In a time when many changes are upon us, this new school year brought a change we did’t want. Andrea Fischer left  Batchelder’s to go back into the school district. As difficult as it was to acknowledge her last day, we wish her all love and happiness in her new venture.

Although we miss Andrea and all of her talents, we are so excited to announce our new vocal teacher, Melissa Bumbach!

A little bit about Melissa:
Melissa is an educator, conductor, and singer with experience working with a wide variety of age levels. She was most recently a teaching assistant at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she is pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting with a cognate in Music Education, ABD. At UM, Melissa has served as conductor of various choral ensembles, teaching assistant for conducting and choral methods, instructor of the vocal techniques class, and university supervisor for student teachers. She has been awarded two research grants to fund doctoral research in Cuba.
  
Previously, she was the choral director at Howard Middle School in Marion County, Florida, where she was named the 2012 Howard Middle School Teacher of the Year and awarded a $10,000 grant for her choral program from the TV show GLEE and the National Association for Music Education. Melissa went on to be named the 2012 Marion County Teacher of the Year. Melissa’s choirs consistently earned Superior ratings at Music Performance Assessments.
Melissa served as District Chair for the Florida Vocal Association, overseeing activities for chorus teachers and students in Marion, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco counties. She has conducted All-County Middle School Chorus in Pasco, Broward, and Palm Beach counties and the Marion County All-County Elementary Chorus and served as adjudicator for Choral and Solo Ensemble Music Performance Assessments for Florida Vocal Association.
Melissa is also a frequent vocal soloist, performing works such as Handel’s “Messiah,” Mozart’s “Coronation Mass,” and Vivaldi’s “Gloria”. In Florida, she sang with numerous local ensembles as a professional soloist and choral singer, including the Na Wai Chamber Choir in Hawai’i, Ocean Reef Chapel Choir, 2nd Avenue Jewish Chorale, Musica Judaica, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Coral Gables, Plymouth Congregational Church of Miami, Marion Civic Chorale, Nature Coast Festival Singers, and Ocala Summer Sacred Music Chorale.
Melissa has also recorded with Gloria Estefan (*gasp) and sung the National Anthem at the 2016 CNN Republican Presidential Debate (*double gasp* in Miami, FL. 
Melissa received her Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting at the University of South Florida, where she was the Graduate Conducting Apprentice for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Melissa is also passionate about the power of music to positively influence lives and build community!
As you can tell, we are so blessed to have Melissa on staff!
At Batchelder’s Studio of the Arts, Melissa is already organizing new vocal programs to benefit all of the Rapid City area! Keep an eye and ear out for those upcoming announcements! In the meantime, come in and meet her!