The inspired musical landscape of performer, educator and award-winning ASCAP composer Melanie Mitrano spans many genres, including classical, jazz, musical theatre, pop, Brazilian, and Portuguese Fado. Her eclecticism and versatility make her feel at home in almost any setting, be it a classroom, concert hall, theater, or jazz club.
Melanie is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and has the distinction of being the first woman to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston. She has worked personally with composers such as György Ligeti, Luciano Berio, and John Harbison. She has traveled the world as a soloist, premiering dozens of new works in the USA, England, Italy, Japan, Taiwan and Brazil, where she currently serves as cofounder, resident composer and vocalist with InterXchange Ensemble, based in São Paulo.
To date, Melanie has released two critically-aclaimed discs. All Things Gold, the most recent, features only her own compositions: "straight-up acoustic vocal jazz in a champagne glass – swinging, clean, cool and refined." Six of the songs on that album have won compositional awards. Songs in Transit, released on Capstone Records in 2006, features repertoire which unites musical theater, blues, jazz, hip-hop and world music styles within a classical framework. Such notable American composers as Lee Hoiby, Tom Cipullo and Lori Laitman, as well as Pulitzer-Prize-winning composers David Del Tredici and Paul Moravec are heard accompanying the singer at the piano. Melanie's voice also appears in the film and on the EMI movie soundtrack of Perfume, winner of the 2007 German Film Award, directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Dustin Hoffmann and Alan Rickman.
Starting from a lineup of New York's best new music ensembles, Melanie’s compositions have been performed all across the USA coast to coast, and on four continents around the world. Her two worldwide podcasts for Classical Music Discoveries both placed in the top ten shows of all time with approximately 20 million listens. Her musical scores are published by Ivy Cottage Press (ASCAP).
Dr. Mitrano began her teaching career at Connecticut College in New London; and from there served on the faculty of New Jersey City University as Coordinator of Vocal Studies. A dedicated educator and frequent clinician, she has lectured at several NJMEA state conferences, high schools, and universities, including the Mannes College of Music, Western Connecticut State University, Kutztown University, Brooklyn College, and the University of New Hampshire. She has served as an adjudicator for the NJ NATS Festival of Singing and the National Federation of Music Clubs. Her academic articles have been published in The New Music Connoisseur, Tempo Magazine, the MENC international edition of Spotlight on Teaching Chorus, and the NATS Journal of Singing. Currently, she teaches on the faculty of County College of Morris, and maintains an active private vocal studio in New Jersey.