Melony Dodson

Morning Concert Host/Producer

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.

While a graduate student, she worked at WUOT as a student announcer, hosting Saturday afternoons and evenings. Melony rapidly developed another passion: that of being a radio personality/host. Soon after graduating, she began hosting weekend mornings, including the Early Morning Concert, and produced the highly popular Top 60 for 60, a special series commemorating WUOT’s 60th anniversary. Two years later, she was honored to become the new host of the Morning Concert, of which she is currently the host and producer. Melony is also a choral accompanist for the UT School of Music’s Concert Choir and the Men’s Chorale. In her spare time, Melony loves to music-direct musicals. She is secretly (or perhaps not so secretly!) obsessed with the musicals of Stephen Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown. She also loves to travel, cook, hike and explore all of the cultural (and food!) attractions Knoxville has to offer.

Ways to Connect

The music of British composer, Gavin Bryars, will be presented at four different concerts at this year's Big Ears Festival. Two of his earliest compositions will be performed: Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet and The Sinking of the Titanic. Also being performed is his newest composition, The Fifth Century, which will be presented by the chamber choir, The Crossing, and the Prism saxophone quartet. Additionally, his own ensemble, The Gavin Bryars Ensemble, will be performing for the first time in the United States.

Knoxville-based contemporary music ensemble, Nief-Norf, is presenting not one, but four concerts at this year's Big Ears Festival, including the opening concert at the official launch party.  Joined by special guest, percussionist Greg Stuart, the group will perform music by Michael Pisaro, Michael Gordeon, Pauline Oliveros, and Christopher Burns. Nief-Norf will "set the tone" of the festival by opening (at the launch party) with Oliveros' "Single Strike Roll Meditation," which requires the audience and performers to be fully present and in-the-moment.

Ask someone what their favorite opera is and they're likely to respond with Verdi's La Traviata, and for good reason! Verdi's opera is beautiful, gut-wrenching, and relatable, with an interesting story and complex characters. His score is full of some of the most beautiful and recognizable music in the operatic repertoire. And although Knoxville's opera fans may be familiar with Verdi's opera, they will not be familiar with Marble City Opera's unique presentation of it, which will take place at Historic Westwood, a home in the Sequoyah Hills area of Knoxville.

Pulitzer-Prize winning composer, Jennifer Higdon, is one of America's most frequently performed living composers. A Tennessee native, she has been commissioned by many of the world's leading orchestras, has won many awards and fellowships, and currently teaches composition at the Curtis Institute of Music. Ms. Higdon will be in residence at the University of Tennessee School of Music from February 17th through 23rd.

Valentine's Day has come and gone, but there's never a bad time to enjoy beautiful romantic music, wine, and chocolate! Marble City Opera unites all three together for an evening of "Chocolate and Wine", presented at the new Modern Studio, located in Happy Holler. Local baritones, Brandon Gibson, Michael Rodgers, Dominick White, and Maurice Hendricks with pianist Brandon Coffer will serenade while audience members enjoy six different chocolate and wine pairings selected by Knoxville chef, Holly Hambright.

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