Brooke Mickelson is a violist, music educator, and social entrepreneur with a passion for community arts engagement. Through all of her roles, Brooke’s mission is to connect people through the arts and provide access to music education. She started playing viola in public school at age 10 because it was “cool” and has never stopped believing it. Brooke now holds a Master of Music Performance (Performance Pedagogy) from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Music Performance from Boise State University, having studied with Nancy Buck, Dr. Linda Kline, and Jennifer Drake.
Brooke has more than 10 years of experience teaching private viola and violin lessons. Her students have earned seats in youth orchestras and high school chamber orchestras and have been accepted to study music at university. While teaching for both the ASU String Project and SOUNDS Academy, nonprofit organizations providing private lessons for underserved students, Brooke discovered her passion for accessibility to music education. She created a Subsidized Music Lesson program that provided over 200 affordable private music lessons for 21 low-income students in 3 years. She has encouraged private music teachers to make their studios accessible to low-income students in presentations at the 2021 Music Teachers National Association conference and the 2019 Idaho Music Teachers Association conference.
Brooke has played in orchestras at prestigious music festivals from Brevard Music Institute to FOOSA Festival. In 2018, she performed in Los Angeles’ Disney Hall with the FOOSA Philharmonic. She was a leading player in her university symphony and chamber orchestras and has also enjoyed playing in community orchestras. She has played in chamber music masterclasses with the Borodin, Borromeo, Cremona, Shanghai, and Saint Lawrence string quartets. Brooke loves collaborating with composers and has played in premieres for 4 new chamber music pieces. Her specialty lies in 20th-century works. At the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska, she performed Hindemith’s “Trauermusick” viola concerto with a professional orchestra in 2016 and Bruch’s “Kol Nidrei” in 2018.
Lauded for “exceptional tone colors and range of intensity”, Brooke won 2nd place in the 2018 Music Teachers National Association Idaho State Competition and received honorable mentions in 2017 and 2019. Most impressively, she placed in the finals for the 2019 Boise State University Concerto-Aria Competition performing the first movement of Hindemith’s “Der Schwanendreher” viola concerto from memory. She has played in solo master classes for renowned viola soloists and pedagogues Jeffery Irvine, Mai Motobuchi, and Karen Dreyfus.