Updates from Aquinas College about COVID-19 are at aquinas.edu/coronavirus.  Updates on our academic plans are at aquinas.edu/saintstogether.

Music at Aquinas College

Mary Hillyard, B.A.

Mary Hillyard
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music- Chamber Strings Ensemble, Strings Techniques


Mary Beth Hillyard completed her fortieth and final year of teaching middle and high school orchestras in the 2019-2020 school year. She announced her retirement in January to be official in June from her public school teaching. Mary began her teaching career with the Grand Rapids Christian School Association and has spent the last thirty-seven years in the East Grand Rapids Public Schools. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Aquinas College for seven years, teaching Chamber Strings, and taught String Techniques this past spring. Mary received her B.A. from Calvin College.

Mary frequently serves as a guest clinician for local school orchestra programs. She has also been a presenter at the Michigan Music Conference. She has attended the Ohio State String Workshop, has taught Suzuki Violin for the Grand Rapids Public Schools and has also taught privately over the course of her career. She has worked for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as an Assessor for music educators seeking National Board certification. Mary has taught for the Calvin College Knollcrest Music Camp, Grand Valley String Leadership Camp, and her classroom over the years has been active with cadet teachers, teacher aides, student teachers and college student classroom observations. Mary was chosen as the MSBOA State Orchestra Teacher of the Year in 2004 and capped off her public school teaching career being named MSBOA District 10 Teacher of the Year for 2020.


  • B.A., Calvin College

Courses Taught

  • Chamber Strings Ensemble