A performer of uncommon flair and versatility, clarinetist Sunshine Simmons completed her Doctor of Music degree at Northwestern University. She is currently the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of North Florida. Comfortable with the entire range of instruments in the clarinet family, Sunshine is Principal Clarinet of the Oregon Ballet Theater, Section/E-flat Clarinet with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and previously has held the position of Bass Clarinet with the New Mexico Philharmonic, Quad City Symphony, Green Bay Symphony and South Bend Symphony. She has also enjoyed performing with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Milwaukee, Grant Park and Detroit in addition to 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, eighth blackbird, International Chamber Artists, Present Music, Santa Fe New Music and Chatter. She was the winner of the Silberman Chamber Music Competition in Pittsburgh, PA performing Bartók’s Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano. 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 with Accende Ensemble performing Golijov’s Dreams and Prayers for Isaac the Blind. Festival involvement has included Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Frutillar Music Festival held in Chile. She has been heard on the stages of the Ravinia Music Festival and Winter Chamber Music Festival at Pick Staiger-Concert Hall. As a soloist, Sunshine was featured in the Chicago premiere 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. In May of 2015 she was chosen to present a recital through the Dame Myra Hess Concert series in Chicago, IL.
A native of Pennsylvania, Sunshine holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. Her principal teachers include J. Lawrie Bloom, Steven Cohen, and Thomas Thompson. Other significant mentors were Joaquin Valdepeñas and Dennis Smylie. Sunshine is a Buffet Group USA Artist.