Tree City Chamber Players enjoyed its inaugural season in 2018/2019, with exciting performances in Boise, ID at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy and at the Second Sunday Sounds @ Six recital series in McCall, Idaho. Concerts featured a variety of works for flute, oboe, cello & piano with a mix of pieces both old and new!
The ensemble is thrilled to present recitals in Boise, ID in January and May 2020 and is a proud recipient of a 2019 Boise City Department of Arts & History Grant. The grant will fund the commissioning of three Idaho composers (Dave Earnest, Jim Cockey and Eric Alexander) to each create an "Idaho-themed" work for the group to be premiered in May 2020. Please see our "Concerts" page for more info on these events in our 2019/2020 Season!
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 and Idaho Music Academy. 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 recent orchestral positions have included solo English horn with the Boise Philharmonic and Acting Associate Principal Oboe of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.
Ryan has given solo and chamber music recitals across Idaho, New England and Hawaii. Other orchestras with which he has played English horn and oboe include the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Schenectady Symphony (NY), Hubbard Hall Opera Theater (NY), Ballet Hawaii, Hawaii Opera Theater, 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, 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. Ryan was also a member of Nat Osborn and the Free Radicals, a rock band that toured the Northeast US from 2006-2009.
Ryan’s off-season summers are spent fishing, hiking, playing ice hockey, and playing principal oboe and English horn for the Hubbard Hall Opera Theater and the McCall Summerfest Orchestra. He is also 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.