Same faces...New mission.
Beth Blackerby and Al Marabella created Blackerby Violin Shop in Austin more than twenty years ago. The store went on to become one of Texas’ most respected string shops, and the Blackerby name established deep roots in the Central Texas music community. Now, after selling the retail portion of Blackerby Violin Shop in October of 2015, Beth and Al begin a new phase in serving Austin’s diverse arts community. The focal point of that service is the spacious 1200 square foot concert hall and recording venue that thousands have visited through the years.
Born in Lexington and raised in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Beth has been studying violin since the age of five. She got her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Louisville and her Masters from the University of Wisconsin in Madison where she studied with Vartan Manoogian. Beth came to Austin to study with Vincent Fritelli for her Doctorate, but her entrepreneurial ambitions lead to the creation of the violin shop in the mid-90’s. In 2010, Beth started a companion business, an interactive website geared toward the adult beginner and intermediate violinist. With more than 500 instructional videos, violinlab.com has become a popular site for adults looking to learn the violin on their own, or supplement their private lessons.
Al was born and raised in Galveston, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. Al worked in television news in Austin for seventeen years, first in front of the camera as a reporter and anchor, then later behind the scenes as a videographer and producer. He won numerous Associated Press and United Press International awards for journalism, as well as a prestigious Katie Award from the Press Club of Dallas for shooting and co-producing a documentary about Austin during World War II. Al and Beth were married in 1996. They have two daughters; Madalyn, 20, also a violinist and a sophomore in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin; and Mae, 16, who plays piano and recently competed in the 2017 Irish Dancing World Championship in Dublin, Ireland.