Melody Dawning (b. 1988) holds a Master of Music in Composition from Central Michigan University, where she studied with David Gillingham and Jose-Luis Maurtua, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition and Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance from Drake University, where she studied composition with William Dougherty, trumpet with Andrew Classen, and piano with Rika Uchida.
She has won several awards for her music, such as the 2011-2012 Central Michigan University Orchestra Composition Competition (At Prayer) and Kappa Kappa Psi Band Composition Competition (Clamor Cordis Deo), the 2010 Drake University Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Composition Scholarship (Prelude to Eternity), the 2009 Etzel College Scholarship (Sonata for Clarinet and Piano), sponsored by the Iowa Composers Forum, and the 2008 MTNA Regional Composition Competition (Royal Celebration). In addition, her music has been selected for performance at conferences of the Iowa Composers Forum and Society of Composers, Inc.
As a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ, Dawning strives to glorify God by pursuing high standards of excellence in her work. In the tradition of J. S. Bach, she marks her scores with the inscription “Soli Deo Gloria” (Latin for “To God Alone Be the Glory”) as a reminder to herself and her audiences of why she writes music and who gives her the ability to do so. Other composers Dawning is inspired by and enjoys listening to include Gustav Mahler, Eric Ewazen, John Mackey, Steven Bryant, Arvo Pärt, Michael Torke, Antonín Dvořák, and Jean Sibelius.