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Michelle Alonso, singer-songwriter, singer/songwriter, arranger

For a long while, I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I should pursue music professionally.
What was its benefit to society? How could I make a living? Was I good enough? I wrestled with these and many other questions for years. In a strange way, I felt called to do music but I didn’t understand why nor how to get there. 

​Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up in Brazil, surrounded by the sound of singing and piano. As a little baby, I’d faithfully sleep through the many choir rehearsals my mom took me to, and as I got a little older, we’d sing duets together or trios with my sister. I started taking piano lessons when I was six years old and continued studying music at the UNASP School of Arts through my teen years.

It was as an adult, however, after my family immigrated to the U.S., that I realized that my interests converged into the mysterious arena of music composition. A little shy, it was only in my mid-twenties that I started to write my musical ideas down and dare to develop them into songs.

I went on to receive a B.M. in classical composition and a M.M. in jazz composition from the University of North Texas. There, I had the privilege of studying with many great composers, among them Joelle Wallach and Rich De Rosa, graduating summa cum laude and winning awards by the prestigious Downbeat Magazine under their tutelage. 

It was during my school years that I wrote my first instrumental pieces and that I started to see a pattern emerge of wanting to write songs with lyrics. Often, my musical ideas came intertwined with words and I started to do more songwriting as the years went by. The lyrics I wanted to write were very personal, and they converged some of my greatest interests and influences: faith, theology, human behavior, and social issues. In fact, I still consider studying theology and psychology sometimes! 

This journey may seem like a smooth “meant-to-be” ride when you read it on paper. Instead, it has been more like a painful extraction of beauty from ashes. Life has a thousand ways to let us know that pain can be an opportunity rather than a fate. Songs are a testament to that. Beautiful melodies, wise lyrics, profound music is often born out of the heartache of life. They connect us, inspire us, encourage us. It has taken me a long time to understand the profound importance of music for human existence. It was my own pain that took me to music and made me discover that not only I could write songs but that it was my life calling to do so.

Today, I choose to live in the realm of the sublime. I’ve dedicated my life to finding beauty in brokenness, hope in suffering, faith in doubt. I believe it’s the greatest calling--that of elevating human souls to hoping again, believing again, overcoming again. That our dreams of an unbroken world start within us daily. 

My songs are conversations with God, with myself, with the world. You’ll find many musical influences that reflect my diverse background, such as jazz, folk, classical, Brazilian, and Christian Contemporary, but above all, I hope you’ll find meaning and purpose for your own life as we interact through the amazing soundtrack of life.

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