Theresa Cleary is a professional violist, violinist, and music educator. As the youngest of four children in a musical family, she began her musical studies at age 6 with choral training before starting violin lessons at age 8. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Viola Performance from UMass Lowell (magna cum laude) and has studied with Loren Pearson and Elliott Markow; other influential musical coaches include Dr. Richard Bunbury and Ricardo Slevira. This is her 12th season playing with the New Hampshire Philharmonic.
Theresa is a highly sought-after freelancer and is known for her vibrancy, positivity, and intuition as a performer. An active orchestral violist, she is currently principal violist of the New Hampshire Philharmonic, assistant principal violist of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Cape Ann Symphony. She has performed for and participated in masterclasses with the Borromeo String Quartet, the Harlem String Quartet, and Jeanne Bamberger. She has performed solos with the Granite State Symphony Orchestra, the Southeastern Alumni Symphony Orchestra, and in May of 2018, was deeply honored to perform Suite Hébraïque by Ernest Bloch with the New Hampshire Philharmonic.
As an educator, Theresa is dedicated to fostering a love of music in her students. She has taught strings in the Fall River Public Schools, outreach programs including the UMass Lowell String Project and Up With Music, and privately in programs with the Chelmsford and Milton Public Schools. She has adjudicated for the Junior and Senior SEMSBA Festivals, MMEA Junior and Senior District Festivals, and the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras. Currently, Theresa is the 6th grade orchestra director and music teacher at the Mill Pond School in Westborough, MA and maintains a private lesson studio in Ipswich, MA. She will complete her Masters in Music Education degree from Gordon College later this year.
Outside of traditional violin/viola, Theresa enjoys playing as a studio musician in recording sessions and is a member of a two locally successful bands (As The Sparrow and Arms & Ears), both of which have performed in some of the largest venues in Boston and opened for national acts. Original music by both of these groups can be heard across all streaming platforms. When she is not playing or teaching, Theresa enjoys visual art, traveling, spending time with her family, and relaxing with her cat, Robby.