Sunshine Simmons

Guest Lecturer in Clarinet
On Faculty since 2011

Phone: (630)752-5098


D.M. Northwestern University

M.M. Northwestern University

B.M. Carnegie Mellon Univerisity

About Sunshine Simmons

A performer of uncommon flair and versatility, clarinetist Sunshine Simmons completed her Doctor of Music degree at Northwestern University and is currently the instructor of clarinet at Loyola University of Chicago.  

Comfortable with the entire range of instruments in the clarinet family, she has held positions of Bass Clarinet with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Principal Clarinet with the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Second Clarinet and E-flat clarinet with the Illinois Philharmonic, and Bass Clarinet with the Quad City and Rockford Symphony Orchestras.  She has also enjoyed performing with the Chicago Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Grant Park Symphony, Detroit Symphony, 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, Santa Fe New Music, and Chatter. She was the winner of the Silberman Chamber Music Competition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 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 on WGN with Accende Ensemble performing Osvaldo Golijov’s Dreams and Prayers for Isaac the Blind.

Festival involvement has included the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado, the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, the Frutillar Music Festival in Chile, and the Winter Music Festival in Evanston, Illinois

As a soloist, Sunshine was featured in the Chicago premier 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.

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 have been J. Lawrie Bloom, Steven Cohen, and Thomas Thompson.  Other significant mentors have included Joaquin Valdepeñas and Dennis Smylie.

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