Melissa Weikart is a vocalist, pianist, composer, and teaching artist based in San Francisco. Her musical approach is shaped by her early affinity for vocal harmony and formative training as a classical pianist. Melissa’s solo songwriting project emerged as a desire to confront her distinct experiences by providing a space for intimate dialogue between voice and piano. The result is playful and pensive, inviting listeners into a rich, raw world of twisted melodies and exposed dissonance. After releasing her EP Coffee and live album Testing All My Memories, she is now in the midst of recording her first full length LP set for release this summer. As a collaborator, Melissa has performed with Boston-based chamber choir Carduus, the Cornelius Cardew Choir (SF), and Carla Kihlstedt's Black Inscription. a multimedia song cycle, at Cotuit Center for the Arts in September 2019. She is currently composing for San Francisco-based dance company Kickbal, whose evening length work HOMEBODY will premiere at ODC Theater on April 10th & 11th, 2020. (ticket link here!)
photo by Sasha Pedro for INPUT / OUTPUT
Coleman, Dominique Eade, Ran Blake, and Hankus Netsky and co-founded Students Advocating for Gender Equality. She was recently featured in INPUT/OUTPUT, a magazine dedicated to promoting the voices of women and non-binary musicians.
While pursuing her Master’s in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory in Boston (M.M. ’18), Melissa was awarded an Entrepreneurial Musicianship grant to fund the debut performance of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice: Pet Sounds Reimagined,” her recomposition of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds performed in its entirety by an all-female vocal choir and rock band. In June 2019, the ensemble presented a performance-lecture at the joint International Alliance for Women in Music and Feminist Theory and Music conference hosted by Berklee College of Music. During her time at NEC, Melissa studied privately with Carla Kihlstedt, Anthony
In addition to her career as a performer, Melissa has worked as a teaching artist since 2016. Currently, Melissa teaches private piano and voice lessons at Amabile School of Music in San Francisco. Last year, she held the position of Musicianship Teacher at Handel and Haydn Society's Vocal Arts Program in Boston, where she taught solfege and sightreading classes to students ages 8-18. At NEC, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant to Hankus Netsky for his Jazz History and Jazz Ear Training courses. She has also presented a lecture titled “Experimental Women Improvisers: The Creative Power and Radical Aesthetics of Six Musicians” at Tufts University and New England Conservatory.