Born into a Kendal family of talented musicians Mary Powney has been involved for many years in the Mary Wakefield Festival. After gaining her Licentiateship in piano and singing at the Royal Academy of Music she remained in London and built up a successful freelance career as accompanist and singing coach, working regularly with many distinguished artists and learning from established leaders in the teaching of singers. She also worked for the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company for private rehearsals given to their principals.
Returning to her native town, Mary established a large teaching practice, specialising in piano and singing, while appearing as recitalist and soprano soloist in many choral works. She has been regularly engaged by many Festivals throughout the United Kingdom, both as accompanist, general adjudicator and vocal specialist, being awarded the Post Graduate Certificate of Adjudication in 2000.
From 1969 to 2000 she conducted the K Shoes Male Voice Choir Kendal which, under her leadership, was recognised as one of the finest choirs of its type in England, with many Festival successes at home and abroad. In 2000 Mary accepted the role of President of the choir and continues to play an active part as the choir evolves. Mary is universally respected by the choir and all associated with it and her involvement is greatly appreciated.