Though Mary Howe's life was never without music, it was not until 1924 that she gave herself permission to pursue her life as a composer. Mary Howe described her own style of composition as one of "spanning and bridging" - reaching from the past through the contemporary to develop her own language, essentially tonal, yet inventive, lyrical and rich in texture. Mary Howe was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1882. Her early musical training included studies in Germany with Richard Burmeister, a pupil of Liszt. She studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where she met Anne Hull with whom she formed a duo piano team that toured in recital from 1920-1935. In 1922, Howe became one of the few women at Peabody to have earned a diploma in composition at that time. A short period of coaching with Nadia Boulanger in Paris is 1933 marked the end of her formal training. Her diverse catalogue of compositions comprises more than two hundred titles, including works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, chorus, piano, and art songs for solo voice. Mary Howe was also actively involved in community music affairs and a variety of civic enterprises.