Marilyn Bohlen Simpson was born into a musical family. She grew up singing in school and church choirs, and playing piano, violin, and baritone horn. She received a B.A. in Music and European History from Principia College, and a M.A. in Music History and Literature from San Francisco State University. She sings in a number of choral and a cappella groups in Ukiah, and has performed in many musical theater productions at Mendocino College, Ukiah Players Theater, and Ukiah Civic Light Opera. Her favorite roles include the mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, the mother in Quilters, the Reverend Mother in Nunsense, Count Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Fruma-Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof, Cousin Nettie in Carousel, Aunt March in Little Women, The Musical, and the General in Guys and Dolls. She loves teaching voice to individuals and classes, and has a special place in her heart for beginning singers. She has taught voice classes at Mendocino College since 1986 and has been vocal director or vocal coach for many Mendocino College musical theater productions.
Originally from suburban Chicago, she has lived in Ukiah since 1972 except for two years in grad school in San Francisco. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Redwood Empire Chapter, and takes students to NATS scholarship competitions at Sonoma State University every year.