Purchase College Conservatory - Bachelors of Music
Melissa is a freelance cellist and educator and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Millersville University . Melissa has most recently played with the Lancaster Symphony and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, in addition to the Kennett Symphony, Chester County Pops (principal '05-'06) and various other local organizations. Graduating from Purchase College Conservatory in 2010 and 2011, Melissa received a Bachelors of Music and a Performers Certificate under the tutelage of Julia Lichten.
Previously, in 2006, she attended Shenandoah University where she was a winner of the esteemed Bach-Handel Competition. Later that same year, she performed at the Castleton Theater in an original theater production, Wayfarers, with Dietlinde Maazel, actress and wife of former NY Philharmonic Maestro, Lorin Maazel. In 2008, she was featured on the McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase and the following year was awarded the Presidential Scholar Award from Purchase College. While at Purchase, Melissa also played for the premier of Lee Hoiby's opera, The Tempest, at Symphony Space in New York City, and later went on to record the work with Albany Records. In 2010, she was invited to tour as a soloist with the Mary Green Singers on their 25th Anniversary tour to Germany and the Czech Republic.
In 2009, Melissa attended her first fiddle camp and has since continued to attend the Mike Block String Camp in Vero Beach, Florida. There, she not only found a great appreciation and love of folk music, but she found a community of people that would eventually go on to become the folk-chamber sextet, The Sound Accord. Melissa has had the opportunity to perform with musicians from all musical backgrounds, including, multi-genre cellist, Mike Block, Scottish fiddler, Hanneke Cassel, cello goblin, Rushad Eggleston, bluegrass mandolin player, Joe Walsh, Celtic cellist Natalie Haas, jazz violinist, Zach Brock, multi-genre violinist Jeremy Kittel, among others.
Since then, Melissa has played with various folk groups including the Irish trio, Fire in the Glen, where she was also one of the group's two main singers. She was also a founding member of the vocal trio, Silver Belles, which debuted their self-titled Christmas album in the fall of 2014. She has also had the priveledge of soloing with Broadway stars, Kristin Chenoweth and Johnathan Groff, as well as internationally renound Scottish fiddler, Hanneke Cassel.
In the summer of 2014, Melissa was a part of the reading for the American premire of the musical, A Summer Rose in Winter, by Rory Six. Performed at Shetler Studios in NYC under the direction of Kristen Brewer, the English adaptation of the German musical featured a three member cast, and a two piece band.
Melissa has also spent ample time in the recording studio and has been featured on a number of albums.