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Melissa Dunphy

Philadelphia, PA            

Nationally acclaimed composer Melissa Dunphy specializes in theatrical and political vocal music; her works include the Gonzales Cantata, which received rave press and reviews from media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (“the coolest thing you’ve ever seen on this show”), soprano song cycle Tesla’s Pigeon, which won the NATS Art Song Composition Award, and “What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?” which won the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Composition Competition and was performed by Cantus on tour around the USA. Her compositions have also been performed by Chanticleer, the Singers, American Opera Theater, Secret Opera, Anti-Social Music, Network for New Music, and at various electroacoustic festivals. Her awards include prizes from ASCAP, the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Prize, the Chicago Ensemble, and Boston Metro Opera. Dunphy is currently the Director of Music Composition at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Puppetry Conference, and has been Composer-in-Residence for the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, Volti, and the Immaculata Symphony Orchestra; other commissions include pieces for PhilHarmonia, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Opus Anglicanum (UK), mezzo Maren Montelbano, Ensemble Epomeo, Voice of this Generation, Kennett Symphony Children’s Choir, and Whitman College Chamber Singers. Dunphy has a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.M (summa cum laude) from West Chester University. She lives in Philadelphia where she is also an accomplished actor, and is developing a performance venue the Hannah Callowhill Stage in Old City, opening in 2019. More information at www.melissadunphy.com

Interview with New Music Box: Composing has to be a Calling

For more from this New Music Box cover feature, visit https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/melissa-dunphy-composing-has-to-be-a-calling/

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What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?

Melissa Dunphy’s composition “What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?” was selected as the winning work for the 2010 Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Composition Competition. The Philadelphia-based composer’s choral work sets excerpts of public testimony given by a WWII veteran before the Maine Senate in a hearing to discuss the Marriage Equality Bill.

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The Rachel Maddow Show: GonzOpera

The Gonzales Cantata, as the name suggests, is a large-scale choral work about the fall of former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, with text taken directly from his hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007. The Gonzales Cantata was famously featured by Rachel Maddow on The Rachel Maddow Show and in national media such as the Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, The National Review, and on Fox News. See more at www.gonzalescantata.com

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