Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Neighborly November Newsletter ❄


Melissa in the Henry Charles Lea Library, a transplanted room from a Center City mansion on the 6th floor of Penn's Van Pelt library

It's Not Even Remotely June!

Hi Folks! Claris here! I spent the past couple months in Boise, Idaho working on a production of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves. The whole time, I was thinking of how, if you noticed the discrepancy in the previous newsletter's title, we miraculously had two months of June this year. But we are back, it is November, and we have more updates on Melissa's work!!

Latest News!

NCCO Session: Innovation with a Social Conscience in the Music of Melissa Dunphy

A few months ago, the artistic director of Resonance Ensemble, Katherine FitzGibbon, approached Melissa about giving a presentation at the National Collegiate Choral Organization conference on themes of social justice in her music. The conference and interest session took place at the University of Maryland last week, and it went so well!
            -   From Melissa: "It was thrilling to look out into the audience to see the familiar faces of many conductors I have already worked with, as well as new faces being introduced to my music for the first time in a lightning-speed jam-packed session."

Kathy wrote a blog entry about the presentation and their work together, which you can read here!

Melissa with Resonance Ensemble Artistic Director, Katherine FitzGibbon

 West Chester University Wells School of Music Distinguished Alum of the Year

Melissa recently received this honor at the Scholarship Brunch at her alma mater!!

It was a great opportunity for her to meet students currently studying at West Chester and to catch up with old friends. She is also serving on the Wells School of Music Advisory Board, and she is excited about the direction of the music programs!

Melissa with current West Chester students!

Choirs: ACT FAST and join this commission consortium for a new work celebrating the 19th Amendment!

Innovative choir Chorosynthesis is celebrating the centenary of the 19th Amendment with a new multi-movement work composed by Kala Pierson and Melissa Dunphy, and your choir can be a part of the creation! Click here to learn more about how to co-commission the piece and take part in the premiere!

American DREAMers is being performed all over the country!

After being commissioned by PhilHarmonia last year, American DREAMers has been taken up by choirs all over the country.

            -   The Singers performed it in St. Paul and Minnesota last month!

            -   LA choir Tonality performed excerpts at a concert titled “Borderline” on October 27th. You can view the livestream here (DREAMers starts at 38:10)

            -   Santa Monica College
 is performing it on December 14th as part of their concert "Home for the Holidays?" Click here for more info!

            -   Mid-Columbia Mastersingers 
is performing it January 10-12 in Washington state!

Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, starting to work on American DREAMers!

            -   Simon Carrington (Melissa's earlier work Omaha Beach won the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Composition Competition in 2010) will be conducting it at the University of North Florida on March 31, 2020
Recording of The Singers performing American DREAMers as part of their JOURNEY HOME concert, October 19th & October 20th.
Get the score here

 Come, My Tan-Faced Children performed by MaKayla McDonald!

This setting of Walt Whitman that we mentioned in the June newsletter was performed by MaKayla McDonald three times this month: twice with the art song collective Calliope’s Call in Boston, and again, in a special Walt Whitman themed concert at the University of Pennsylvania. Here’s audio from the Penn concert on SoundCloud!

Kayla McDonald performing Come, My Tan-Faced Children at Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Get the score here

What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach? continues to be performed all over as well!

            -   Melissa is not sure if she ever announced via newsletter that she is on faculty at Rutgers University now, teaching composition to undergrads. So if you didn't know, now you know! Year 2 is well underway, and the Rutgers Kirkpatrick Chorus performed Omaha Beach last week in Kirkpatrick Chapel. They will also be recording it with John Baker of Affetto Records. 

            -   Coro Allegro, Boston’s LGBTQ+ and allied chorus, performed Omaha Beach in a special Veteran’s Day concert “We Will Not Be Erased” on November 10. This is the first time a major LGBTQ chorus has performed this technically challenging work.

            -   It was also performed by PhilHarmonia in Philadelphia and Virginia this month, and Te Deum in Kansas City in October.
Get the score here

There are so many! Maybe even one near you. Go to Melissa's website to see all upcoming events on the right, and click through for details! 

            -   A Survival Plan of Sorts
A new commission for Susquehanna University Chamber Singers. Scores are available to download in two arrangements here, SSATBSSAAThe text for this piece is by poet Amanda Lovelace! Support her awesome work and buy her books here or at your local bookstore!

            -   Waves of Gallipoli 
was performed by the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus and is being published by EC Schirmer in 2020! Go here to learn more about the piece!

            -   If Thou Wilt Be Perfect was commissioned by the St. Peter’s Choir in St. Louis last year, and will also be published by EC Schirmer shortly. It sets text from Matthew 19 including the well-known, but, for some reason, very rarely sung verse: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The full text is available here!

            -   The Apotheosis of Apollo is a new commission for the Thirteen in Washington DC about the Apollo 11 moon landing, and it will be premiered in December, from the 20th-22nd. Go here for more information on performances. Look out for it on melissadunphy.com afterward.


There are a lot of commissions coming up in the next few months, including works for Amuse SingersChoir MatrixNational Concerts, and Experiments in Opera

Speaking of opera, stay tuned to the next edition of this newsletter for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT that we can’t say anything about right now because the contracts haven’t been signed yet. But it’s BIG. And also semi-related to the Boghouse. Opera + Boghouse = !!!!

One last thing...

Matt Dunphy released an album, check it out! Accelerationist is available on Bandcamp as well a bunch of other popular music platforms! 

And always, if you haven't checked it out yet, check out The Boghouse, Melissa and Matt's podcast about their magic theater/treasure/accidental descent (haha) into amateur archaeology. Find it on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotify, or Google PlayThe Boghouse is already several episodes into SEASON 2, and from interviews with real archaelogists, to talk of Matt's adventure at an art gala in the World Trade Center, and the first travel show in Boghouse history, it's already proving to be very very exciting! Thank you to everyone who is already listening!

Copyright © 2019 Mormolyke Press, All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

July is overrated so we skipped it. Hello August! Hello folks!


July is overrated so we skipped it.
Hello August! Hello folks!

Photography by Isaac Berliner at the 2019 Eugene O'Neill National Puppetry Conference

Hello again! Claris here - I hope you've all had a wonderful summer. Melissa and I have both have had very eventful ones. We found out last week that we have both been nominated for two Barrymore Awards each! Melissa was nominated for Outstanding Sound Design for her work on Hype Man: A Break Beat Play at InterAct Theatre Company and for Outstanding Original Music in Among the Dead at Theatre Exile.


The music Melissa wrote for Among the Dead (which I was also in and received a nom for) is not available, but you can listen to some music she wrote for The Cherry Orchard in 2015 here. I saw this production with my class in school - the only thing I remember was that Susan Sarandon - sorry I meant Mary McDonnell - was in it and Melissa's music and saunter on stage as the violinist!

Recent Press!

Have you been following along/spotting Melissa in the news?

            -   Melissa's alma mater, West Chester University, recently published a profile on Melissa in their Alumni Magazine about how Melissa "really digs composing." I too laughed for way too long when I read the subhead. Check it out here on Melissa's website!

            -   Hidden City Philadelphia recently profiled both Matt and Melissa on the artifacts they excavated at the Hannah Callowhill Stage in their podcast, The Boghouse!

If you want to go see some pictures of the artifacts you've been hearing about (including Melissa's prized pipkin), check out the profile!

Also, as a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, Melissa was asked for comment by three local news organizations (ABC, CBS, and NBC) regarding the Philadelphia Orchestra's cancellation of Placido Domingo's appearance at their opening gala.


Some exciting news from underneath many of the hats that Melissa wears, asides from theatre!

            -   Come My Tan-Faced Children was one of the recently announced winners of Boston collective Calliope's Call's call for scores!

    It will be performed as part of their fall program, Sounds of Unity in the Boston area on Nov 2nd and 3rd.

            -   Up Your Cherry rides again!

    Melissa and Matt will be appearing on stage during the Philadelphia Fringe Festival for a slam with their puppeteer friends on September 21st at Theatre Exile! Are you excited for the Puppet-delphia Fringe Slam because I am!!

Calliope's Call Season Preview Video!

New Works

All day and all night and every day and every night (seriously I've heard stories of all/half-all nighters that Melissa has pulled to create these pieces)

            -   Melissa recently finished Waves of Gallipoli for the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, and there has been positive feedback from the first read-through! Conductor Philip Barnes called it "a profound, distilled work of unusual power."

    The premiere is on October 6th at the Masonic Prince Hall Grand Lodge in St. Louis, and both Melissa and Matt will be there!

            -   Melissa is also working on a collaboration with poet Anthony Silvestri for the National Concert Chorus at the Strathmore. They are actively seeking choirs and ensembles for their 2019/2020 season, so submit if interested!

    The piece will premiere on April 5, 2020 at the Music Center in Baltimore!

Conferences - Past and Upcoming!

This summer was a busy time for conferences and meeting people and hyping up fellow composers and being hyped by fellow composers for Melissa!

            -   Chorus America went swimmingly!Here is Melissa pictured with composer Kala Pierson at their shared booth! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat - it was lovely to meet you all!

            -   The National Collegiate Choral Organization is having their national conference outside of DC in November, and Melissa will be there as well!
    Katherine Fitzgibbon, conductor of Resonance Ensemble in Portland, is leading a whole session on Melissa's music: “Innovation with a Social Conscience in the Music of Melissa Dunphy.” If you’re attending the conference, stop by for discussion, readings and free scores!

            -   Melissa will also
 be participating in a session focused on female composers at the ACDA East conference in March 2020!

    The panel (comprised of Melissa, Kala Pierson, Deirdre Robertson, and Jessica French) was one of 117 interest applications reviewed by a selection committee and recommended by chairs. They believe that the interest sessions they chose, including the one Melissa will be sitting on, "support [their] commitment to present sessions that challenge, honor, and move our profession firmly into the 21st-century."

Slightly Off Topic but Important!

If you've been following Melissa on social media, you may have seen her post about Chester Hollman III, who was recently released on July 14th, 2019, after having been wrongfully imprisoned for 28 years.

In 2017, Melissa appeared in a First Person Arts event and met the sister and father of Chester Hollman III, who had been imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit for over 20 years. At the time, Deanna and Chester Sr. were still campaigning to bring attention to Chester's case, despite a front-page Philadelphia Inquirer story earlier that year.

The article revealed witness retractions and police corruption that led to his wrongful conviction. Their story had a major impact on everyone who heard it, as did witnessing the strength and grace with which this family endured an almost unimaginable injustice.

Recently Chester was exonerated and released and we're overjoyed for the Hollmans!

But we also want to
 bring attention to their campaign to assist Chester in rebuilding his life after 28 years of it were stolen by a broken criminal justice system. The Hollmans have literally spent their lives and all their resources just getting Chester out of jail, and it's a long road ahead.

If you can help out at all, please consider donating to their GoFundMe.

Additionally, if you haven't checked it out yet, check out The Boghouse, Melissa and Matt's podcast about the very very very very old bathrooms underneath their home. Find it on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotify, or Google Play. Episode 19 is still the most recent episode, which means you have time to catch up on all of the episodes until the rumored SEASON 2 is released! Thank you to everyone who is already listening!

Find Out More
Copyright © 2019 Mormolyke Press, All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Check out Melissa's profile on NewMusicBox's cover!


Wanna hear more of Melissa's words?

Check out Melissa's profile on NewMusicBox's cover!

Photography by Molly Sheridan for NewMusicBox

Hi! This is not Melissa! This is Claris, Melissa's new assistant! I'm here to help her during these, frankly, bananas time.

This week, an interview that Melissa did back in March was published as the cover feature for NewMusicBox! In it, she talks about her composition work and its roots in social justice, and, of course, sweating copper pipe and archaeology. Go check it out!

New Releases of Music

June also brings a ton of new music in a variety of forms on a variety of different platforms:

            LISTEN: In February, Portland’s Resonance Ensemble commissioned and premiered LISTEN: a two-movement SSAA choral work that sets testimony from Anita Hill in 1991 and Christine Blasey Ford in 2018. After two sold-out performances and a successful Kickstarter for the recording, the score is now available for free download on Melissa's website

Look out for the release of the album later this month, and keep tabs by clicking the link to the Kickstarter!

            A set of SATB songs Suite Remembrance, originally written for the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, has been published by EC Shirmer and is now available in their Fall 2019 School/Concert catalog:                   

A link to the recording of the fourth movement, Mourning into Dancing, is below!
               And last, but not least, in a departure from the norm, Melissa recently arranged a Bob Dylan song: Farewell Angelina was written for soprano Elise Brancheau and is for voice and viola. It’s been cleared by Dylan’s representatives and is available for sale on SheetMusicPlus.
E.C. Schirmer, Archival live recording by the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, Philip Barnes, Director; first studio recording issued on Regent Records, 2020. 

Upcoming Concerts

June also has Melissa and Melissa's music travelling all over!! Melissa still hasn't quite figured out how to create multiple versions of herself to be in all these places at once, so if you can go in her stead, please click on the links for tickets!

          -  American DREAMers makes it overseas for the first time -- it will be performed by Ex Ore Equi at a June 8th concert in the UK

          -  Treble choir, Vox Femina, are performing Wild Embers June 8th in LA 

          -  Come, My Tan-Faced Children, which was premiered by Lyric Fest last month was arranged for mezzo and string orchestra and will be performed by the Brooklyn Metro Chamber Orchestra on June 9th

Photo by Don Valentino


            Puppetry Conference performances June 14th and 15th at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut: Melissa will be performing along with Matt Dunphy and other musicians for puppetry works created during the 8-day conference.

Photo by Richard Termine

Other Upcoming Events

Melissa and fellow composer Kala Pierson are sharing an exhibitor table at the 2019 Chorus America national conference in Philadelphia at the end of this month. If you’re coming to the conference, stop by for scores, recordings, and to say hello:  https://www.chorusamerica.org/conf2019

Additionally, if you haven't checked it out yet, check out The Boghouse, Melissa and Matt's podcast about the centuries old - well - boghouses underneath their home. Find it on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotify, or Google Play. Episode 19 was a really exciting Q+A, but if you're starting the podcast today, don't skip ahead! Thank you to everyone who is already listening!

Find Out More
Copyright © 2019 Mormolyke Press, All rights reserved.