Biography

Active as a solo pianist, chamber musician and collaborative performer, Dr. Melissa Loehnig Simons is currently on faculty as Assistant Professor of Music in Piano and Theory at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri. She spent five summers employed as a staff pianist at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.  She now spends her summers as a part of the piano faculty for the Red Lodge Music Festival, held in Red Lodge, Montana.  She has also been chosen from a national field of applicants for the Opera Theatre Music Festival of Lucca (Italy), the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, and for the highly competitive Songfest Program in Malibu, California.

In February of 2011, representing Florida State University as a part of the Promising Artists of the 21st Century program, Dr. Simons was awarded the opportunity to travel and perform (along with soprano, Dr. Christina Villaverde) throughout the country of Costa Rica. This program is held as part of a collaboration between Florida State University and the North American Cultural Center in Costa Rica. Along with performing, Dr. Simons and Dr. Villaverde held several masterclasses at the University of Costa Rica, the Opera de camara de Costa Rica, the Escuela Municiple de Artes Integradas en Santa Ana EMAI, and the Centro Cultural Jose Rigueres in San Ramon. This concert tour also included the Latin-American premiere of Libby Larsen’s My Antonia.

Dr. Simons has performed throughout the United States, including recently with Choral Arts, a semi-professional chorus based in Seattle, with whom she performed the world premiere of William Averitt’s The Dream Keeper, for chorus and piano four hands. Dr. Simons has performed as a guest artist for the Spokane Steinway Gallery, Eastern Oregon University, Clarke University, and the El Paso Summer Music Festival.  She has also been invited to do guest artist work with the University of Washington Chamber Singers and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Singers. She is featured on two recently released CD recordings: Chimera produced by Albany Records and Mornings Like This produced by the Gothic Recording Label.  Dr. Simons has had the honor of working with such musicians as Rachel Barton Pine, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, Barbara Bonney, Christa Ludwig, Stephanie Blythe, Margo Garrett, Jake Heggie, and many others.