Mezzo Soprano Breanna Miller is a current Graduate student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of world renowned Mezzo Soprano Susanne Mentzer. From Halifax, Nova Scotia, Breanna completed her Undergraduate studies at Dalhousie University, under the instruction of pedagogue Lucy Hayes-Davis, in 2014. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, she operated a voice, piano, and musical theatre program at Maritime Dance Academy for several years. All participating students placed within the top 2-12% of the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations, and many had placed in the Kiwanis Music Festival. Additionally, she was the music director and co-director of “Seussical the Musical”. Breanna has a passion for educating children and teenagers of all ages and believes in the importance of communicating emotion, and understanding music theory for all musicians. She believes community is a vital part of making music and has a passion for chamber and contemporary music. She is also a scholarship recipient of Nova Scotia Talent Trust (‘17, ‘18) and the Portia White Award (‘18).
Breanna’s most recent performance includes Irene in Handel’s Tamerlano with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Baroque Ensemble, under the direction of Corey Jamason. She previously performed the roles of La Principessa (Suor Angelica), Prince Charmant (Cendrillon), Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Nutrice (L’incoronazione di Poppea), and Second Witch (Dido and Aeneas). She has also been the alto soloist for Mahler’s Third Symphony and Handel’s Messiah.
Melissa Weikart is a vocalist, pianist/keyboardist, composer, and teaching artist. Her musical approach is shaped by her formative training as a classical pianist and passion for vocal harmony. As a teacher, Melissa strives to provide students with the necessary tools to succeed
as creative, collaborative, and extrinsically motivated musicians. She performs frequently as a
solo songwriter, and after releasing her EP Coffee and live album Testing All My Memories, she
is in the midst of recording her first full length LP set for release this spring. In addition to her
solo career, Melissa has performed with Boston-based chamber choir Carduus, and most
recently joined Carla Kihlstedt's Black Inscription song cycle on vocals and keytar at Cotuit
Center for the Arts. She has also composed for San Francisco-based choreography duo Kickbal, and is currently working on a commission for them to be presented in April 2020
supported by the ODC Theater Opportunity Fund.
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. Melissa has worked as a teaching artist since 2016, and this past year, she held the position of Musicianship Teacher at Handel and Haydn Society's Vocal Arts Program in Boston, where she taught solfege and sight-reading classes to students ages 8-18. 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.
Lucia Pontoniere plays violin, guitar, sings, and writes songs. She graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in violin performance, where she studied with world-renowned fiddle players and violinists such as Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, and Matt Glaser. Lucia began playing violin at the age of six and has always seen violin as her first musical love, but also enjoys songwriting and singing as a creative outlet.
Lucia grew up in the Bay Area, and after spending five years on the East Coast is excited to call it home again. She tours the country with her band called The Ladles, an indie-folk singer-songwriter group. In addition, she enjoys freelancing with different bands, teaching music, and doing studio work. Lucia has played on many band’s albums, and for a couple TV shows as well! Music is her greatest passion in life and she is so excited to share that passion with as many people as possible. Lucia has seen first hand how music can change lives, as well as be a fun and creative way to learn and grow. She has experience teaching all ages, both group classes and private lessons. Lucia has taught classical violin as well as fiddle, guitar, and voice.