Mary Europe's activity in the community was diversified. Called a "musicians's musician" by her admirers, she performed solo piano recitals and often accompanied local and visiting artists. As the accompanist for the Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society, she occupied a position of special prominence, resulting from the organization's renown. When the well-known Afro-British violinist, conductor, and composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912), son of a Sierra Leonean father and an English mother, came from London in 1904 to conduct the society in his cantata Hiawatha's Wedding Feast , he publicly recognized Europe's fine musicianship, with the result that her reputation was considerably enhanced in Washington music circles.
Founded in 1901, the Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society had 160 to 200 voices and was, justly, a source of great pride in Washington, D.C. The idea for its creation came from Mamie Hilyer, founder of the Treble Clef Club (discussed below), although—as was often the case—her husband, Andrew F. Hilyer, a leading businessman and treasurer of the organization, and the conductor, John Turner Layton, were more prominently associated with the society in the public mind.
Mamie Hilyer had met Coleridge-Taylor during a trip abroad and had returned to the United States enthusiastic about establishing a choral group that would perform his compositions. She and her associates conceived the plan to invite Coleridge-Taylor to Washington to conduct the society; her husband carried on the main correspondence. Mamie Hilyer promoted the society through her performances as a pianist and other fund-raising efforts. Concerts of the choral society were enthusiastically reviewed by the local and national black newspapers,
and the audiences, made up of whites as well as blacks, were so large that some persons were turned away for lack of seating. A writer for the Evening Star (24 April 1903, 13) described the society's first concert as "splendid" and "an event of interest in the musical history of this city."