Melissa Weikart is a French/American vocalist, pianist, composer, and teaching artist currently based in Strasbourg, France. 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 (San Francisco), and Carla Kihlstedt's Black Inscription. a multimedia song cycle, at Cotuit Center for the Arts in September 2019. She has also composed for San Francisco-based contemporary dance company Kickbal.
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 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.
In addition to her career as a performer, Melissa has been teaching since 2016. During her time in San Francisco, Melissa taught private piano and voice lessons at Amabile School of Music. Last year, she held the position of Musicianship Teacher at Handel and Haydn Society's Vocal Arts Program in Boston, where she taught solfege classes to students ages 8-18. At NEC, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant to Hankus Netsky for his Jazz History and Ear Training courses. She has also presented a lecture titled “Experimental Women Improvisers: The Creative Power & Radical Aesthetics of Six Musicians” at Tufts University and New England Conservatory.