Merrill Collins


A native of Nutley, New Jersey, Merrill Collins began writing and performing music in early childhood, with the encouragement of a family of musicians, artists, and inventors. From the age of twelve, Merrill worked as an accompanist for vocalists and dancers in the metropolitan area of NYC. Working her way through college as a musician, Merrill earned a Master of Music Degree from the SF Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship.
In addition to concert performances, employment included 17 years as Senior Musician in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of CA in Berkeley. Merrill’s diversity of musical styles has roots there, having played for master classes of many choreographers including the Alvin Ailey Dance Co., Mark Morris Co., Joe Goode, Janice Garrett, Frank Shawl, Josie Moselie, in addition to a series of collaborations with Duncan Dancer Mary Sano.

While raising her son Chris Ray, Merrill worked with many children and youth programs, developing
curricula for his Montessori pre-school, YMCA School Age Child Care, public and parochial schools.
Multimedia pieces and humanitarian projects which were produced internationally later became published
as music/books that teach about key world agreements: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Toward a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration.
Performances of original music include the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations (1995), KRON SF Airlift
to Africa (1986), KRON In Concert Against Aids (1989), UNCHR Human Rights Day,UN World Habitat Day,
concerts for Amnesty International, United Way,Pathways to Peace, and many other global organizations.
Major performances include “Licht ins Dunkel” produced on Austrian national television. Merrill presented
original works at the Council for the Parliament of the World Religions Conference in Cape Town, South
Africa and appeared on E-TV in December, 1999. Her works were cited as “Gifts of Service to the World.”
Merrill can be heard playing as organist/keyboardist at Saint Monica’s Church in Santa Monica, and in the
Music Healing Department of Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills where she volunteers weekly as a
pianist in the main lobby. Her music is also being studied in the Cousins Center at UCLA for its positive
impact in T’ai Chi classes offered as treatment for people with anxiety and insomnia. As a member of the
Sound Healers Association and a voting member of NARAS , Merrill is interested in musical benefits on all
forms of healing, including Qigong, Yoga, deep breathing,meditation, and contemplation. Merrill is available
to play live music for conference and retreat activities.

Merrill’s video collaborations with her husband, photographer Yvon Chausseblance, can be seen on
Youtube. Merrill is available for live presentations and performances at conferences and events in the Los
Angeles area. She is represented by Hittmusic for TV and film work.