soloist and a member of various ensembles, Banks has toured internationally and throughout the United States. She has also performed on several cruise ships such as the “Royal Viking Sun,” and the “Queen Elizabeth II” and completed three World Cruises. She was invited to play for the guests of NBC at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and was asked to appear in a live CNBC broadcast reaching three continents. Banks has also performed at several festivals such as the International Jazz and Pop Harpfest, The American Harp Society National Conference, and the Festival del Desierto in Mexico.
Banks has performed extensively in hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs throughout the US, Japan, Puerto Rico, and Australia. She has been playing for weddings, receptions, and parties since the age of 13. Her musical repertoire ranges from classical to popular, new age, and jazz and includes original arrangements and compositions.
Maria’s music and playing has also been featured in several compact disc recordings, television documentaries, and a music video. Her education includes undergraduate and graduate work in music performance at the Eastman School of Music and The University of Arizona.