Loyola University Chicago


Department of Fine and Performing Arts


Sunshine Simmons, D.M.

Title/s: Instructor of Clarinet

Office #: Mundelein 1102

Phone: 773.508.8319

E-mail: msimmons1@luc.edu


A performer of uncommon flair and versatility, clarinetist Melissa Sunshine Simmons completed her Doctor of Music degree at Northwestern University. Comfortable with the entire range of instruments in the clarinet family, she has held positions of Bass Clarinet with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Principal Clarinet with the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Second Clarinet and E-flat clarinet with the Illinois Philharmonic, and Bass Clarinet with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. She has also enjoyed performing with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Milwaukee, Grant Park, Detroit, as well as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater.

Sunshine’s chamber music activities have included performances with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, 8th Blackbird, International Chamber Artists, Santa Fe New Music, and Chatter.  She has performed live on Chicago’s classical music radio station WFMT with Millenium Chamber Players in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and has been featured on CBS2 with Accende Ensemble performing Osvaldo Golijov’s Dreams and Prayers for Isaac the Blind. Sunshine has also been involved with the Aspen Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival USA, and the Frutillar Music Festival in Chile. 

As a soloist, Sunshine was featured in the Chicago premier of Alan Shulman’s Rendevous for Clarinet and String Orchestra. She also performed the Clarinet Concerto by Aaron Copland for a live radio broadcast in Cluj, Romania with the Cluj Camerata.  

Dr. Simmons holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. Her principal teachers have included J. Lawrie Bloom, Steve Cohen, and Thomas Thompson.


D.M., Northwestern University
M.M., Northwestern University
B.M., Carnegie Mellon University