At the young age of two, Merietta Oviatt began studying music and her journey as a musician commenced. Though she began her studies on the violin, fate brought her to try the viola at age 11, and she has had a musical love affair with the viola since. Merietta attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California and made her debut at the age of 16 with the Desert Symphony Orchestra. After graduating from Idyllwild, Merietta received a full scholarship to attend Louisiana State University where she majored in viola performance. After her studies at LSU, Merietta accepted a Dean of Arts position with the Uintah School of Music and the Arts in Vernal, Utah. While in Utah, Oviatt completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in History and English from Utah State University. Merietta has lived in Louisiana where she was the Principal violist of the Rapides Symphony, and violist with the Acadiana and Southeast Texas Symphonies. She taught full-time Suzuki strings at the Acadiana Symphony Conservatory of Music and she was also the full-time Suzuki strings teacher at the J. Wallace James Arts and Technology Academy where she volunteered her time to be the faculty advisor for the Tri-M Music Honor Society as well as the Star Blazing Fiddling Club. Merietta taught Suzuki viola, violin, and cello at Pomco Music Studios and was the Artistic Director at Pomco Records, LLC. Oviatt recently lived in Las Vegas where she worked as a freelance musician, performing for "The Producer's" Broadway show, the Latin Grammy Awards, etc.; worked as a Part Time Instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and received her Master's in Music Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Merietta is an extensive performer/soloist and speaker on issues dealing with music/arts in the schools and arts integration in the classroom as well as various issues found in the private studio. She recently lived in Eugene, OR where she completed her Doctorate in Viola Performance and Violin/Viola Pedagogy, and held a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Oregon. Oviatt currently lives in Stevens Point, WI where she holds a position as Suzuki Specialist and Viola/Violin instructor at the prestigious Aber Suzuki Center at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. The Aber Suzuki Center houses the American Suzuki Institute, which is the first and longest running Suzuki Institute in the Americas. Merietta’s teachers have included Jack Ashton, Allen DeVeritch, Christopher McKellar, David Dalton, Clyn Barrus, Jersey Kosmala, Andrew Duckles, Beverly Bias, Andrew Smith (chamber), Matthew Johnson, Karen Ritscher, Helen Callus, and others. She has been chosen to participate in master classes held by such notable names as Karen Tuttle, Donald McGinnes, Carol Rodland, Jeffery Irvine, and Kim Kashkashian.
Oviatt has been a registered viola/violin Suzuki teacher for fifteen years. She has trained with such notable Suzuki teacher trainers as Elisabeth Stuen-Walker, Edmund Sprunger, Dee Martz, Sue Bauer, Vera McCoy-Sulentic, and master teacher trainer William Pruecil. Merietta is an adjunct board member of the Uintah School of Music and the Arts, which she co-founded, and holds memberships in the American String Teachers Association, American Viola Society, International Viola Society, MENC, National Federation of Music Teachers, National Music Teacher’s Association, ASCAP, and the Suzuki Association of the Americas, amongst others.
Merietta performed at Carnegie Hall in June of 2007, performed for the 2007, 2010, and 2011 Latin Grammy Awards, performed under the baton of Maestro Itzhak Perlman, performed as a guest soloist with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, the Desert Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Orchestra, and USOMATA Chamber Orchestra. Oviatt has spoken at the American String Teachers National Conventions on numerous occasions as well as the KIPP School Summit in Arizona, and the Suzuki Association of the Americas National Convention. Merietta released her debut CD, "A Viola Christmas" in December of 2005 and her second CD, "Merietta Oviatt - That Old Time Gospel" in 2007. Both are available for purchase on itunes and many other digital agencies as well as hard copy through www.cdbaby.com. Samples of her CD's have brought rave reviews by fellow musicians as well as critics as being “different” and “exciting”. In addition to her musical releases, Oviatt is also planning to release her first children’s book, which is centered on music education. She hopes that her performing, publications and speaking engagements will help bring more attention to the need and importance of music/art education and integration into the classrooms of both public and private schools.