Tree City Chamber Players enjoyed its inaugural 2018-2019 season with performances in Boise, ID at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy and at McCall Music Society's Second Sunday Sounds at Six recital series in McCall, Idaho. Concerts featured diverse programming for flute, oboe, cello and piano.
The ensemble then performed a program of French masterworks called "French Favorites" in January and February of 2020, just before the pandemic shuttered the performing arts industry around the world. The 2020-2021 season proceeded with a YouTube live-streamed recital when live-streaming became our new way of presenting several recitals until it was safe again for live audiences to attend.
We are a proud recipient of the 2019 Boise City Department of Arts and History Grant, which funded an Idaho-inspired program called "Celebrating Idaho!". Delayed until June of 2022 due to the pandemic, we finally presented this program on our first tour of Southern Idaho, including appearances on the Argyros Concert Series in Ketchum, ID, Second Sunday Sounds at Six in McCall, ID, and at many other venues.
Tree City Chamber Players believes strongly in supporting our community, so we thank our generous audience members who have helped us provide donations from our local performances to local non-profits. So far, we have donated to the United Way of Treasure Valley, the Idaho Foodbank, the Women's and Children's Alliance, the El-Ada Community Action Partnership, the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, and the Idaho Conservation League. We are looking forward to supporting other local non-profits in the future. Thank you Treasure Valley community for helping us help others!
Melanie Keller, flute
Melanie Schattschneider Keller, originally from Baltimore, MD, is Principal Flutist & Personnel Manager of the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Napa Valley. She has also performed as Principal Flutist with the Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Stockton and Solano Symphonies, the Benicia Ballet Orchestra, Symphony of the Redwoods, the Millennial Choirs & Orchestra and the Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra. In addition, Mrs. Keller has enjoyed performing with the Boise Philharmonic and the Santa Rosa, Monterey, Fremont, Merced and Marin Symphonies, among other orchestras.
Mrs. Keller has spent recent summers performing at the Sun Valley Music Festival, McCall Summerfest Orchestra, Festival Napa Valley, Mendocino Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Texas Music Festival and the Las Vegas Music Festival. From 1999-2002, Mrs. Keller enjoyed performing in some of the world’s greatest concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and New York’s Avery Fisher Hall with the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (conducted by Leon Botstein) and the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra (conducted by Kurt Masur, Yoav Talmi and Carlos Kalmar).
Mrs. Keller has been a featured soloist with the Vallejo Symphony Orchestra and the St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra. She was a founding member of The Avenue Winds, a Bay-Area based woodwind quintet that maintains a special interest in performing works by living Bay Area composers (www.avenuewinds.com) and is excited to now be a part of the Tree City Chamber Players!
A frequent prizewinner at national flute competitions, she won 1st Place in the 2005 Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair Young Artist Competition and has been a prizewinner in several other national competitions, including the 2006 Madison Flute Festival Young Artist Competition, the 2005 Flute Society of Kentucky Young Artist Competition, the 2003 Flute Festival Mid-South Young Artist Competition and the 2003 Orchestral Audition Masterclass Competition at the Las Vegas NFA Convention. Mrs. Keller has performed at several NFA Conventions as both a Flute Masterclass Performer and a Convention Performer. She has also been honored to have been selected as a three-time semifinalist in the San Diego Flute Guild Artist Gold Competition.
She received her M.M. degree in the studio of Timothy Day at the San Francisco Conservatory and her B.M. degree in the studio of Mark Sparks at the Peabody Institute. Former teachers also include Laurie Sokoloff, Sara Nichols and Gail Cameron.
Her discography includes the soundtrack to Ballet Russes (Intrada Label), Fleeting Visions: Collaboration II (Beauport Classical) and Conversations: Keyboard and Chamber Music by John Bilotta and David Gaines (Navano Records.)
A passionate educator, Mrs. Keller serves as Adjunct Flute Faculty at the College of Idaho and is the flute instructor at the Dunkley School of Music. Previously, she enjoyed teaching flute at several schools in the Bay Area including Bridgepoint Music (Menlo Park, CA), and the Myriad Music School (San Mateo. CA). Mrs. Keller has also enjoyed working with young musicians as a coach for the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Peninsula Youth Orchestra (CA) and at the Sun Valley Music Festival Summer Music Institute. She also teaches preschoolers the joy of music through the Musical Kids Program serving schools throughout the Treasure Valley.
When not playing her flute, Mrs. Keller loves spending time with her husband Blaise and her sons, Owen & Jacob.
Ryan Klein, oboe
Ryan Klein, English horn and oboe, is from Verbank, New York. His past orchestral positions have included principal oboe of the Hubbard Hall Opera Theater Orchestra, solo English horn with the Boise Philharmonic and associate principal oboe of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. He is currently principal oboe of the Opera Idaho Orchestra, solo English horn of the OSU-Corvallis Symphony, oboe and English horn with the McCall SummerFest Orchestra, oboe and English horn substitute with many orchestras including the Oregon Symphony, Stockton Symphony, and Boise Philharmonic, a founding member of Tree City Chamber Players, and an active private instructor of oboe and English horn.
Ryan has given solo and chamber music recitals across Idaho, California, New England and Hawaii. Previous orchestral positions and appearances include the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Schenectady Symphony (NY), Hawaii Opera Theater Orchestra, Boise Baroque Orchestra, and the Walla Walla Symphony. His concerto soloist appearances include the J.S. Bach Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin with the Lake George Chamber Orchestra, the J.S. Bach Concerto for Oboe in F on the Noontime Recital Series at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Honolulu, HI, Harold Farberman’s Impressions with members of Contemporaneous, and the Haydn Oboe Concerto with the Skidmore College Orchestra. For the Cathedral of St. Andrew’s Noontime Concert Series (Honolulu) and The Lutheran Church of Honolulu’s music program, Ryan was soloist on English horn, oboe d’amore and oboe for many of the sacred and secular works of J.S. Bach. He was a member of Nat Osborn and the Free Radicals, a rock band that toured the Northeast US from 2006-2009, and is a former faculty member of The College of Idaho.
Ryan’s off-season summers are spent fishing and hiking with his dog Jason, and playing ice hockey. He is a USA Hockey certified level three referee and linesman. Ryan holds degrees from Skidmore College, Mannes College of Music, and the Bard Conservatory of Music.
Chad Spears, piano
Chad Spears, a native of Boise, ID, has performed across the US, with additional appearances in Canada and Mexico. A winner of numerous young artist competitions, he made his orchestral debut at the age of eighteen playing Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor with the Treasure Valley Youth Symphony. Since then he has been featured with the Washington-Idaho Symphony and the Coeur d'Alene Symphony as the soloist for Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with the Spokane Symphony for Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major and with the University of Idaho Orchestra performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Chad earned his Doctor of Music Degree in Piano Performance at Florida State University under the tutelage of Dr. Read Gainsford.
A highly sought-after collaborative pianist, Chad was invited to perform at the Encuentro Internacional de Flauta y Piccolo at the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza in Monterrey, Mexico, where he played in several recitals with the festival’s students and faculty members. He has also been a guest artist in Toronto, Canada, a number of times, performing with flutist Alheli Pimienta, the duo Flautas del Fuego, and collaborating with composer Adam Sherkin. Chad’s performance of Sherkin’s Daycurrents is featured on the website of the Canadian Music Centre. Chad's chamber music repertoire is extensive and covers a range of styles from the Bach flute and keyboard sonatas to César Franck's Sonata for Violin and Piano and Olivier Messiaen's Quatour pour la fin du Temps. He is a proponent of new music, having performed works by the Japanese-American composer Hiroya Miura, Ukrainian composer Oleg Bezborodko and Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, among others.
A passionate teacher, Chad is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of musicians. He has served as a group piano instructor at Florida State University and the University of North Florida, and has maintained active piano studios in Moscow, ID, and Tallahassee, FL. Chad currently serves as an accompanist and adjunct instructor of class piano for Boise State University’s Department of Music. He works with several Boise State choral ensembles, voice students, and on occasion with the Symphonic Winds and Symphony Orchestra. Chad also collaborates with local area school choirs, The College of Idaho, Alley Repertory Theater, and Opera Idaho.