Marisa Sherwood has lived many musical lives, but is happiest as a singer/songwriter.
She is a classical double bassist of 22 years. After studying privately with Pat Moulds (Dallas Opera) and Tom Lederer (Dallas Symphony), she won her first professional position in the Allen Philharmonic at the age of 16. She went on to study the instrument at the University of North Texas School of Music, working as a coach and counselor for the Bradetich Annual Masterclass in the summers. She worked as a freelance bassist in a variety of symphonies including the Monroe Symphony and Lone Star Wind Orchestra; and recorded four live albums with the North Texas Wind Symphony. Marisa plays with a German Bow, and teaches the instrument using a blend of the Simandl and Rabbath methods with a finite focus on healthy physical technique.
She is a contemporary vocalist of 16 years, being most versed in the styles of jazz, folk, and musical theatre. After earning a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music, she studied voice with Rebecca Shrimpton, and stage performance technique with Livingston Taylor. Currently, she is a student of the Estill Voice Training model and is working towards a certification in the subject. When teaching voice, Marisa uses elements of Alexander Technique and places a heavy emphasis on ear training.
She is the co-founder of the award-winning newgrass ensemble, Backwater Opera, for which she was the lead vocalist and manager for 8 years. In its time, the group performed in 20 states, recorded 3 albums, and won several accolades (including 1st Place at the 2011 Pickin' in the Pines Band Contest, and a finalist position at the 2010 Telluride Bluegrass Festival). Before concluding their journey, Backwater Opera was described by Eugene Weekly as "a group that stitches the sound of bluegrass music into a classical indie-rock tapestry...with songs ranging from sorrowful to blisteringly introspective, and vocal harmonies sweet enough to melt even the harshest capital pacific northwest ice."
In addition to her instrumental studies, Marisa actively seeks out education in tangential subjects in efforts to understand music from a holistic perspective. This, of course, is an ongoing (and subjective) process. Subjects that she has studied at a collegiate level include
11 different music theory courses, 12 different ear training courses, music business, copyright law, entrepreneurship, music cognition, physics of sound, vocal health & anatomy, stage performance technique, Alexander Technique, music history, conducting, arranging, ensemble direction/band leading, lead sheet writing & analysis, transcription, and songwriting. In addition, she became a Certified Piano Tuner under direction of the Piano Technician Academy in 2020; and is currently working toward her certification in Estill Voice Training.
She lives in Vermont and plans to stick around. If you meet her in person, she will show you pictures of her dog whether you want to see them or not. Here's one now -