The decision to move West of the Mississippi came in 1987 after driving across the country four times in one year to continue her research into Western music and verse, steeping herself in the culture of the American West. "I found paradise in the West, and a tiny town in the high desert no one had ever heard of back then.
Since arriving I have been constantly inspired by sunsets to write songs and sing them at the piano, sitting in front of glass windows overlooking giant red rock mountains towering above." She has been a frequent guest performer at cowboy poetry gatherings, most recently participating in the Prescott Cowboy Poets Gathering.
Nashville: Chet Atkins & Mickey Newbury
Marie also lived in Nashville for a while during the late 80's through mid 90's where friend Chet Atkins introduced her to legendary singer songwriter, Mickey Newbury. They immediately recorded for Airborne Records, and proceeded to go on the road as a duo, performing at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, and the University of Texas, Austin, to name a few.
"We subsequently played together for 30,000 people in a huge American Music Festival in Poland outside of Warsaw the week before the 1989 Revolution. There was literally nothing to buy, except some bootlegged cassettes of Roy Orbison we bought on the street to do our bit to help the economy. It seemed music was as important as food to the human soul. When we played our music, it obliterated the despair, and people were happy for 3 full days, walking around in their cowboy hats and Texas boots. Where they ever got them, I can't imagine, with no money. In spite of everything they did not have, they wanted joy, and music should be joyful, or nothing. From the response, I know they loved Mickey."
Air Force Concerts
In 1990 Marie was invited as violin soloist/composer on an extended tour with the Fifteenth Air Force Band of the Golden West from March Air Force Base performing her "American Folk Concerto". On July 4th celebrations of the same year she was asked to perform with the Command Band of the Air Force Reserves in Macon, Georgia to provide entertainment for celebrations in honor of returning troops from the Gulf War at a concert at Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, Georgia for an audience of 65,000.
Holland America Cruises
In May of 1996 Marie was invited to perform as featured guest soloist on Holland America's S.S. Rotterdam on a cruise through the Panama Canal to Cartagena, Columbia, South America, where she performed her solo fiddle tunes to yet another uninitiated audience. She was invited back for a return engagement again later the same year. The challenges have been unusual.
Another chapter in Marie's ongoing odyssey into musical influences led her to fly to London, England in January of 2000, where she was invited as guest scholar-in-residence at Oxford University's Wycliffe College to research the integration of music in theology and in today's contemporary churches.
"I visited a number of the world's great research libraries, such as the Bodlein and British Museum."
Returning to Evensong Choir services at the various Oxford Colleges and at Cambridge University's King's College where she was once on the faculty of Kings' College Choir School, still remains an inspiration to Marie's musical expression.