Cheryl Melfi has served as principal clarinetist in the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and the Michigan Pops Orchestra. She is a past member of Quadrivium, the Crosswinds Ensemble, the Arizona-based wind quintet Fünf, and the contemporary music quartet THUD. She has also performed with contemporary music groups including the Contemporary Directions Ensemble, the Prime Directive, and the Nova Chamber Players, and has collaborated with numerous composers on new works for the clarinet. She is a frequent collaborator with the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance. With Quadrivium, she was a featured artist at the 2010 Electro-Acoustic Juke Joint and the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival. Dr. Melfi has appeared as a guest artist and clinician at the University of Central Oklahoma and the Music/Arts Institute, and her performance at the 2008 International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest was called “excellent” and “exotic.” Other festival performances include Electronic Music Midwest, SEAMUS, the KMTA/MMTA Joint Conference, and the University of Central Missouri’s new music festival.
From 2005–2007 Dr. Melfi was Instructor of Clarinet at Mahidol University in Salaya, Thailand. While living in Southeast Asia she served as faculty artist for the Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble (SAYOWE), and presented recitals, clinics and workshops at the Asian Symphonic Band Competition (ASBC), the Singapore Bandmasters’ Workshop, the Gitameit Music Center in Yangon, and other events throughout the region. In 2007 she performed in Yangon with U Maung Maung, the principal clarinetist of the Myanmar Radio and Television Orchestra, in the first-ever collaboration between American and Burmese clarinetists.
From 2008–2011 Dr. Melfi was Assistant Director and Instructor of Clarinet at the Community Music and Dance Academy at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City, Missouri. In that capacity she expanded the Academy’s clarinet studio, founded a faculty recital series, and collaborated with outstanding artists and educators on the creation of new and innovative arts programs.
Dr. Melfi holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona, the Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, and the Bachelor of Music degree from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music. Her clarinet teachers include Jerry Kirkbride, E. Fred Ormand, and David Bell.