Gretchen Heller graduated from The University of Michigan, completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree with distinction in honors English. She is a member in several academic honor societies including Phi Kappa Phi, and in 2002 was awarded the James B. Angell Scholar Award for Academic Excellence. While at the university, she pursued a double major in English and Violin Performance, studying with Andrew Jennings, and performed in many university and local orchestras.
Heller was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where she receive numerous local, state, and national awards as a pianist, violinist, and composer, as well as many academic honors. At age eight, she composed Moods in C, which was published in the October 1990 issue of Clavier’s Piano Explorer and took first place in the Federation of Music Club’s Junior Composers Contest.
Since then, her original compositions have earned eight Federation awards, and three first place awards in the Federation’s South East Regional Composition Contests. In 1993, Heller wrote Silver Ridge Rag which won the Lynn Freeman Olson National Composition Contest. Silver Ridge Rag was also selected for the National Federation of Music Club's Junior Festival Bulletin for 1995-1997 as a required piece in the Elementary III Division.
At age 15, Heller wrote Ballad of the Matador which was awarded state and southeast regional prizes and was published by The FJH Music Company. Ballad of the Matador was selected for the National Federation’s Junior Festival Bulletin for 2001-2003 as a required piece in the Moderately Difficult III Class. Her newest work, Tale of the Tempest, has just been released.