June 18, 2024 - Philadelphia Today

A New Poem About Gritty Has Hit the Scene, Composed by Northern Liberties Woman

""But Gritty is the best thing ever," said Dunphy. "I would die for Gritty.""

June 7, 2024 - 6 ABC

Philadelphia ensemble group debuts choral anthem about Gritty

"Gritty is many things to many people, and now, the beloved Flyers mascot is the subject of an original choral piece..."

June 7, 2024 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

A glorious choral hymn about Gritty premieres this weekend

""The earnest, hymnlike quality of the song contrasted ridiculously with phrases like 'a ghastly empty-eyed Muppet with a Delco beard' and 'Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird.' [...] 'It?s a hymn to our lord and savior, Gritty,' Dunphy said. 'It?s at once reverent and irreverent, which is how I feel we feel about Gritty and the city of Philadelphia.'""

June 6, 2024 - Philadelphia Magazine

Finally, the World Gets the Gritty Choral Work it Deserves

"Who had ?Local Musician Will Compose a Choral Work About Gritty? on their Philadelphia 2024 bingo card?"

June 4, 2024 - RCSM Church Music Quarterly

O Beata Virgo Maria [Review]

"Australian-American Melissa Dunphy's name is not well known in the UK, but it should be. There is a timeless feeling about her Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, where passages of beautiful repose swell into more passionate word painting."

May 7, 2024 - Stir Q+A

Renowned composers sound off on two new ground-breaking pieces for Chor Leoni

"Melissa Dunphy?s composition, The Things We Leave Behind, has as its theme humanity's legacies buried beneath the Earth?s surface and how they might appear to future civilizations. Throughout the work, Dunphy contrasts stories of the past with those of the present, from the stone-age Venus of Willendorf figurine to mass-produced novelty mugs."

May 1, 2024 - Aquarian Music Witch Podcast

Season 1, Episode 21: Interview with Melissa Dunphy

"My advice is to make art about the things you are really passionate about; make art about the things that you have high emotions about -- whatever those emotions may be. It is not enough, I don't think, to make art about things that you're just intellectually interested in, especially when it comes to music...yes, [music] makes you think, but it makes you feel, first and foremost. "

April 3, 2024 - Convivium Records

O Beata Virgo Maria ? Review by Laudate Magazine

"The Programme Note aptly characterises the work as ?often modal?, with references to ?a mood of calm contemplation? and to tranquillity punctuated by more intense moments."

February 5, 2024 - National Lutheran Choir

Writing music for sacred spaces and tough topics

"The beautiful thing I think about choral music is that you can approach topics that have been politicized to the point where everyone’s on a hair trigger. You can approach them in a way that cuts through that initial knee-jerk reaction and makes you sit with the feelings and think about it with your heart."

January 30, 2024 - San Francisco Classical Voice

Raehann Bryce-Davis Sings With a Sense of Grandeur

"[Come, My Tan-Faced Children] is by turns lyrical and dissonant but above all dramatic and exciting, covering a wide vocal range. The excerpted texts evoke danger, weapons, and being in the vanguard — and of course, the song fits Bryce-Davis like a glove."

December 28, 2023 - Opera Today

Silver Bells: VOCES8 on Christmas Eve

"Melissa Dunphy’s O Oriens reached further back into the past...It was wonderful to hear the chant melody spread through the voices, in linear and vertical directions, and varied transformations..."

December 5, 2023 - OMNIA

The Musical Magpie

"Composer and amateur archaeologist Melissa Dunphy, GR’17, finds inspiration all around her—even beneath her feet."

December 1, 2023 - textura

Kathryn Leemhuis and Samuel Martin: Before She Became Fire

"Concluding Before She Became Fire memorably is Dunphy's Four Poems of Nikita Gill, its focus the experience of young women of today. Working with texts by the British-Indian Sikh author, the work explores the challenges women face in the "Me Too" era as well as gains that have been made."

October 31, 2023 - Oregon Arts Watch

Aiming for center mass: Singing into the message with Resonance Ensemble

"Dunphy’s music and text-setting don’t pull punches: it aims for center mass and emerges with courage and power."

October 3, 2023 - CreativeMornings Philadelphia

Melissa Dunphy: Melissa Dunphy talks about "Simplicity"

"When you know, it becomes simple."

July 19, 2023 - Choralosophy Podcast

Episode 158: Is All Art is Political? With Melissa Dunphy

"If we are constantly thinking about how to make our music say something timeless, we risk making music that doesn't say anything courageous."

July 18, 2023 - Ottawa Chamber Music Society

Moments of Revelation

"[Cantus] is bringing a program of songs about migration, the universal leap of hope involved in leaving home for somewhere new. Most of the songs were written in the last century. A few were commissioned by Cantus. One, a meditation on rejection and acceptance called N-400 Erasure Songs by Australian-American composer Melissa Dunphy, is breathtaking."

July 16, 2023 - KPTZ 91.9 Port Townsend

Melissa Dunphy on Cats in our Laps

"Since moving to America, I've become very passionate about art as a vehicle for thinking about how society could be better -- could do better... and commenting on social justice and political topics. "

June 5, 2023 - KDHX

Choral Review

"For a text based on such horrific history, Ms. Dunphy’s work is actually quite restrained, never trying to approximate the volume of combat. Instead, she employs understated effects like whispering and melisma, and resists any temptation to over-sentimentalize the words."

May 24, 2023 - Opera Philadelphia

Q&A with composer Melissa Dunphy

"Something I love about the next generation of composers is that, like me, they are not wedded to a particular style of music or traditional idea of what opera looks like. The music in "Everything for Dawn" draws upon pop genres like electronica, rock, and Broadway, as well as what might be termed “classical music,” which I think is a reflection of what we are exposed to in the 21st century, with the ease of access that the internet provides. "

May 6, 2023 - ChoralNet

Women composers in St. Louis

"It is complemented by another past SLCC commission, Dunphy’s “Voices of Gallipoli” which sets – to haunting effect – epitaphs found on Australian graves at Lone Pine Cemetery. "

April 20, 2023 - Whitman Wire

WWU’s ICantori choir showcases stunning new work

"The last line is, ‘When we falter we make amends.’ That line always gave me chills because we can acknowledge that we have had major faults in the past and still do have major faults, but when we work to [be] greater, we can fix things, even if it’s slow."

February 16, 2023 - Cleveland Classical

Dunphy & Goldfinger’s Alice Tierney makes its debut at Oberlin College

"Melissa Dunphy’s score is a magical mix of styles that supports each change of emotion. Dunphy also leaves plenty of room in the score for the vocal lines to project over the music. "

January 11, 2023 - Oberlin College and Conservatory

Oberlin Opera Theater Presents World Premiere of "Alice Tierney" Jan. 27-29

"Alice Tierney excavates the stories we tell about the past, and gives students a unique Winter Term opportunity to develop an opera from the ground up."

November 9, 2022 - Music Web International

A Pembroke Christmas

"Dunphy weaves fragments of the plainchant to which the antiphon was first set into her music in a very effective way. Her choral textures are inventive and the Pembroke singers rise to the challenges of the piece very successfully."

October 6, 2022 - VAN Magazine

The Troubled Kids Club

"This is not just a story that I’m trying to tell. This is also excavating a lot of my history."

August 18, 2022 - Gramophone

Meeting Anna Lapwood, classical music's dream ambassador

"One work I hear them record, Halcyon Days by Melissa Dunphy, has particular poignancy. The final piece sung at the end of an academic year, it was also the first sung on returning from Covid, and Lapwood asks the singers to remember what it felt like to be together again after the challenges of the pandemic. It works."

August 16, 2022 - The Chautauquan Daily

Vocal ensemble Cantus to sing about immigration, celebration of cultures

"The lyrics used for the song come from the N-400 documents that U.S. immigrants must fill out to apply to become naturalized citizens. Dunphy, who emigrated from Australia to the United States, often found herself frustrated and perplexed by these documents. Using erasure poetry, she drew the lyrics from the forms to create the song cycle, which will close out Cantus’ concert this afternoon."

February 23, 2022 - Opera Uprising Podcast

Composing Activism - Melissa Dunphy (Pt. II)

"They create a sense that opera is an old person activity for conservative olds. Like, the opposite of what I know opera can be -- which is exactly vibrant, and challenging, and exciting, and something that young people are capable of obsessing over."

February 9, 2022 - Opera Uprising Podcast

Composing Activism - Melissa Dunphy

"They create a sense that opera is an old person activity for conservative olds. Like, the opposite of what I know opera can be -- which is exactly vibrant, and challenging, and exciting, and something that young people are capable of obsessing over."

February 2, 2022 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

This composer became an amateur privy-diving archaeologist after buying a magic theater in Old City | We the People

"Dunphy knows her life is “a bit like a fever dream,” but said she “wouldn’t trade it for the world.” “We always think things will settle down and become normal,” she said. “And over and over again, it fails to become a normal station.”"

January 31, 2022 - Star Tribune

America's greatest male choirs band together for a boisterous crowd in Minneapolis

"Cantus' most powerful offering was a set of two N-400 Erasure Songs by Melissa Dunphy, the texts created by erasing words from the N-400 U.S. naturalization form. They eloquently conveyed the aggressive agitation of bureaucracy and the warm comfort of a welcome."

January 5, 2022 - Museum of the American Revolution

AmRev360: Accidental Archaeology with Matt and Melissa Dunphy

"When Matt and Melissa Dunphy bought an old building in the northern end of the Museum’s Old City neighborhood in Philadelphia in the mid-2010s, they had dreams of renovating the space into a multi-disciplinary theater."

December 15, 2021 - The Composer Chronicles | Alexandrian Media

S1E74: Melissa Dunphy

"We are so lucky to live in this city with so many choirs and so many different choirs... we have just a huge range of choral entities, and ways of expressing choral music. It's wonderful. "

November 12, 2021 - Stir Publishing

Music review: Chor Leoni brings choral music to the here and now in Breathe in Hope

"Wave upon wave of heartache marked Melissa Dunphy’s Waves of Gallipoli... The music swelled, the choir heaved as one, and it was as if we could hear waves washing ashore throughout the sorrowful piece. "

October 26, 2021 - Moveable Do

Moveable Do: Melissa Dunphy

"Let's get political! Australian-born composer Dr. Melissa Dunphy joins Moveable Do this week to discuss growing up in Australia with immigrant parents and how that shaped her political ideology. "

October 16, 2021 - Star Tribune

The voices of Cantus rise to the challenge once again

"Each of the three movements proved powerful, the first haunting and mournful, while the second pulsed with the anxious spirit of one sinking in the quicksand of bureaucracy. But reassurance arrived in the program's finale, a beautifully moving embrace upon arrival for which Dunphy created both music and text."

June 30, 2021 -

Local 4 presents an engaging variety of music by women in final concert of She Scores

"After a year with no shortage of pre-recorded performances, watching musicians play together live and unmasked — even through a computer screen — feels like a breath of fresh air."

June 24, 2021 - American Theatre

The Unique Tension of ‘Pass Over’ in a Public Park

"Included in Melissa Dunphy’s sound design were ever-present sirens, realistic enough that I and many other would pause for a moment to lift one side of the headphones or turn the volume knob down just to see if there were actually police on their way. "

April 25, 2021 - Metro Philadelphia

Metro honors Philly Power Women

"Contemporary composer Dr. Melissa Dunphy has made her mark on Philly in more ways than one. The Australia native has created a unique and enlightening musical experience by taking social or political commentary and transforming it into works of art."

March 30, 2021 - Broad Street Review

Abigail Adams in song

"“I’m primarily a storyteller,” said Dunphy, whose musical oeuvre includes vocal, political, and theatrical compositions. Her website carries a mission statement to “bring the voices of women and minorities to the stage,” and she often sets prose that doesn’t easily lend itself to composition."

March 24, 2021 - Philly Metro

How one local composer is remembering the ladies of past and present

"Composing has always been in Dunphy’s blood as someone with a past in theater and music, but the history spin was sparked by some digging… literal digging in the dirt."

March 24, 2021 - 6abc Action News

New choral work puts Abigail Adams' letter to music in Philadelphia

""I love setting really interesting cool, political texts to music," Dunphy said. "And then, I hear that the museum is bringing the letter to Philadelphia, and so then things just sort of started cooking. I was like, 'What if I write a choral piece for this?'""

March 23, 2021 - NBC Philadelphia

Abigail Adams' Words Inspire Modern Museum Music

"The song is my love letter to the women and the people of color back then who, you know, dreamed of a future like this, but maybe thought it was impossible. And it's also a love letter in a way to the future, because, I still think we have room to improve. I think we can get better still."

March 22, 2021 - Words First Podcast

Words First: Talking Text in Opera

"Keturah interviews Australian composer, Melissa Dunphy, about why she considers herself a “political composer,” and what it was like composing to actual hearing transcripts for her piece, The Gonzales Cantata, about George W. Bush’s disgraced attorney general, Alberto Gonzales."

January 13, 2021 - Oregon ArtsWatch

Clap good and hard from home

"Dunphy has recontexualized the piece by removing the first line ‘Pioneers! O Pioneers!’ from each stanza,” says Isiguen, “Which completely changes the meaning.” Dunphy also intends the song, a call to arms against racial injustice, to be performed by a woman of color. "

December 31, 2020 - phindie

Holiday Concerts in Review: 6 shows that went on despite the pandemic

"This music made me want not only to eat more pies, but more importantly listen to sounds that made me feel at home, but also lyrics that made me think."

December 18, 2020 - Carleton College

Carleton choir performance provides opportunity to learn from differing stories

"The composition raises up a life story involving immigration and the DREAM Act. The work is a collaboration between two artists—composer Melissa Dunphy and writer and photographer Claudia D. Hernández—with personal stories of immigration and refugeeism."

December 6, 2020 - Seen and Heard International

VOCES8 and The Aeolians of Oakwood University celebrate the festive season in very different ways

"[Dunphy's] Halcyon Days (text Jacqueline Goldfinger) is a radiant meditation of the sacred, the familiarity of ‘well-worn prayers’ and a rising up towards a dawn of joy and peace."

December 5, 2020 - Opera Today

Solstice: VOCES8 & The Aeolians

"Melissa Dunphy’s Halcyon Days is a Rutter-esque ditty: a lovely ensemble narrative in which VOCES8 affectionately shaped the phrases and pointed the text; counterpoint and dialogue were counterposed with homophony, and the result was a beautifully concordant and consoling prayer."

November 16, 2020 - The New York Times

When Political Theater Ditches the Disguises of Fiction

"Dunphy gets laughs from the contrast between bureaucratic blather and Handelian arioso, at one point giving Gonzales, played by a soprano, a coloratura showpiece in which “I don’t recall” is repeated, as it was in the hearing, 72 times. (All the roles, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s only woman, are gender-reversed.)"

November 10, 2020 - DC Metro Theater Arts

IN Series’s amusing ‘Gonzales Cantata’ musicalizes a congressional grilling

"Composer Melissa Dunphy has taken the transcripts from the 2005 congressional hearings on then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, accused of improperly firing several attorneys, and has had performers sing those texts operatically, accompanied by organ."

November 6, 2020 - DC Theatre Scene

Review: The interrogation of Alberto Gonzales hits its musical mark in Gonzales Cantata

"Composer Melissa Dunphy’s work reminds us, perhaps even comforts us – we’ve been on the brink of political and moral disaster before."

November 6, 2020 - Mother Jones

Biden’s Lead Has Philly Protesters Elated, But “So Much More Work” Remains

"“Listen, Biden is aggressively fine for this moment in American history,” said Melissa Dunphy, a musician who joined the rally with a sign—featuring Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty—that read, “Fuck Around and Find Out.” Biden’s likely victory was, as Dunphy said, a “first step,” but nowhere close to the last gasp for Philadelphia’s progressive movement. "

November 5, 2020 - AFP

Protesters pro- and anti-Trump converge at Philadelphia vote counting center

""I'm here because American democracy is at risk," said Melissa Dunphy, a college professor demonstrating with "Count Every Vote.""

November 2, 2020 - DC Theatre Scene

Gonzales Cantata: A moment of profound American shame gets set to music

"Melissa Dunphy’s The Gonzales Cantata, which will begin its run on In Series’ website November 3, is an opera with a unique libretto – transcripts of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ December 7, 2006 decision to fire seven United States Attorneys. "

October 29, 2020 - Chor Leoni

Chor Leoni: Further Inside with Melissa Dunphy

"And I love music - some of which has purely musical inspiration - like purely harmonic or purely melodic inspiration. But for me, I think as someone who has a wide range of interests, it feels so natural to write music about something, whether that's about a text or about an issue about a person. "

October 27, 2020 - Chor Leoni

Chor Leoni Inside: Episode 17 with Melissa Dunphy

"[Melissa's] writing just really extraordinary, fresh, and interesting works."

October 16, 2020 - American Composers Forum

Understanding Intersectionality: Gender and Other Identities

"It took me a long time, really, until I moved to America, and once again found myself even more 'the outsider' -- discovering American culture from the perspective of someone who had never lived here before, who knew about America only from television shows -- I started looking back at some of the stuff that I grew up with, and realizing that everything that I’m interested in, also stems from the fact that white supremacy is in the air we breathe. That my parents packaged it and gave it to me as well."

August 17, 2020 - MusicWeb International

Saint Louis Premieres The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus/Philip Barnes

"Melissa Dunphy’s choice of words from Psalm 30 (‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing’) is adroit; the words bridge nicely from the introspection of Dickinson back to extrovert dancing for the last movement of this attractive Suite."

May 15, 2020 - University of Pennsylvania

Episode 4: Melissa Dunphy and Kwaku Owusu

"I feel really fortunate [as a composer] and I also feel like, part of living a life like this is taking the opportunities when they arise. Like not being afraid to jump."

May 12, 2020 - Classical Post

Oberlin Conservatory Commissions Star Composer Melissa Dunphy

"I’m primarily a storyteller in my work, though, which is why I’ve always been particularly drawn to vocal music as a composer. And I tend to tell stories about the things that move me, whether that’s politics or social justice or complicated antiheroes."

April 29, 2020 - Oberlin College & Conservatory

Composer, Librettist Selected to Develop New Opera at Oberlin

"Inspired by Dunphy’s experiences with her husband as amateur archeologists, Alice Tierney focuses on the perspectives of four archeologists who unearth clues surrounding the mysterious death of the titular woman."

April 20, 2020 - Choral Arts

Melissa Dunphy - On Music, Privies, and Testimony

"Melissa Dunphy's powerful music was set to be featured on Music by Women on a Mission, a performance by the Women of the Choral Arts Chorus and the Choral Arts Chamber Singers. Due to COVID-19 our concerts were canceled. But, we want to bring these fabulous composers to your attention."

March 26, 2020 - Broadway World

OPERA America's Discovery Grants Awarded

"Alice Tierney follows four archaeologists as they unearth the mysterious history of the infamous Tierney, and each draw their own conclusion, Rashomon-style, from the evidence found."

February 27, 2020 - Spokane Public Radio

From the Studio: "The 19th: For Her, For All" Part I

"So this is the best thing about composing - having this stuff performed, and then connecting with audiences and finding out how it's connected to them and what it means to them."

February 27, 2020 - Spokane Public Radio

From the Studio: "The 19th: For Her, For All" Part II

"As a woman composer, I often lament the women who would've made wonderful composers, but whose voices we lost because society discouraged them from composing."

January 13, 2020 - El Pregonero

"American Dreamers": Música coral para contar historias de inmigración

"Dunphy dijo en un comunicado que está "profundamente comprometida a llevar las voces de las minorías al escenario, ya sea contando sus historias o contando historias desde su perspectiva"."

January 9, 2020 - YakTriNews KAPP-KVEW

American Dreamers: Mid-Columbia Mastersingers bringing to life the stories of immigrants through song

"American Dreamers shares the stories of five young immigrants from around the world who risked their lives for a better life. Her ultimate goal is to help heal the divide within our country and give hope to those who feel they don’t belong."

January 9, 2020 - Tri-City Herald

Tri-Cities concert to explore immigration through music. ‘That is the power of great art’

"“The experiences in this piece feel familiar to me because I’ve been hearing about them and living them my whole life,” she said."

January 8, 2020 - ECS Publishing Group Podcast

Interview: Melissa Dunphy on Her Latest Works

"In this episode, Melissa Dunphy discusses her background in composition and her latest works."

January 8, 2020 - ECS Publishing Group

ECS Publishing Group Podcast

"I think one of the things about your music that is very interesting is it seems like you approach things as if they were a story, and you look for interesting things that will make some kind of narrative in a way and give some kind of message. And I think that that's really unique in what you've done."

January 1, 2020 - The Voice

Composer-in-Residence Programs: Choruses as Incubators for New Choral Work

"“If you’re working with local composers, you can foster them in a much closer way, and you’re raising the profile of your city,” Dunphy says. “If regional choirs look for emerging composers in their backyards, they’ll find amazing talent.”"

November 29, 2019 - Oregon Arts Watch

The Meanings of Music, Part Two: Minding the beauty

"Dunphy draped the traditional modal plainchant in close harmonies and chromatic colorations, making it both old-fashioned and new-fangled in a deliciously Cappella Romana sort of way. I always look forward to Dunphy’s contributions to Resonance concerts, and this one delivered magnificently."

November 8, 2019 - Resonance Ensemble

Deepening Relationships with Visionary Composer Melissa Dunphy

"I feel, on a deeper level, as though this is part of what Resonance can do. We can help bring innovative new choral works to life, works that can shine a light on some of the most challenging issues our society faces today. We can promote existing works that haven’t yet found a wide audience. And we can partner closely with visionary composers like the amazing Melissa Dunphy, who I am now grateful to call my friend."

October 7, 2019 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Fluid singing from the St. Louis Chamber Chorus

"Dunphy chose five epitaphs from Australian and New Zealand graves (“How much of love and light and joy/is buried with our darling boy”), framed by verses by an Australian veteran, Leon Geliert, and filled with the sounds of the swelling surf. The result, commissioned by Dorsey and Sondra Ellis, is complex but accessible, heartbreaking and harmonically rich."

September 17, 2019 - American Composers Forum

Setting Text in Vocal & Choral Music - Advice from Melissa Dunphy

"I love working with super challenging texts that nobody would think of setting to music, as well as texts that have already been set to music a million times, because every composer is going to put a different spin on the words by adding their music to them. "

June 1, 2019 - New Music Box

Melissa Dunphy: Composing has to be a Calling

"One of the highlights of my attending the 2019 National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Kansas City was encountering Melissa Dunphy during the Composer Fair at the end of the first full day of the conference. Dunphy was full of energy and passionate about what she does and was also incredibly articulate—an ideal candidate for a NewMusicBox Cover!"

June 1, 2019 - New Music Box

Melissa Dunphy’s Rant

"Melissa Dunphy's mission as a composer is just as much political as it is artistic. "

June 1, 2019 - New Music Box

Melissa Dunphy on Promotion

"Composer Melissa Dunphy is particularly savvy about promoting her music. "I think of my compositions like they’re my children and I want my child to succeed.""

May 20, 2019 - KC Arts Beat


"Fully half the concert was devoted to a new cantata by Melissa Dunphy based on the prose and poetry of immigrant Americans, all undocumented and brought to the United States as children. All are Dreamers. All are stateless. Whatever our political views on the subject, this is an issue that screams for a resolution. This concert was a plea for understanding."

May 17, 2019 - Oregon Arts Watch

Music makes the message come alive

""[Melissa] Dunphy’s works are always among the emotional and musical high points of Resonance’s concerts, and this two-movement composition was one of the triggers [Resonance Artistic Director Katherine] FitzGibbon warned us about.""

May 10, 2019 - WHYY

Caught in a time warp ‘Among the Dead’ at Theatre Exile

"Melissa Dunphy’s subtle sound design greatly enhances the production."

May 1, 2019 - West Chester University Magazine

Melissa Dunphy '09 Really Digs Composing

"Speaking of both the theatre building and her career, [Dunphy] says, “You take a chance and go where your passions lead and, suddenly, you’re living an adventure.”"

March 27, 2019 - Indiana Daily Student

Latin American Music Center presents 'Border Crossings' concert

""It’s very inspiring and powerful, and it gives us an opportunity to share the stories of these five people,” [Matthew] Creek said. “It’s an opportunity to bring awareness and inspire hope that this country is a home for everyone and that immigrants are welcome.”"

March 15, 2019 - Choral Net

One from the Folder: Repertoire Thoughts for Women’s/Treble Choirs

"[Melissa Dunphy's] work had life and energy and feisty passion, and I wanted to program it all! Besides being an award-winning composer, Melissa herself is an amazing soul, and is the embodiment of the creative artist I want my students to know exists as a role model."

January 15, 2019 - Choir & Organ

Bridge Passage

"In this vein the Australian-American musician Melissa Dunphy presents a dizzying array of talent, ranging from modelling to classical composition, from performance (on the viola) to acting (acclaimed at the Philadelphia Fringe)."

November 17, 2018 - Oregon Arts Watch

Resonance Ensemble: amplifying ‘Hidden Voices’

"Dunphy’s music flowed gracefully from sorrow to joy to terror, hints of the U.S. national anthem (that iconic descending trumpet call) turning sour and grief-stricken. Whenever the music was not itself outright provocative, it was transparent to let the text’s poignancy come through and do the challenging."

May 28, 2018 - St Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Chamber Chorus closes season with works of beauty and imagination

"SLCC composer-in-residence Melissa Dunphy concluded her term with this concert and the world premiere of “Suite Remembrance.” [...] The result is engaging, ranging from the melancholy to the sprightly"

March 19, 2018 - WOSU Public Media

A Gender-Bending Viking Warrior Claims Her Birthright in Three Songs by Composer Melissa Dunphy

"[Hervararkvida]’s stunning instrumentation gives voice to a journey unlike any other. The mezzo-soprano sings the gender-bending role of Hervor/Hervarth, accompanied by a Hardanger fiddle-style violin part and a harp part that extends the instrument from sounds reminiscent of a bardic lyre to frightening spectral noises created by all manner of extended technique..."

January 30, 2018 - San Francisco Classical Voice

Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra Lives up to Its Name

"Though only around five minutes in length, Scallops and Bollocks for Tea from Australian Melissa Dunphy was the most fascinating piece on the program. It combines musical history, virtuosic writing for the violin soloist (Alex Granger), and aspects of video game lore."

September 13, 2017 - Broadway World

BWW Review: STL Opera Collective Presents TESLA'S PIGEON and TO HELL AND BACK

"The score by Dunphy requires the soprano to perform across a very wide range, and she does so with aplomb. The concept might seem a bit unusual, but it succeeds, and it manages to carry some emotional weight as well."

February 13, 2017 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Chamber Chorus delivers on revolution, revelation

"...the loudest and longest applause of the afternoon went to Britten’s atmospheric, harmonically rich and technically interesting “Advance, Democracy” and Melissa Dunphy’s setting of, of all things, public testimony given by Philip Spooner before the state of Maine in 2009 regarding the Marriage Equality Bill."

February 10, 2017 - KWMU St. Louis Public Radio

The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus takes 'Revolution and Revelation' to the Karpeles Manuscript Library

"“[What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?] is an extraordinarily powerful piece,” said Saint Louis Chamber Chorus Artistic Director Philip Barnes. “I think it is way up there in the traditions of Copland or Roy Harris.”"

October 3, 2016 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Triumphant music on a resurrection theme from St. Louis Chamber Chorus

"[Composer-in-residence Melissa Dunphy's] “The Day of Resurrection” is written for double choir, a Chamber Chorus specialty, with liturgical echoes. Written mostly in 7/8 time, the music has an urgency that reflects the triumphal theme of the words. The new piece is a winner, and the choir gave it a superb performance."

September 25, 2016 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Chamber Chorus visits 'New Sites, New Sounds' in its 61st season

"“I admire her writing,” Barnes says of Dunphy. “I think she has a very original mind. She’s an exuberant personality, but she’s very disciplined, and she writes exceedingly clearly.”"

December 4, 2015 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Bach - and seven brave new premieres - light up St. Clement's Church

"Melissa Dunphy's O Oriens (O Morning Star) offered no gimmicks - just a model of sincerity, beautiful harmonic changes, and a great sensitivity to pitches and phrases that fall naturally on the human voice."

September 28, 2015 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Chamber Chorus opens 60th season in spectacular fashion

"The new composer-in-residence, Melissa Dunphy, contributed a new song, “Alpha and Omega.” For two choirs, it effectively juxtaposes texts from “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and the Book of Revelation, in a solidly written piece of choral writing."

September 25, 2015 - KWMU St. Louis Public Radio

Saint Louis Chamber Chorus remembers and renews in its 60th season

"“I perform [What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?] because I think first and foremost it’s a wonderful piece of music,” Barnes said. “And I was very gratified that people of persuasions, of different points of view on the argument, came together and said, ‘this is worth doing, this piece, because its musical value is so high.’”"

September 25, 2015 - Philadelphia CityPaper

Fringe Review: Love's Labour's Lost

"Revolution Shakespeare's lively, tuneful – and free – production of Shakespeare's early comedy brims with romance, enthusiasm, and cleverness [...] Melissa Dunphy's pop compositions transform monologues into love songs, arguments into duets – and, yes, we're invited to sing along at times."

September 20, 2015 - Phindie

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (Revolution Shakespeare)

"Directed by Samantha Reading, with an original score composed by Melissa Dunphy and performed by the multi-talented seventeen-person ensemble, this hilarious reinvention successfully delivers all of the Bard’s clever verse and humorous plot points to a country-rock beat."

June 1, 2015 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Music review: St. Louis Chamber Chorus mixes music of simplicity and sophistication

"[Dunphy's] “Together” (the words are taken from the Acts of the Apostles, 2:44-46) is a beautiful piece with fascinating complexity. Starting next fall, Barnes announced, Dunphy will be the choir’s composer-in-residence, with a commission for the first concert in the SLCC’s 60th season."

April 3, 2015 - Boston Choral Ensemble

Boston Choral Ensemble Declares Dr. Gregory W. Brown Winner of 8th Annual Commission Competition

"On Dunphy, the jury remarked, “Melissa has a beautiful, clear and direct language. Without being trite or overly sentimental, her music speaks to the heart through gorgeous harmony and lucid text setting.”"

February 18, 2015 - Delco News Network

People's fine ‘Cherry Orchard’

"Melissa Dunphy makes an impressive debut with her soundscape and original compositions for ‘The Cherry Orchard’ even appearing onstage to play violin near the end."

February 17, 2015 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Review: 'Cherry Orchard' blooms beautifully

"Original music [for The Cherry Orchard] composed and performed onstage by Melissa Dunphy enhances each emotion."

February 15, 2015 - Phindie

THE CHERRY ORCHARD (People’s Light): Capturing the comedy, insight, and pathos of Chekhov

"The top-notch acting and direction are enhanced by a splendid artistic design ... and haunting original music provided by Melissa Dunphy (as both composer and in her role as the Musician, performing live on violin)."

October 2, 2014 - Birmingham Post

Classical - "American Declarations"

"The film composer Miklos Rosza's The Lord is My Shepherd, Stephen Paulus's Stabat Mater and Melissa Dunphy's powerful What do you think I fought for on Omaha Beach? are all, in their very different ways, rewarding pieces."

September 23, 2014 - YaleNews

World leaders share their insights in campus talks

"[Croatian President] Josipović played numerous musical examples, including Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," Shostakovich's "Leningrad" symphony, Tchaikowski's 1812 Overture, John Adams' "The Death of Klinghoffer," and Melissa Dunphy's "Gonzales Cantata.""

July 1, 2014 - American Record Guide

Review: American Declarations

"You're also going to want to hear Melissa Dunphy's unique and affecting setting of - of all things - a WWII veteran's testimony on matters of sexual equality given before the Maine State Senate."

June 27, 2014 - International Record Review

Review: American Declarations

"Dunphy's music has hints of an almost Copland-like robustness and makes effective use of imitation in a way that suggests a twenty-first-century composer with a strong sense of counterpoint."

May 19, 2014 - San Francisco Chronicle

Volti review: 'Sound From the Bench' a compelling case

"[The program] included the world premiere of Melissa Dunphy's elegant setting of the oath of allegiance that new U.S. citizens (including her) must take, and its sharp-edged shifts - from sustained choral harmonies to martial outbursts and back again - cast new light on a potentially drab piece of writing. "

May 17, 2014 - San Francisco Classical Voice

An Argument for the Oral in Choral

"Dunphy’s musical commentary is straightforward and obviously very personal, and she uses a very rich and colorful musical language to reflect on the antiquated language of the oath and her own mixed feelings about it. "

May 14, 2014 - MusicWeb International

Review: American Declarations

"Melissa Dunphy’s piece What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach? is quite remarkable ... Dunphy’s music is unsettling and it’s a very individual setting which respects speech rhythms very well. It’s a thought-provoking piece not least for Spooner’s very moving sentiments."

May 1, 2014 - Choir & Organ

Review: American Declarations

"The most individual work is Melissa Dunphy's What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?; Dunphy shows great ingenuity and individuality in this powerful setting of Philip Spooner's public testimony before the State of Maine Senate discussing the Marriage Equality Bill."

November 23, 2013 - Interviews with Alicia Byer

Interview with Melissa Dunphy

"Another theme I’m very interested in is getting inside the heads of complicated antiheroes and finding a connection to them – a kind of empathy and love without necessarily a redemption. I think there’s value in that struggle as a way of dealing with history and understanding the present."

August 26, 2013 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Finding a voice in opera

"Melissa Dunphy, 33, has presented major works using the self-produced Fringe Festival model, which could well happen with Ayn (about The Fountainhead author Ayn Rand), which, like Solitro, she's writing for doctoral requirements at Penn."

May 27, 2013 - Sound American

The Philadelphia Issue

"Then, there's Melissa Dunphy: a young and talented composer building her reputation as part of a new generation of Philadelphia composers one piece at a time."

March 3, 2013 - Local Arts Live

Kennett Symphony - Jack and the Beanstalk

"The final piece of the concert was a new composition by local composer, Melissa Dunphy. She favors dramatic or political art music so I was curious to see what she would do with a commission for children's music. The result was brilliant!"

January 30, 2013 - Wirral News

String trio Ensemble Epomeo returning to the Two Rivers Festival for first concert of 2013

"Peter Davison, the festival’s artistic director, said: “This will be a unique event. Melissa Dunphy’s piece received a standing ovation at its premiere performance and many were moved to tears.""

November 12, 2012 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Barnes, Chamber Chorus raise the musical bar

"The final piece on the program was Melissa Dunphy’s stunning 2010 “What Do You Think I Fought for at Omaha Beach?” Excerpts from veteran Philip Spooner’s testimony before the Maine Senate, in a hearing on the Marriage Equality Bill, its music ranges from the Coplandesque to the martial."

November 4, 2012 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Chamber Chorus asks, 'What Do You Think I Fought For?'

"This piece demonstrates to me how a true artist is able to take even a most unlikely source of inspiration and yet create a new work of art from it."

October 26, 2012 - WQXR Operavore

Top Five Political Satires in Opera

"Top Five Political Satires in Opera: Number 2. The Gonzales Cantata"

October 15, 2012 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Concert at the Annenberg presents new voices with old roots

"Best of all was Melissa Dunphy's "June." [...] The first of the two songs explored Lauren Rile Smith's poem about the lethargy of summer heat with great poetic control, neatly scaling back the electronic activity when necessary but ultimately conveying, with considerable mastery, the delirium of congested thought patterns. More, please."

October 6, 2012 - Newburyport Arts

Amazing journey: Dunphy, Epomeo, the Dreadnaught

"Dunphy likes to put quotation marks around the words “classical” when talking about classical music. She’s interested in music, but especially “the way different genres influence me.” She says her best work is usually inspired by important public events."

October 28, 2011 - Penn Gazette

Brave New Voices

"The final work of the evening was “Tesla’s Pigeon,” a new song cycle by the endlessly inventive Dunphy, whose smash-hit full-length oratorio The Gonzales Cantata rocked the 2009 Fringe Festival."

September 9, 2011 - Philadelphia Weekly: Make Major Moves

Interview: Philadelphia Composer Melissa Dunphy talks Voice Of This Generation, the new classical scene, and Tesla’s Pigeon

"Make Major Moves got the Fringe veteran - Melissa presented her concert opera “The Gonzales Cantata” at Fringe 2009 -on the telephone to talk about Kanye West, the decline of the Philly Orchestra, the new classical scene, her rock band Up Your Cherry, and how Nikola Tesla fell in love with a bird."

September 27, 2010 - InsidersTalk

Melissa Dunphy - Composer (interview)

""I think that music is very linked to language, and I think it's linked to us physically very much. We have a heartbeat, and our heartbeat is kind of in triple time ... when we walk, we walk in duple time ... and we have this pitch range in our voice, and every language has a different kind of pitch contour ...""

May 29, 2010 - Kansas City Star

Performance by Simon Carrington Chamber Singers was worth the wait

"A newly commissioned work by Melissa Dunphy followed: “What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?” Dunphy’s music was exceptional, with supple lines effectively depicting the words of a veteran, and acerbic harmonies specifically setting the text “I’ve seen so much, so much blood and guts.”"

May 26, 2010 -

PROFILE: Melissa Dunphy, composer

"Australian-born Melissa has already achieved a level of success and recognition on a national level, including a spot on The Rachel Maddow Show for another large choral work, The Gonzales Cantata."

April 20, 2010 - Philadelphia Citypaper

Let's Play Two

"Macbeth shows Khan's willingness to experiment, focusing on Macbeth and his wife in a 90-minute paring driven by Melissa Dunphy's beautifully haunting music."

April 13, 2010 -

Melissa Dunphy wins Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Composition Competition

"Simon Carrington gave his reasoning behind selecting Dunphy's work as the winner. "There were plenty of excellent pieces in the sweet-sounding modern idiom which SCCS would make very beautiful, but the strongest (and most individual) piece was Melissa Dunphy's What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach? - a bold and highly effective setting of a thought-provoking text."

March 28, 2010 - Philadelphia Inquirer

An all-too-brief Macbeth

"Composer Melissa Dunphy has provided a soundscape for an assortment of exotic instruments played onstage: a Chinese ehru, Tibetan ringing bowls, and a varity of drums and gongs. The result not only heightens the atmosphere of the play, but in fact signals how we're supposed to feel about the action."

February 23, 2010 - The Pennsylvania Gazette

Scoring a Hearing

"A few days before starting her doctoral studies at Penn, Melissa Dunphy Gr’14 woke up to discover that she was a celebrity. The torrent of interviews and articles wasn’t confined to the arts and culture sections, either. Instead, the 29-year-old composer’s name was popping up on everything from the Huffington Post to Fox News."

January 7, 2010 - Fox & Friends - Fox News

Woman Plays Bach on Piano Upside Down

""All right, check out this amazing "Shot of the Morning" that's become a hit online: this teenage girl [sic] playing Bach's Prelude in C, and apparently it's so easy, she can do it upside down! At least her parents can't be mad at her for not practising her piano, right?""

October 27, 2009 - University of Pennsylvania SAS Frontiers

Sympathy for the Attorney General

"Fellow graduate student Thomas Patteson, who attended one of the performances, observes, “The Gonzales Cantata is effective both as a work of art—the music is exquisite—and as mordant political commentary.”"

September 11, 2009 - The Rachel Maddow Show

Moment of Geek

"That was the “Gonzales Cantata,” an opera composed of the transcripts from Alberto Gonzales‘ testimony to the Senate and his resignation in 2007. The young composer behind that masterful aria, 29-year-old Melissa Dunphy, lists among her musical influences the composers John Adams and Phil Klein, both of whom have used politics to make high art of their own. "

September 7, 2009 - J's Theater

The Gonzales Cantata @ The Rotunda, Philadelphia

"...confident, charged composition and orchestration, [with] pragmatic inventiveness in the cantata's construction, [and] frequent wittiness and use of irony."

September 6, 2009 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Gonzales Cantata (review)

" Her Gonzales Cantata - more PDQ Bach than Nixon in China - uses Handel's formality and symmetry as a starting point, humorously colliding with Gonzales' anything-but-symmetrical train of thought, quoted from the 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings"

September 5, 2009 - Sequenza21

Forget Gonzo Journalism…Philly’s got a Gonzo Cantata!

" Take heed, folks, not only should you go see this work – you should examine how this 29-year-old graduate student has received more press about her cantata than most major composers do when they win the Pulitzer Prize"

September 5, 2009 - CityPaper (Philadelphia)

The Gonzales Cantata (review)

"Lovely conductor/composer Melissa Dunphy has seamlessly re-created former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ 2007 judiciary hearings as an opera, with epic results."

September 4, 2009 - Edge Philadelphia

Opera illuminates dark days of Bush Administration

"Dunphy is just as passionate about politics as she is about the arts. She veers away from musical theory to cheer on Barney Frank for his blunt comments at a recent health care town hall. But she does not espouse any political bent in the opera."

September 3, 2009 - Harper's Magazine

And Now: Fredo, the Opera

"The career path of Alberto Gonzales provides perfect material for an opera in the tradition of George Frederick Handel. It has its earnest moments, flashes of heroism (involving Gonzales’s victims, of course, not the protagonist), and yet there is a steady undercurrent of opera buffa."

September 3, 2009 - The Chicago Tribune

Bravo! Alberto Gonzales: the Opera

"Every word in composer Melissa Dunphy's 40-minute choral production comes from Gonzales' Senate testimony. They never sounded more beautiful (Except maybe to the ears of relieved Team Bush members back in the White House) than when they are sung, especially by this bunch. "

September 3, 2009 - Fox News

Special Report with Bret Baier

"And if congressional hearings are your idea of a good time - aren't they all - a theater in Philadelphia has a night on the town for you."

September 3, 2009 - The Rachel Maddow Show - MSNBC


"[The Gonzales Cantata] is honestly, probably the coolest thing you've ever seen on this show. I know. I'm totally freaking out about it ... I spent all day obsessing about this, and watching clips of it online, and listening to the music, and I have to tell you, in my opinion, it is both great and kind of moving ... this is so cool, I could not contain myself."

September 2, 2009 - The Wall Street Journal law blog

Alberto Gonzales, the Concert Opera (No, We’re Not Kidding)

"I’ve had both Republicans and Democrats come to the show and remark that it really wasn’t about party politics. It’s about a man who made some mistakes and is facing the music. It’s also an exploration of how a man could so brazenly politicize the Department of Justice without really standing up for the reasons he went into politics in the first place."

August 31, 2009 - Broad Street Review

The Gonzales Cantata - Interview of Melissa Dunphy

""I am a liberal, but this is not a partisan piece. This piece is not about Democrats or liberals, this piece is about a man who made mistakes and has to face the consequences of his mistakes.""

August 29, 2009 - Broad Street Review

Sympathy for Alberto Gonzales

"Dunphy's musical piece overwhelmed me with the way it transformed the tedious machinations of an insider industry into a brilliant work of art."

January 28, 2008 - WRTI Critic-At-Large Podcast

Poetry Project – Network for New Music

"Melissa Dunphy's setting of Luke Stromberg's Black Thunder reflects the extravagance and paranoia of young love and its powerful ending."

January 19, 2008 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Though little heard, he would have approved

"In the second half, Luke Stromberg's marvelous poem "Black Thunder," about the aftereffects of drink, was given an appropriately bluesy haze by Melissa Dunphy."

March 17, 2005 - Patriot-News

Classic 'Glass' explores frailties

"Ambient music played onstage by violinist Melissa Dunphy also helps to create a dreamlike atmosphere."

June 6, 2004 - Patriot-News

Company presents lively 'Dream'

"Even the background players in this production are noteworthy: the raucous fairies double as musicians and singers, playing rustic but graceful tunes by Melissa Dunphy"

June 7, 2024 - 6 ABC

May 1, 2024 - Aquarian Music Witch Podcast

February 5, 2024 - National Lutheran Choir

October 3, 2023 - CreativeMornings Philadelphia

July 19, 2023 - Choralosophy Podcast

July 16, 2023 - KPTZ 91.9 Port Townsend

mormolyke · Melissa Dunphy On Cats In Our Laps

May 24, 2023 - Popular Science

February 23, 2022 - Opera Uprising Podcast

February 9, 2022 - Opera Uprising Podcast

January 5, 2022 - Museum of the American Revolution

December 15, 2021 - The Composer Chronicles | Alexandrian Media

October 26, 2021 - Moveable Do

October 29, 2020 - Chor Leoni

October 27, 2020 - Chor Leoni

October 16, 2020 - American Composers Forum

May 15, 2020 - University of Pennsylvania

April 20, 2020 - Choral Arts

September 17, 2019 - American Composers Forum

June 1, 2019 - New Music Box

Melissa Dunphy: Composing Has To Be a Calling from NewMusicBox on Vimeo.

June 1, 2019 - New Music Box

Melissa Dunphy's Rant from NewMusicBox on Vimeo.

June 1, 2019 - New Music Box

Melissa Dunphy on Promotion from NewMusicBox on Vimeo.

April 1, 2019 - ABC Localish

September 27, 2010 - InsidersTalk

January 7, 2010 - Fox & Friends - Fox News

September 11, 2009 - The Rachel Maddow Show

September 3, 2009 - The Rachel Maddow Show - MSNBC

Maddow Gonzales from Melissa Dunphy on Vimeo.

August 31, 2009 - Broad Street Review