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!

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