Dr. Megan McDevitt moved to Buffalo, NY after completing her DMA at the University of Michigan with Dr. Diana Gannett. Born and raised in San Francisco, she has worked extensively as an orchestral musician, having performed regularly with the bass sections of the Oakland, Berkeley, Silicon Valley, Marin, Santa Rosa, and Stockton Symphonies (among others), as well as Lansing and Ann Arbor Symphonies in Michigan. Megan studied with Barry Green at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she received her Bachelor of Music with Honors, and continued on to her Master of Music with Scott Pingel at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Other influences include Christopher Hanulik and Eugene Levinson, with whom Megan studied at the Aspen Music Festival. For many years, Megan has performed in the Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra, and since 2012 has spent most summers as a faculty member at Golden Gate Bass Camp in San Francisco.
In the last few years, Megan’s interest has turned to new music, working closely with composers via commissions and performing with various professional new music groups including ÆPEX Ensemble, Null Point, Wooden Cities, and Slee Sinfonietta, in addition to the Magik*Magik Orchestra and the Switchboard Operators in San Francisco. Megan has been a fellow at the New Music Workshop at Yale’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, where she worked with emerging composers to realize their works, and at the Future Music Lab of the Atlantic Music Festival, where she explored music performance technologies in partnership with IRCAM in Paris. She is half of the bass duo Shade & Light (with Betsy Soukup) which includes creating performances that are transformative for audiences as well as themselves and collaboratively creating new works with artists of various disciplines. Megan’s interests extend to the research of gender in the field of music (particularly in the realm of bassists), and she has lectured on this topic at the International Society of Bassists convention in Ithaca, at Atlantic Music Festival, and at the Great Lakes Regional College Music Society Conference in Westerville, Ohio.
Her passion for teaching brought her to the role of the classical bass instructor for the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra in Berkeley, whose mission is to provide musical education and college preparation for financially challenged but highly talented junior high and high school students. YMCO introduced Megan to the benefits of El Sistema-inspired programs and sparked a drive to help children in underserved communities through music-making. She continued this drive through her work with the University of Michigan’s Musical Artist Citizens program in Ann Arbor, where she managed the program from the administrative side, acting as liaison to the university. Megan is honored to currently serve as Associate Director of Buffalo String Works, another El Sistema-inspired program, and hopes to bring her experience and passion to the refugee community on Buffalo’s West Side.
Although prolific as a classical bassist, Megan also enjoys playing outside the genre, and has performed onstage with bands including Chicago, the Fifth Dimension, and Sting as a member of the Magik*Magik Orchestra. She has previously been a member of an Americana band, and has been known to cover Radiohead on her recitals.