Dr. Melissa Angel Straus, Double Bass, performs with the Grand Rapids Symphony and other professional orchestras throughout Michigan. Although her international performances span from Vienna, Austria to Mexicali, Mexico, Melissa makes Michigan her home, and co-founded with Tess Miller and Jennifer King the Mackinac Island Community Foundation Summer Concert Series, which is in its eighth year running.
An avid soloist and recitalist, she has performed on faculty recitals at Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, Alma College, and Hope College as well as contemporary venues such as LadyFest. She is the lower half of Extreme Duality, a flute/bass duo which regularly premieres works of living composers and recently recorded Murray Gross’s Spring Fever. She currently teaches at Alma College, as well as Hope College.
While earning her Master of Music degree in Double Bass Performance at the University of Minnesota in 1996, Melissa studied and worked with the some of the world-renowned musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. From 1995 to 1999 Melissa was Principal Double Bass with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, and from 1996 to 1999, faculty at the University of Wisconsin at Superior.
Melissa received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Michigan State University in 2003, where she studied with the highly respected Jack Budrow. While at Michigan State University, Melissa also studied Ethnomusicology with Dr. Michael Largey, completing the coursework for a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology. She used ethnographic research methods in her D.M.A. document to study the relationship of a regional orchestra to its local culture. She recently presented her research at an International conference at the University of London in an article, An American Regional Orchestra in the Twenty-First Century: Beethoven, Harleys and Social Justice.
Double Bass, Electric Bass