Meet your new director of operations and educational programming

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Meet your new director of operations and educational programming

We’re excited to introduce Dr. Marissa Manthongkham as PRIZM’s new director of operations and education programming. Marissa will coordinate PRIZM’s various educational outreach projects, including the 2021 summer chamber music camp and virtual programming. 

“PRIZM Ensemble is a very hands-on organization when it comes to working with local youth to advance their musical education and technique,” said Roderick Vester, executive director of PRIZM. “Marissa has an extensive background in classical music, along with a passion for mentoring young people, which makes her a valuable asset to PRIZM. As PRIZM navigates this era of organizational rebuilding after the pandemic, I am confident her unique background in education and performance will further our mission to expand access and opportunities for enhanced music education, especially among students in underserved communities in Memphis.” 

Among her duties as director of operations and educational programming, Marissa will manage partnerships and curriculum for PRIZM in the Schools, in which professional musicians provide high-level instruction to underserved students and schools across Shelby County. She will also oversee coordination of the annual PRIZM Chamber Music Camp, a summer program for Memphis-area youths to participate in intensive musical training and performances. This year’s summer camp is set to kick off June 21, followed by a week of virtual courses that offer students an introduction to non-performance areas in the music industry.

An avid advocate for music education, Marissa is passionate about teaching aspiring students the proper instruction and pedagogy. In addition to more than 12 years of education experience, Marissa served as a clarinet instructor in PRIZM’s 2016 chamber music summer camp. She also taught undergraduate courses and lessons at the Michigan State University Community Music School and Baylor University, and volunteered as a clarinet instructor at The Joy of Music School, a nonprofit organization that provides free lessons and equipment for youth in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Marissa is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, earning a Doctor of Musical Arts in clarinet performance. She also holds a Master of Music in performance from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Music in education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. 

“As a native Memphian, I am committed to my passion for educating local youth about the arts,” Marissa said. “I am so thrilled to be back in my hometown and honored that I get to contribute to the musical community where I grew up and what made me who I am today.”