Dawn Avery & Melissa Dunphy In Conversation

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.

~LAO tzo

Two strong female composers and storytellers originally from opposites sides of the globe meet for the first time. Both are studied, cultured with very clear and sophisticated points of view matched with a healthy dose of curiosity. Join us for what promises to be a riveting discussion. The evening will close with a brief Q&A.

This event is presented as part of our “Share The Mic Monday’s” series.


In exchange for this conversation, please consider donating to either or both of these organizations or amplifying the work that they are doing.

Dawn Avery asks for donations for to go to Montgomery College Foundation, earmarked world music fund.

Melissa Dunphy supports Young Women Composers Camp.

About The Speakers

Dawn Avery, composer, cellist, vocalist, educator and GRAMMY nominated performer has worked with musical luminaries Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, John Cale, R. Carlos Nakai, Phillip Glass, Glen Velez and Grover Washington. Her work employs elements of sacred and world music grounded in her spiritual practices from around the world. Dawn has collected awards for her classical compositions from Duke University, the Ford Foundation’s Indigenous Knowledge, Expressive Culture grant program (of the American Composers Forum), the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, American Dance Festival, and Meet the Composer, among others.  Her music can be heard on radio, television and film including interviews with Native America Calling, NPR, and the CBC. Avery has participated in many composer residencies, including the Atlantic Center for the Arts for the New Victory Theatre production on Broadway, Ajijaack on Turtle Island, an environmental Indigenous work produced by Heather Henson of the Jim Henson legacy.

Her recent commissions include a piece for violin/ piano Duo Concertante, dedicated to the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls and the symbiotic relationship between water and women and a short opera entitled “Trials and Tears” written with librettist Ty Defoe and performed by the Alliance for New Music Theatre. In addition to composing chamber music, Avery tours spiritual downtempo multi-media projects (featuring music, dance, film, storytelling and ritual), having won several Global Music Awards. Dr. Dawn Avery holds a PhD in ethnomusicology and is dedicated to future generations as a professor at Montgomery College in Maryland. Upcoming commissions include a short Opera about Sakakewa by Fargo-Moorhead Opera, a piece dedicated to “Love in the Time of Covid” by Duo Concertante and a chamber piece about Justice, Freedom and the Great Law of Peace for CityMusic Cleveland.


Composer Melissa Dunphy specializes in political, vocal, and theatrical music. She first came to national attention whenher large-scale work the Gonzales Cantata was featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, National Review, FoxNews, and on The Rachel Maddow Show. Other notable works include the song cycle Tesla’s Pigeon, which won firstplace in the NATS Art Song Composition Award, and choral work What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach? whichwon the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Competition and has been performed nationally by ensembles includingChanticleer and Cantus. Dunphy is the recipient of a 2020 Opera America Discovery Grant for Alice Tierney, a new operacommission by Oberlin Conservatory set to premiere in 2023. She has been composer-in-residence for the ImmaculataSymphony Orchestra, Volti, and the St. Louis Chamber Chorus, and her commissions include works for VOCES8, Mendelssohn Chorus, and the Kennett Symphony. Dunphy is also a Barrymore Award-nominated theater composer and is Director of Music Composition for the O’Neill National Puppetry Conference. Dunphy has a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.M. from West Chester University and is on faculty at Rutgers University. More at www.melissadunphy.com

Social media pages:

Instagram @mormolyke

Twitter @mormolyke

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mormolyke 

Not quite what you’re looking for? As we continue to book additional workshops, I’d love to know what you’re curious about. What would you like to learn? The sky’s the limit! Drop me a line!

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”

~Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

%d bloggers like this: