Shelby Mass started playing the violin at age 4 and has been passionate about performing ever since! She grew up homeschooled in Wilmington, Ohio where she often played her violin for the chickens and goats on her family farm. She commuted to the nearest city for youth orchestra rehearsals multiple days a week, and at age 15 decided to pursue a life as a professional musician.
Shelby achieved a Bachelor's degree in violin performance at Miami University with a minor in Italian and independent studies in performance practice and conducting. While she was there, she also studied Alexander Technique principles that inform her teaching attitudes to this day. Afterwards she went to the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she received a Master' degree in historical performance on baroque violin and began formally studying musicology.
It was during this time that Shelby began teaching private students and after-school classes. She realized that for her, life as a performer would be incomplete without the opportunity to share valuable skills and experience with others who want to experience the amazing feeling of making music. Shelby loves teaching students of all ages and has had the opportunity to share lessons with elementary school students, teens and adults. She feels strongly that it is never too early or too late to develop a meaningful and personal relationship with music.
Shelby has participated in performances, courses and music festivals all over the United States and Europe, including the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, Urbino Musica Antica in Urbino, Italy, the Dartington Summer School and Festival in Devonshire, the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine, and others. No matter who her audience is, she is passionate about performing with authenticity and inclusivity.
Shelby moved to Seattle in June 2022 and is still quite impressed by all there is to see; so far, her favorite spots are the Ballard locks, Discovery Park, and anywhere by the water. An avid poet and lover of all art forms, Shelby also enjoys going to jazz sessions in Capitol Hill, browsing the fanzine shelves at Elliot Bay Bookstore, and enjoying Indie music with friends (and protective earplugs!) at Blue Moon.