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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010 8 years ago

Banker returns to her musical roots

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

If Marcy Gilroy’s life were a concert, she’d currently be in her second act.

On the surface, it seems as if the bank-executive-turned-piano-teacher has undergone a creative metamorphosis, but to those who know Gilroy, her latest endeavor is less of a departure and more of a homecoming.

A classically trained pianist, Gilroy has played the piano since she was 4 years old. Mozart’s “Fantasia in D Minor” comes as naturally to her as does the glittering jewels and gowns she’s photographed wearing at black-tie events.

But Gilroy is much more than a socialite.

Step inside her Prestancia home and you’ll see for yourself. A woman doesn’t convert half her living space into a piano studio if she’s not seriously disciplined or seriously talented.Gilroy is both.

“This isn’t a music mommy-and-me where we twirl around and play games,” Gilroy says as she breezes into the living room she uses for her Child Prodigy piano series. “This is structured piano.”

Eight baby pianos in red, black and pink are assembled in a U-shape across a zebra-print rug in the middle of the room. Clothespins hold sheet music and colorful name tags in place. Pushed under a bay window in the room is a zebra-print bench in which Gilroy has stored a collection of toy drums, tambourines and other instruments.

“My significant other will tell you the reason I love this so much is because I’m still a kid,” Gilroy says, bending down to pluck the keys on a miniature piano.

The mother of four attended New York University School of Performing Arts in the late 1970s. She performed at Lincoln Center, taught at New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts and worked as an accompanist at the New Jersey School of Ballet.

She seemed destined for a life as a concert pianist until she graduated with an MBA from Barney School of Business and set out for Wall Street.

A former senior-level executive at Bank of America and Fifth Third, Regions and Citizens banks, Gilroy spent 25 years in wealth management until the banking industry went bust a couple years ago. That prompted Gilroy to revive her oldest passion — music.

Gilroy started “A Prelude to the Classics” in the spring of 2009. Within two months she had eight students. A year-and-a-half later, she was up to 60 students, ranging from 2 years old to 82 years old.

Piano Distributors on U.S. 41 recently latched on to her Child Prodigy series. According to Gilroy, the program will soon be replicated in 32 retail piano locations throughout the U.S. — zebra-print decor and all.
“It’s a little funky,” Gilroy says of the studio, which also offers guitar, drum and voice lessons. “But this is me; this is my style.”

Gilroy is overjoyed with the success of her program. She says her children’s classes have been a labor of love.

“It’s unbelievable,” Gilroy says. “I feel like I should have done this years ago.”

if you go
Students from Marcy Gilroy’s “A Prelude to the Classics” piano studio will perform a recital at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22, at TPC Prestancia. For more information, call 266-5847 or visit

Contact Heidi Kurpiela at [email protected].


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