Michelle is a North American Tour Scholar of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where she studied Contemporary Writing & Production. She has a Bachelor’s of Music in Cello Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music in Long Beach, CA.
1997-2002 Violin, jazz guitar, flute, cello studies
2002 Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra
2003 Meets Yo-yo Ma
2005 Semper Fidelis Music Award, U.S. Marine Corps
2006 Orange County Youth Symphony
2007 Carnegie Hall performance
2007 Junior Chamber Music - Honors
Michelle began college pursuing dual studies at Irvine Valley College and University of California, Irvine. Her musical education from this time includes mentorships with Dr. Maggie Parkins, Joseph Mendoes, and the revered late jazz cellist and pianist, Freddie Katz, about whom she has also written an ethnography.
In 2007, Michelle received several grants and scholarships, including the Tanya-Reed Gardner Memorial Scholarship for excellence in music at the collegiate level. In 2009, Michelle was a featured in a solo recital for the Orange County Philharmonic Society.
Long Beach, CA
Her music degree was fulfilled with honors at the Cole Conservatory of Music on the campus of CSU, Long Beach, where she studied with Dr. David Garrett of the LA Phil. Throughout her education at CSULB, Michelle has performed in masterclasses with Peter Marsh, Alexander String Quartet, Dr. Janet Crouch-Shulman (M.AmSAT), and Mark Summer.
In 2011, she, along with the rest of the Cole Conservatory New Music Ensemble had the privilege of hosting the famed experimental composer Christian Wolff and gave the world premiere of his work, after which he personally commended Michelle for her sense of innovation.
In 2012, Michelle received a full scholarship to attend the CSU Summer Arts program "Classical/Jazz Connections", administered by the Alexander String Quartet. Among many incredible opportunities, Michelle played from the original parts from the historic "Charlie Parker with Strings" recording sessions, explored chamber music in different styles, and met the Kronos Quartet.
Michelle happily attended the inaugural year of CelloBeat, a week-long intensive summer course taught by the incredible master of contemporary cello styles, Mark Summer. She plans to return as much as she can.
Michelle pursued further education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. She was able to attend thanks to the North American Tour Scholarship, which covered her major expenses. She studied with Eugene Friesen and Sara Caswell on cello, while majoring in Contemporary Writing and Production. Her other notable mentors are Lee Abe, Ken Zolot of MIT, Jane Potter, and Alain Mallet. She played in the Berklee Contemporary String Quartet under the tutelage of Darol Anger and the Qantara Ensemble under Simon Shaheen, who performed her arrangement of a Greek folk song, Yerakina.
While she attended Berklee, she was selected to participate in a dual enrollment seminar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study augmented reality technologies, and was part of one of the first teams to explore the possibilities of visual immersion technology in music and music education.