Art Song Competition Award

2012 Art Song Composition Award Announcement & Recital

“Tesla’s Pigeon”

Saturday June 30, 2012 – 3:30pm

Nationally acclaimed award-winning composer Melissa Dunphy (b. 1980 in Brisbane, Australia) has composed in a wide range of styles and mediums, but specializes in theatrical and political vocal music. Her large-scale choral work the Gonzales Cantata was performed at the 2009 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and received rave press and reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?” a choral work in support of marriage equality, will be sung in a concert series titled “What do you think I fought for?” by the GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer in 2012. In 2010, “Omaha Beach” won in the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Composition Competition and has just been released on their latest album, Go Song of Mine. Melissa received an honorable mention in the 2009 ASCAP Lotte Lehmann Foundation Art Song Competition for her song for baritone “Black Thunder,” which was premiered in 2008 at the Kimmel Center by Network for New Music. In addition to her concert and choral music, she has also composed frequently for Philadelphia-area theatres.

Melissa has a Bachelor of Music (summa cum laude, Pi Kappa Lambda) from West Chester University, where she was a recipient of the Harry Wilkinson Music Theory Scholarship, the Charles S. and Margherita Gangemi Memorial Scholarship for excellence in music theory and composition, and the Janice Weir Etshied ’50 Scholarship for academic excellence. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies in composition at the University of Pennsylvania on a Benjamin Franklin Fellowship. Her teachers have included Robert Maggio, Larry Nelson, Van Stiefel, James Primosch, Jay Reise and Anna Weesner. More information about Melissa can be found at or on her music publishing website,