Along with teaching, Melissa loves performing. Orchestral experiences include the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, Muscatine Symphony Orchestra, St. Ambrose University Orchestra and the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra. She is playing in the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band and has been a member of the Iowa City Community Band, LeMars Community Band, Waterloo Municipal Band and the Siouxland All-America Band.
Melissa was a guest trumpet soloist with the Greater Waverly Municipal Band under the direction of Dr. Craig A. Hancock during summer 2023, performing The Highland Trumpeter by Mike Hannickel. The piece is based on the old Scottish air "Bonny Doon" by James Miller. Listen to the performance below beginning at 6:30. After the trumpet solo, it began to rain and the rest of the concert was cancelled.
Musical theatre experiences include South Pacific, Anything Goes, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, A Sondheim Gala, La bohème, Oklahoma, Into the Woods, State Fair, The Music Man and The Nutcracker.
While studying at Wartburg College, earning her Bachelor of Music Education Degree under the direction of Dr. Craig A. Hancock, the band traveled and performed in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. They also traveled outside of the United States, touring Europe: Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Great Britain. Under the direction of Dr. Myron Welch, earning her Master of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance, the Symphony Band at the University of Iowa performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Professional affiliations include the Iowa Bandmasters Association, Northeast Iowa Bandmasters Association and the Iowa State Education Association.
Melissa presented at the Iowa Fine Arts Education Summit in summer 2023 in Des Moines on the Ankeny Campus with Christina Farrell, Director at Throughline Arts over the topic, ME Station: SEL Through Science and Music. (M=Mind, Meditation, Music, MIDI & E=EEG, Exploration, Electricity, Enhancement) A collaborative residency was formed with Melissa's 6th Grade Bands, inspired by the work of Creative Technologist Jason Snell, that uses EEG data from brain waves to create electronic music. The students used his ME Station Technology, learned simple mindfulness strategies to change their brain state, and composed their own instrumental piece to express what they learned about the brain.
Congratulations to Melissa on being selected for the 2023 Excellence in Education Award from the Iowa State Education Association and honored at the Summer Leadership Conference Awards Banquet in Des Moines.