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Mell Csicsila

Mell Csicsila has been a dynamic presence on the Cleveland musical scene for over 20 years. A native of Northeast Ohio, he can be heard frequently performing as a first-call percussionist at Cleveland's Playhouse Square Theaters and with professional orchestras and ensembles across the region. Mell has backed a number of artists including Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, the Moody Blues and Yes, and supported the national tours of over thirty Broadway musicals including Wicked, The Producers, Hairspray and Mary Poppins in Cleveland and in theatres across the United States. Beyond classical and pop music, he has appeared on drums and percussion in fusion concerts with master artists like South Indian percussion virtuoso Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, Eastern European and Klezmer ensembles, and a with number of jazz, rock, and blues groups. Mell has made over one hundred performances as a percussion soloist and recitalist performing both serious concert literature and lighter novelty and ragtime pieces. In 2005, he performed the US premiere of Bertold Hummel’s Aphorisms on BACH, Op. 105 with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra. Beyond solo performances, he frequently performs with Andrew Pongracz as part of duo ANIME, a chamber percussion duo. Mr. Csicsila holds degrees from Cleveland State University and has pursued additional study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition to his performance credits, he is an active teacher and clinician and has been on faculty at Cuyahoga Community College since 1995. He is a Teaching Artist for the Cleveland Orchestra's arts integrated Learning Through Music program and the orchestra's Musical Rainbow concert series, presents clinic sessions at colleges across the country, and develops educational projects and clinics for other arts organizations.