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Marsha grew up in farm country on the outskirts of Allentown, PA in rural Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Her family came to the Philadelphia area in the mid 1700’s. From uncles who were soldiers battling slavery in the Civil War’s Bucktail Regiment to gypsy fortunetellers and artists living off the land that they farmed, Marsha’s lineage is far-reaching and rich.
The youngest of three children, Marsha began playing piano when she was five. Her mother, a gifted musician, was the local church pianist. In third grade, when given the opportunity to choose an instrument to study at school, her parents insisted on one instrument, the saxophone. Her mother had always loved the instrument and her parents felt that it would afford her the opportunity to play all the time with others.
But Marsha didn’t limit her studies to sax. She studied flute and clarinet, adding voice and guitar, while continuing her study of piano. Each year she was selected to participate in district and countywide festivals and played with local rock bands in high school. When she saw Phil Woods perform in nearby Reading, PA, Marsha knew then that saxophone was what she would pursue in life.
She continued lessons, studying classical saxophone with David Bilger and classical piano with his wife, Doreen Bilger. Awarded several prestigious scholarships, Marsha began her undergraduate work at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and was awarded a Bachelor of Music in 1991.
Marsha moved out to L.A. and began playing with contemporary jazz and rock musicians for the next year. By the following year, she felt beckoned by the east coast and bought a one-way ticket to New York City. She has been in New York since 1992 and may never give up her Manhattan views.
Marsha Heydt is an accomplished woodwind player whose stylistic expertise spans the gamut of Latin, Funk, Jazz and Rock. In addition to her Bachelor of Music from the University of the Arts, she holds a Masters in Music Education from the Aaron Copland School of Music.
She has studied privately with Ron Kerber, John Blake, Larry McKenna, Jim Pugh, John Stubblefield and Sir Roland Hanna. In June 2002, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s Professional development Fund awarded her a grant to study with the renowned Jimmie Amadie. She is mentored on sax and flute by Eric Person and teaches at various prestigious private schools and music conservatories in New York City.
Marsha has performed with Grover Washington, Bill Watrous, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, John Stubblefield, George Gee and his “Make Believe Ballroom Orchestra” and with Paul Schaefer in a guest appearance on The David Letterman Show.
In and around New York City, Marsha plays with her own ensemble, performing in both private and public venues. She performs each month for recovering patients at NYU Hospital’s Rusk Institute.
Marsha is both thrilled and grateful to share her debut CD, One Night on Blue Toucan Records.
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Wow! I am so pleased to meet you. What perseverance and accomplishments you have. Your parents gave the world a wonderful gift. Now, what instruments are you playing on these songs? Looove "Green Dolphin Street".