Percussionist Mell Csicsila has been a dynamic presence on the Cleveland musical scene for over 20 years. A native of Northeast Ohio, he can be heard frequently performing as as a first-call musician at Cleveland's PlayhouseSquare Theatre Foundation and with professional ensembles across the region including the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Pops, and Lyric Opera Cleveland. Mell has backed a number of artists including Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Jr., the Moody Blues and Yes, and supported the national tours of over twenty Broadway musicals including Wicked, The Producers, Hairspray, and Mary Poppins, and has also performed with those companies in theatres across the United States. Beyond traditional classical and pop music, he has appeared on drums and mallets in world fusion concerts with master artists like South Indian percussion virtuoso Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, Eastern European and Klezmer ensembles, and a with number of regional jazz, rock, and blues groups.
MDC playing Aphorisms

Mr. Csicsila has made over one hundred performances as a percussion soloist and recitalist where he has performed both serious concert literature and novelty and ragtime pieces. In 2005, he performed the US premiere of Bertold Hummel’s
Aphorisms on BACH, Op. 105 with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra. Beyond solo performances, Mell frequently performs with percussionist Andrew Pongracz as part of duo ANIME.

Mr. Csicsila holds both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music from Cleveland State University, and has pursued additional graduate study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He received his classical percussion training from the percussion section of the Cleveland Orchestra, has studied drumset with Bob McKee (
The Mike Douglas Show) and George Lawrence (Poco), and has explored South Indian and World Music hand percussion techniques as well. As a conductor, Mell has led the Lakewood Hometown Band and Canton Concert Band, and was the assistant conductor of the Kent Stark Concert Band and "All-Ohio" State Fair Band for several years.

In addition to his performance credits, Mr. Csicsila is an active teacher and clinician. He has been on faculty at Cuyahoga Community College since 1995 and also taught at the Kent State University Stark Campus and at Lorain County Community College. Mell is a Teaching Artist for the Cleveland Orchestra's arts-integrated
Learning Through Music program and has also created and presented a number of the orchestra's Musical Rainbow programs at Severance Hall and at venues through out Northeast Ohio. He has presented clinic sessions for members of the Percussive Arts Society and the Ohio Music Education Association and develops and presents special educational projects and clinics for other arts organizations.

Mell Csicsila endorses Grover Pro Percussion instruments and especially loves the Hammered Bronze and 5” Super-Overtone triangles, his 14x14 field drum, and equips many of his snare drums with the SX series snare wires.