Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.
As a violinist since the age of 5 and the youngest in a musical family, Clara has lived her life surrounded by the arts, and especially classical music. During her time as a UTK student, she served as the co-founder and co-president of the Black Musicians Alliance, bringing awareness to underrepresented composers, performers, and musicians to the UTK School of Music community and the Knoxville community at-large.