Morissa has played the cello for over 25 years, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Specialized Studies in Ethnomusicology from Ohio University. She enjoys playing, teaching, and performing music in many genres, including: classical, jazz, contemporary, and Jewish. These days, you can often find her playing cello at Shabbat services at Congregation Beth Tikvah.
During her time at Ohio University, Morissa studied cello with Michael Carrera and was a member of the Ohio University Symphony Orchestra, cello choir, and various chamber music ensembles. Morissa served as the Editor and President (two terms) of Sigma Alpha Iota - Sigma Beta Chapter. She also served as President of ASTA, the college chapter of the American String Teachers Association.
Prior to her studies at Ohio U, Morissa was a member of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio, where she learned that strings could rock too -- and under the baton of Liza Grossman, played alongside legends Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Jon Anderson of YES. Morissa also was a 4 year member of the Shaker Heights High School Chamber Orchestra, where she was honored with the outstanding senior member award.
Morissa has taught cello lessons to students of all ages.
"Ethnomusicology is the study of music in its social and cultural contexts. Ethnomusicologists examine music as a social process in order to understand not only what music is but what it means to its practitioners and audiences." - The Society for Ethnomusicology
As an Ethnomusicologist, Morissa’s areas of research include: music of the Jewish community (conversos) during the Spanish inquisition, music of the Beta Israel of Ethiopia, modern Israeli hip hop and politics, as well as comparative Jewish music – examining how different Jewish composers, bands, and ensembles navigate text, prayer and music, all in their own unique ways.