Performing as a soloist as well as ensemble playing, Melissa Fager is noted for her musical sensitivity and passion with the ability to play any style of music, her favorite being tunes from the 30’s and 40’s. Melissa’s recent highlights, as a a member of Entourage, a jazz quartet; and DenMark, a pop/folk group, include performances at Dunn Bros in Coon Rapids and West Side Perks in Bloomington.
As an organist, keyboardist, and vocalist, Melissa has been serving for 30 years at Thurston Funeral Home. She also plays piano and sings in worship service at Country Roads Baptist Church in Stacy, MN, fills in playing at other churches, and teaches piano to 30 students, ranging in age from six to adult. She has played and sung at meetings for Stonecraft Ministries, an International Christian Women’s organization. According to Melissa, music is a very powerful venue for people to get in touch with their emotions, helps awaken spiritual insights, and communicates ideas that are difficult to express in words. Music excites, calms, encourages, inspires, instills hope, and transforms souls.
From the time Melissa was three years old, her parents noticed her plunking TV themes on her toy xylophone and flutophone and decided to pursue formal piano lessons when she was six. Developing as a teen, Melissa won first place at the Wurlitzer Organ Festival, first at the Yamaha Music/Organ Festival, third at a Rochester, MN piano competition, and accompanied many theatre groups including the University of Minnesota. At age 13, she was demonstrating organs for Wurlitzer Music Store, then served as a piano/organ instructor at 16, before moving to her home studio to teach when she was 18. Her studies have included McPhail School of Music, Bethel College, and the University of Minnesota, studying under Paul Freed, and graduating with a BS in Music Education.
Currently residing in Cedar, Minnesota, she and her husband, Kevan, have seven children. Melissa plans to continue playing for everyone’s listening pleasure, performing at weddings, funerals, and other occasions, as she loves sharing special moments in people’s lives. “I don’t just ‘do’ a wedding or a funeral,” Melissa says, “I want to help the client feel like the experience is everything they wanted it to be and more. A tribute to someone’s life will be remembered forever; I want to help them make it their own.”