Most people would be surprised to know that Michelle Packman’s entire career after graduating from her first conservatory degree has been for contemporary settings: singer-songwriters, pop artists, session work for video games, sidelining on television shows, filming music videos. Classical training got her that far, but the music she plays day-to-day is not orchestral. After she earned her Bachelor’s in classical cello performance and several years performing in “alternative” styles, Michelle knew that she needed more to prepare her for the essentially endless possibilities that lay ahead in her career, so she gave up everything she had and drove across the country to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA as a North American Scholarship recipient. Michelle studied with the acclaimed cellist, Eugene Friesen. While enrolled, she was selected to participate in a seminar with the best and brightest of MIT and Harvard graduates designing 360 media and sound design for VR and AR applications. Her soul is no different from any entrepreneur, and in her field, that means she pursued new technology and a full spectrum of musical expression: contemporary pop, folk, hip hop, film scores, EDM, rock, and more. Early in her career, she was selected via audition to participate in Hollywood Scoring’s Future Session Players Clinic, coached by David Lowe, under the direction of the incredible Bruce Broughton. In the years following, Michelle had the incredible honor of recording orchestral and solo sessions for Riot Games’ multiplayer online game, “League of Legends”. Michelle has worked with hundreds of incredible musical projects. Some notable names include the Loft Sessions, I See Stars, Maisy Kay, Erick Morillo, Coolio, and Jason Mraz. Michelle was a consultant and stand-in for the character Janine (Ren Harris) on the Hallmark Channel original series, “The Eleventh”, and got to meet Cloris Leachman and the late Florence Henderson only a few months before she passed away. Over the years, she’s recorded at the Barbara Streisand Stage at Sony Pictures, The Bridge, United Recording on Sunset Blvd., East West Studios at Warner Bros, Clearlake Studios, The Village Recorder, and others. Most recently, Michelle performed with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on their West Coast tour. One of her notable (and very hard-working) students was the late WWE wrestler, Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, who passed suddenly at a time in her life when the cello symbolized to her a rebirth. She was an amazing woman. After she passed, Michelle collaborated with Coolio and contracted the musicians for her public memorial service.
One of her ongoing current passion projects is Symphonic Planet. We are a close family of musicians and sound professionals who travel the world capturing sound phenomena and composing music inspired by our adventures. Michelle gets to travel to faraway places and capture sounds using 360 recording technology, and create soundscapes and music out of our custom sample libraries. It is through this endeavour as the team’s project manager that she also gets to flex her passion for travel and photography. No musician’s life would be complete without their gear family. Michelle is an NS Design artist and proudly endorses the fantastic CR4 cello. Vivid Amps 10-inch cab is what she uses for amplification in Los Angeles. Being an artist for these companies isn’t just about the endorsement deals, Michelle truly feels like she has been welcomed onto their teams as family and she couldn’t have asked for more. As for the future…. music has always been the main focus of her life and it will continue to be. She has sacrificed so much to be the best version of herself. She has done it while treating her colleagues with love and respect. She believes in the new, limitless model of string playing, full of creative entrepreneurship for those who are brave enough to take risks. Michelle supports artists like Tina Guo, Lindsey Stirling, Taylor Davis, Kevin “K.O.” Olusola, who are the boldest friends and colleagues she has. They are not our future; they are our present. They are the crest of the wave her career rides on. Michelle is humbled by their hard work and dedication, and strives to follow in their path, as she looks forward to the rest of her life. Michelle will continue to take risks and be glad she did.