With a diverse and versatile range of skills, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and arts director Melissa Littlepage has been successful in a number of musical and managerial roles. She has performed, taught, and managed a number of organizations throughout the United States. Presently, she freelances as a performer, composer, transcriber, and cross-cultural consultant while working part-time for The Institute for Cross-Cultural Mission. Her work primarily focuses on the preservation of the African-American heritage in classical music, race and gender representations in the Western tradition, and cultural competency within liturgical spaces of orthodox Christian communities.
Mrs. Littlepage earned her Master of Music degree from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) in Oboe Performance, studying with Merideth Hite Estevez and Jaren Atherholt. While there, she performed with the Asombro Reed Quintet. During the 2016-2017 academic year, she served as the Graduate Assistant for EngagingUNCSA, a collaborative effort between administration, faculty, and students to discover innovative avenues for engaging the world as citizen artists. In June 2017, she traveled to NYC for an Artist Fellowship (oboe) and as an Emerging Composer for the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival with Imani Winds at The Mannes School.
She served as the principal oboist for the Belmont University Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble from 2007-2011, performing at several venues, including Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Hall. In recent years, she has appeared at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, and at Carnegie Hall. In the summer of 2010, she performed solo works and in a chamber ensemble boasting fellow musicians from the New York Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard at the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival in Memphis, TN.
Exploring her compositional talents, her works have been performed in numerous venues across several cities, at times earning awards and scholarships. Commissions include Extendings for Wind Ensemble, for the Washington University in St. Louis Wind Ensemble. Her String Quartet No. 1, Three Perspectives for String Quartet, were recorded at the acclaimed OceanWay Studios in Nashville, TN.
As an organized and capable leader and manager, Melissa has served as a music librarian, office intern and radio host for St. Louis’ Radio Arts Foundation, Music Director of DaySpring School of the Arts, and Program Manager for Arts & Faith St. Louis, an exciting incentive to grow diverse audiences for arts organizations by connecting them to the faith community. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Freedom Arts & Education Center, an organization seeking to bring educational resources and arts training to children in low-income neighborhoods.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys playing guitar, tambourine, and singing both at church and in bands around town, focusing on gospel, R&B, jazz, funk, and soul.
Melissa Littlepage earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Belmont University. She studied oboe privately with Leanna Booze, Marjorie Yankeelov, Ellen Menking, and Ron Sipes, and piano with Robert Marler. She studied composition with Mark Volker and William Pursell at Belmont University, and with Martin Kennedy at Washington University in St. Louis.
She now lives in Washington, D.C. with her also-musical husband, Joel Littlepage, and their three sons, Oscar, Thelonius (Theo), and Wynton.