At the age of 13 Melissa began her organ studies. By the age of 14 she had performed her first concert at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor. Since then, Melissa has performed throughout the state of Michigan in theaters such as: The Flint Institute of Music, The Fox, Senate Theater, Redford Theatre, Macomb Theatre, Punch and Judy Theatre, The Michigan Theatre and the Royal Oak Music Theatre.In 1985 Melissa competed in the international Young Theatre Organist Competition and was announced runner-up. In 1986 she competed in the American Guild of Organists competition, where she was awarded a college scholarship. She was also awarded the Lee Grekin Memorial Scholarship and the ITW Scholarship
At the age of 15 Melissa won the State of Michigan Yamaha competition, and the U.S. Regional Yamaha. During this time, Melissa was also a member of the Dondero A Capella Choir at Dondero High School in Royal Oak, Michigan. Upon her graduation from Dondero she was presented with the Royal Oak Musicale Merit Award for outstanding musicianship in the community.
In 1987, Melissa competed once again in the International Young Theatre Organist Competition and placed first. She was then featured in the 1987 National American Theatre Organ Society Convention, help in Los Angeles, where she performed at the Orpheum Theatre. Later that year, she was a featured artist at the organ societies regional convention in Denver, Colorado. Melissa was again a featured artist in the society’s national convention in 1988 in Portland, Oregon, and in 1989 in Detroit. During this period Melissa traveled throughout the Northeastern US performing concerts in places like Pittsburgh, New York, Toronto, Burlington, and Chicago.
In the spring of 1990 Melissa graduated from Oakland University in Rochester Hills with a Bachelors of Art in Organ Performance. While at Oakland, Melissa was taught by Fredrick DeHaven. After her graduation from Oakland University Melissa was accepted to The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where continued her education and pursued a master’s degree in organ under the tutelage of Marilyn Mason.
In 1991, Melissa recorded her first tape with the Pro Arte Recording Company in Minneapolis, MN. Her recording of It’s a Grande Old Flag was made available in the Harmony House.
Since 1993 Melissa has been the Minister of Music at the First Congregational Church of Royal Oak. At FCC Melissa plays many roles, from directing the adult choir, adult handbells group, and youth handbells group to directing miscellaneous soloists, duets, trios and quartets. During this period Melissa has also worked for Sullivan & Sons Funeral Home, and Kinsey Garrett Funeral Home, where she shares her many musical talents.
In 1995 Melissa and her husband welcomed their first child, with two more to come in 1997 and 2000. During this period Melissa slowly withdrew from the concert arena to focus on her growing family and her position at FCC Royal Oak.