Cynthia Marie Dillard is a pianist, songwriter, & teacher with a background in classical, jazz, blues, and folk music. She is a Honolulu Symphony Best and Brightest concerto competition winner, Berklee College of Music summer performance program songwriter showcase winner, and a graduate of the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, WA, with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She studied classical piano with Bonnie Litten and Ann Tanabe, boogie-woogie piano with Caroline Dahl, and jazz piano with Debbie Poryes.
Cynthia is a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Independent Artist Award, Jackstraw Artist-in-Residency, and Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ Smart Ventures grant. She has produced two full-length albums and one EP of original music, and was a commissioned composer for Gamelan Pacifica and Washington Women in Jazz Festival. Her music has been performed on a variety of radio programs including Voices from the DMV, Takoma WOWD-LP, and NPR’s WAMU Bandwidth. She is a regular performer at the Takoma Park Folk Festival’s Crossroads Stage, sponsored by Strathmore. She is member of ASCAP.
As a collaborator, she appears as pianist and/or vocalist, songwriter, or producer on a discography of over 19 recordings with artists from coast to coast such as Jason Masi, Jenny Terry, Elena & Los Fulanos, Jahnel Daliya, Summer Januaries, & Steve Olof Larson. As an arranger, she has published over 35 sheet music arrangements sold internationally on Sheet Music Plus, and is the author of new piano primer, Piano Studio with Cynthia Marie.
She has performed her songs in Boston, Seattle, DC, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Philadelphia, North Carolina, and Breschia, Italy. She resides in Maryland, where she enjoys teaching piano to her students at Mike’s Music in Ellicott City, MD, music students at Holy Child, and students from coast to coast online at her Columbia Piano Studio. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, Maryland MTA, and Howard County MTA.
"... her brand new single Patient Winter, a warm Country-tinged Folk song. I am really enjoying her lovely vocals and how they easily convey the emotion of her storytelling over the infectious melodies ... live instrumentation with emotive piano chords beautifully intertwined with lush violin, steady percussion and a killer electric bass create a warm and intimate background for her vocals to soar." - Caesar Live n Loud
"Cynthia Marie, an incredible artist from Maryland, shares her talent in the beautiful song “Patient Winter.” The track is very poetic, and its lush arrangement reflects the passion it was made with. The soft, yet confident piano part blends nicely with the bright violin line ... spirited playful vocals immerse you in a wonderful picturesque space." - Tonic Grain