Bassoonist Monica Ellis, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, discovered the joy of making music at the age of 4. Encouraged by her father, the late jazz saxophonist Clarence Oden, she began playing the clarinet, saxophone and later the piano. After being introduced to the bassoon in middle school, she studied with Mark Pancerev of the Pittsburgh Symphony throughout high school.
Ms. Ellis went on to receive her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, studying with George Sakakeeny. While at Oberlin she participated as both an instructor and performer in the Panama Project; a month long camp for young Panamanian students. She then received her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and also attended Manhattan School of Music in the Orchestral Performance Program, studying with Frank Morelli at both institutions.
Residing in Harlem, Ms. Ellis is an active New York freelancer, having performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Absolute Ensemble, Perspectives Ensemble, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, just to name a few.
Also a passionate teacher, she has taught at Conservatories of Music at Purchase College and Brooklyn College, Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division and Juilliard's Music Advancement Program. She is also a well renowned clinician, and has given masterclasses and solo recital performances across the country.