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Gavin has devoted his career to inspiring youth to explore their musical abilities and open their eyes – and ears – to the countless elements of music.
With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music and in vocal performance from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Gavin is a tenured musician. No stranger to PRIZM Ensemble, he sat as a panelist for its 2019 college audition preparation workshop, providing guidance to high school students on the rigorous audition process for entering collegiate-level music programs. His higher education experience also includes serving as an adjunct professor and later as a visiting professor for voice at Kentucky State University. He later returned to his hometown of Memphis to become the director of choirs at Kirby High School.
In addition to serving as executive director for PRIZM, Gavin is the director of concert choir and a voice instructor at LeMoyne-Owen College. He previously served as a fellowship coach for Memphis Music Initiative, where he partnered with dozens of local schools and managed a team of music fellows who taught more than 750 students each semester.
As PRIZM’s executive director, Gavin oversees all operations and strategic direction for the nonprofit, manages development, drives programming, recruits mentors and fosters community partnerships to support PRIZM’s vast youth outreach efforts. He also leads PRIZM’s largest program, the Summer Music Camp and International Chamber Music Festival, and the PRIZM in the Schools program, which provides high-level introductory music classes and orchestral instruction at various schools.
Marissa Manthongkham, D.M.A.
Director of Operations and Educational Programming
Music has always been an integral part of Marissa’s life and she’s thrilled to be back in her hometown and to contribute to PRIZM and the Memphis musical community.
Dr. Marissa Manthongkham is a graduate of Michigan State University, earning a Doctorate of Musical Arts in clarinet performance. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Music in performance from Baylor University. She studied under Guy Yehuda, Richard Shanley, Victor Chavez and Gary Sperl.
A devoted advocate for music education and performance, Marissa has established herself as a professional woodwind instructor and pedagogue in conjunction with dynamic performances that have catapulted her musical career. With more than 14 years of music education experience, most recently Marissa taught at the Michigan State University Community Music School and instructed undergraduate courses and lessons at Baylor University along with facilitating teaching studios in Tennessee and Washington State. As a resident artist at the 2017 Philadelphia International Summer Music Festival, Marissa coached chamber ensembles, studied with Ricardo Morales and served as principal clarinet of the college and professional division orchestra. She volunteered as a clarinet instructor at The Joy of Music School, a nonprofit organization that provides free lessons and musical equipment for youth in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 2016, Marissa was introduced to the PRIZM program and served as an instructor and performer during the International Chamber Music Camp and Festival.
Another component of Marissa’s scholarly work includes a performance tour of seven chamber music concerts in Kolkata, India, where she coached students from various backgrounds and collaborated with Indian educators. She also performed an LGBTQ rendition of “Orpheus and Eurydice” by Ricky Ian Gordon with the Arbor Opera Theater of Michigan, allowing her to expand her insight of a well-known work in a modern setting. She has performed and collaborated with established composers and conductors, including John Mackey, Paul Dooley, Eric Ewazen, Kensho Watanabe and Colonel John R. Bourgeois, and also performed in masterclasses for renowned pedagogues Kenneth Grant, Julie Deroche, Phil Paglialonga, Frank Morelli, Kimberly Fisher and Paul Cigan. Finally, Marissa has won countless talent awards for her clarinet performance at preliminary competitions within the Miss America Organization earning more than $9,000 in scholarships.