Born in Montreal, Quebec, Carissa Powe, age 17, (at left in photo) started Suzuki violin at the age of 4, studied with former Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO) 2nd principal violinist Claudia Walk, TSO violinist Wynne Rife, and is currently a student of Jonathan Swartz, Arizona State University professor of violin and president elect ASTA-AZ. She also studies with TSO 2nd assistant principal violinist David Rife.
She has won several competitions, including the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Young Artist competition in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016, the Civic Orchestra of Tucson Young Artist competition in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra competition in 2013 and 2014 and the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra scholarship competition in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2009, she performed with the Arizona Symphonic Winds, and made her orchestral debut at age 11 with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, she was invited to perform for a "Young Artist” piece for Arizona Public Media, which aired in June of that year. She performed with the COT in 2013 and 2014, with the TPYO in 2014 and 2016 and with the TSO again in 2016.
Carissa has participated in master classes with Danielle Belen, Jennifer Frautschi, Martin Beaver, Elena Urioste, Vadim Gluzman, and William Hagen.
She plays in a string trio with her younger brother and sister, who play cello and violin respectively. They have performed for numerous events, fundraisers, and organizations, such as the Academy for Cancer Wellness, Raytheon, the United States Air Force, the Mayor’s Council (City of Tucson), the Tucson Symphony Just for Kids concerts, and others. In 2011, they accompanied the Gospel Music Workshop of America Tucson Chapter in an opening act for a concert by the Harlem Gospel Choir. In the summer of 2011, they were featured on KOLD, following a performance for the Tucson Unified School District. They have also played for many churches and in various church related events across the state of Arizona, other states, and in Canada.
Carissa has been a member of Tucson Junior Strings, and is in her 3rd year of being the concertmistress of the Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra. She is now in her 6th year as a student of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composer Project. She was also selected for Carnegie Hall’s NYO2 this year.
Carissa is a homeschooled senior. She performs on a Luisa Campagnolo 1996, on generous loan from Dr. Suzette Battan. She enjoys math, reading, Sudoku, piano, teaching and spending time with friends and family.