Alissa Roosa (nee Shuster), born 1962 in Berkeley CA, earned a BA degree at St. Olaf College and an MA from Kent State University. She is presently completing her PhD at Kent State University.
After graduating from St. Olaf with a music degree, Alissa accepted an internship as assistant annotator and editor of the programs for the Cleveland Orchestra, under the tutelage of Klaus G. Roy. Later she became the manager and buyer for a classical and jazz record store in Cleveland. During this time she also taught flute and music theory at the Cleveland Music School Settlement and the Western Reserve Fine Arts Academy. Later, Alissa taught 7th and 8th grade general music at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland. Her freelance work includes managing and performing in a baroque trio of flute, oboe, and violoncello, and performing with Cavatina, a flute and harp duo, and the Avalon Woodwind Quintet.
Ms. Roosa began graduate work at Kent State University in 1988, and received her MA in Theory and Composition in 1991. Her thesis was an in-depth analysis of Roger Reynold's Threshold for orchestra. She was granted a teaching assistantship in theory in 1991 and taught first and second year music theory, and assisted with the "Form and Analysis" course.The Graduate Student Senate granted her an Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994. Her performances at Kent include Stadtpfeiffer Suite (played in 1992), Kokopelli's Dream (1993), and Dialogue of Self and Soul for string orchestra (1995), and Trailblaze (1996)
In December of 1992, Dialogue of Self and Soul was performed on a Cleveland Chamber Symphony "Concert for Young and Emerging Composers". In May of 1993, she composed incidental music for award-winning playwright Jim Kuth's 1992 radio play, The Kitten Man. In the summer of 1994, Ms. Roosa's brass trio, Scandinista!, received its first performance by faculty members at the Interlochen Fine Arts Camp.
In 1992 and 1993, Alissa was a teaching fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, where she taught classes in beginning and intermediate music theory and orchestration. While at Aspen, she studied with Michael Czaijkowski, head of the Center for Composition Studies, and with Donald Erb (visiting composer). She participated in two composer forums, May in Miami and June in Buffalo, where Kokopelli's Dream was performed, and she was on the Composition and Theory faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp. Alissa received first prize in the International League of Women Composers' 1994 composition contest for Kokopelli's Dream.
Presently, Alissa teaches flute and composition at Hiram College. She recently gave a college convocation on her music, and a faculty flute recital. This past summer, she studied with Betsy Jolas at L'Ecoles d'Americaines in Fontainebleau, France, and with Latislav Kubik at The Czech-American Institute in Prague. She is presently a University Fellow at Kent State University, where she teaches composition and directs composition seminar.