Conductor. Cellist. Teacher
Originally hailing from Tennessee, Marshunda's love affair with music began when she picked up the cello in the 6th grade, initially driven by a teenage crush but soon discovering her true love for the instrument. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, setting the stage for her musical journey.
While teaching at a local high school, Marshunda's enthusiasm for conducting and teaching music blossomed. This newfound passion led her to pursue a Master's degree in Orchestral Conducting with a focus on Music Education at the University of Southern Maine. Throughout her journey, Marshunda has been fortunate to receive mentorship from conductors such as James Fellenbaum, Victor Yampolsky, Robert Lehmann, Harold Farberman, Richard Rosenberg, Gregory Pritchard, Adrian Gnam and Philip Greenberg.
During her time in Maine, Marshunda's conducting talents shone as she led the Odeon Youth Orchestra and guest conducted at various music festivals in the state. However, her musical journey ultimately brought her to the Boston area, where she established herself in the North Shore community while maintaining connections in Maine and New Hampshire.
Marshunda's commitment to pushing the boundaries of classical music led her to co-found the groundbreaking No-Name Orchestra of Boston. This innovative ensemble challenges the norm by bringing together soloists and orchestra members to perform works with no rehearsals, fostering spontaneous and captivating musical experiences. Now in its 8th year, the No-Name Orchestra continues to captivate audiences with its unique approach, performing at least three times a year across the Boston metro area.
In February of 2018, Marshunda made history by guest conducting the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, becoming the orchestra's second female conductor in two decades and the first African American conductor in its 70-year history.
2018 was a significant year for Marshunda as she enchanted audiences across the Boston area with her Coquettish Dances program, a chamber music sensation. This program resonated with her hometown in Tennessee, when she returned to offer her first concert in Chattanooga in two decades, releasing Coquettish Dances as an album soon after.
Currently, Marshunda channels her artistic energies into "The Marshunda Project presents." The inaugural project, which premiered on October 5, 2019, featured new compositions by local talents and brought lesser-known works for chamber orchestra into the spotlight.
Beyond her musical endeavors, Marshunda is a dedicated educator, inspiring the next generation of musicians. She imparts her unique blend of passion and quirkiness to her students at the Waldorf School in Beverly, MA, where she also maintains a private music studio for violin, viola, and cello students. In addition, Marshunda shares her wealth of knowledge by mentoring fellow Waldorf teachers across the United States, and she is currently working on her first book, further solidifying her legacy in the world of music education.
Her approachability and genuine love for music are evident in every note she conducts, sometimes even dancing up on the podium as she brings together the orchestra and the audience. How can YOU experience the building of vibrant new programs with Marshunda? Reach out, connect, and become a part of any community she is building in the New England area.
"Our son is loving having his violin lessons with you. We already noticed his wanting to practice again after just knowing he was going to be with you." - Luciano S.
"Thank you for breathing us in during the performance. We seldom get that.." - NH brass player
"I always know exactly where you want the music! - Mary Jane F.
"I'll follow your conducting anywhere!" - Cape Ann Symphony musician
"Telling our daughter that it's ok to make mistakes has decreased her anxiety level while performing. Thank you! - Larissa M.
"It's impressive that you can bring an orchestra and soloist together on no rehearsals!" - Celia R.
"You are so easy to follow!" - Nancy P.
"You have this ability to see the best in every child and allow them to imagine and paint a picture while playing. My daughter is better for that. Thank you.
- Jennifer R.
"Well THAT was fun and exciting!"
- No-Name Orchestra soloist after 1st and only run-thru/ performance
"Instead of switching to another violin teacher, my daughter showed me cellos for sale. She doesn't want to leave you.
- Myriah K.
"You explain things in an age appropriate and understanding way to my class. My students respect that about you."
- 8th grade Waldorf class teacher
You are a bright joyful light. You make the best of every situation and have undying positivity for the kids!
- 2nd grade class teacher
"When I look up and see you shaking your hips while conducting, I feel the music more."
- No-Name Orchestra instrumentalist