Melissa Venema is a young Dutch musician who plays the trumpet, and even though she is only twenty-seven, she has performed at prestigious events and venues worldwide. Melissa was born on the 12th of April 1995 in Alkmaar in the Netherlands. Her parents' names are not known however she posted a photo on Facebook on their 45th wedding anniversary.
They were married through Melissa’s childhood, but sadly, her father passed away in December 2015 when Melissa was only twenty years old. She is part of a big family and is the youngest of six children. At the moment, she lives with her mother in the town of Zaandam to the north-west of Amsterdam.
Melissa was only eight when she started to take trumpet lessons. She loved the instrument and poured her enthusiasm into mastering it. The biography on her website explains that the name Melissa comes from the Greek word for bee and she kept herself busy as a bee while learning to play the trumpet. She practices up to four hours every day which is a big time commitment for a young girl.
She even records herself playing so she can watch it back and spot any errors. Some adults don't have that kind of work ethic. Her commitment to excellence explains how she was able to pass the entry exam for the Conservatorium van Amsterdam music academy. It is a school specifically tailored to foster talent in young people so Melissa could complete her school education while receiving comprehensive musical training at the same time.
Almost as soon as she was accepted, Melissa began winning awards. She has won the Princess Christina competition several times, and in 2009, she swept the board, winning 1st prize, the audience prize, the sponsorship prize and the finale prize. This would be extremely impressive for a grown-up artist, but she was only fourteen at the time! Melissa entered the Chicago International Brass Festival, and despite being the youngest participant, she came third.
To further underline how talented she is, Melissa released her first album at age eleven. Most of us were worrying about whether we'd make friends at secondary school at that age. She has now released a total of four albums, Melissa voor U in 2006, Melissa in Concert in 2009, Melissa from the Heart 2010 and The Trumpet is My Voice in 2012. The albums span several genres, including spiritual, classical and pop which demonstrates how broad her repertoire is.
As she is such a talented young lady, many other famous musicians are naturally keen to work with her. Melissa has played with André Rieu (check out the video above), Joss Stone and toured with Paul Potts, winner of Britain's got talent. She has also performed in some of the most prestigious locations in the world, including The Royal Albert Hall, Paris' Arc de Triomphe and the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam. She has toured the world, playing in Canada, Germany, Austria, Taiwan and Slovakia. She has also performed twice for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
With such an extensive career, it's no wonder Melissa's net worth is estimated at $1.5 million. If she can achieve all of this by the age of twenty-seven, we must expect great things in the future. It's not clear if Melissa has a boyfriend at the moment, but she posted a video on Facebook in 2014 of her boyfriend warming up with her before a concert. He was also playing the trumpet, so maybe it's a match made in heaven. Let's await developments, and in the meantime, just enjoy her music.