Associate Professor of Music, Chair of Music Department
B.M., University of Texas
Künstlerischereife Diplom (graduate-level artist's diploma) Hochschule für Kirchenmusik, Heidelberg, Germany
M.A., Antioch University's McGregor School of the Arts, Tübingen, Germany
M.M., Ohio State University
D.M.A., University of Minnesota
Dawn Sonntag has enjoyed a varied career as composer, conductor, and performer. Her compositions include vocal, choral, chamber, wind and orchestral music as well as opera and documentary film music. Her opera Verlorene Heimat (Lost Homeland), which chronicles the true story of East Prussian refugees during WW II, was premiered in 2014, and scenes will be performed in November, 2016 at the Hartford Opera’s New in November opera festival. Recent premieres include performances by the Orchid Ensemble, the Almeda Trio, the Amphion Strings, Concert Black, the Fairbanks Community String Orchestra, and the Hiram College Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra. She has been a two-time resident composer at the Visby International Centre for Composers in Visby, Sweden and a guest composer-performer in residence for the New Music series at the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. She was recipient of a 2015 Criss Commission at Mississippi State University, MNTA-Ohio’s 2010 Distinguished Composer of the Year, and finalist in the 2007 American Composers Forum Faith Partners commissioning competition.
Prior to coming to Hiram College in 2008, Sonntag conducted the Heidelberg International Chorus, the Collegium Artium Chamber Choir in Heidelberg, the Oslo University Summer School Choir, the Leif Eriksson International Festival Choir, the Ohio State University Women’s Glee Club and Chamber Singers, the University of Minnesota Women’s Chorus, and numerous church choirs in the U.S. and Europe. She has also guest-conducted the Westerville and Newark-Granville Symphonies in choral-orchestral concerts, and in June, 2016, she led the Berlin Sinfonietta and the Bacau Philharmonic in Romania in performances of Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Mozart as an active participant of advanced orchestral conducting master classes.
Sonntag has performed extensively both as a collaborative pianist and singer, and was awarded the Inge Pitler prize in Heidelberg both for lied accompanying and vocal performance. She has sung with the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee; at the Chamizal National Theater in El Paso, Texas; the Heidelberg (Germany) Gilbert and Sullivan Ensemble; the Heidelberg Theater Idéfix; and Opera Columbus. She has performed as an oratorio soloist with the Heidelberg International Choir; the Texas Bach Choir; the Columbus Bach Choir; the Lutheran Chorale; Kantorei of Minneapolis; and the Bel Canto Chorus. Sonntag was a NATS and Metropolitan Opera southwest regional audition finalist and winner of the Kenwood Symphony Master's Aria and Concerto competition. As the recipient of Foreign Language Areas Studies and American-Scandinavian Institute fellowships, she studied advanced Norwegian language in Oslo to further her interest in Norwegian art song.
Dr. Sonntag holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree in voice performance and pedagogy, composition, and choral conducting from the University of Minnesota; a Master of Music in choral conducting from the Ohio State University; a Master of Arts in voice performance from Antioch University's McGregor School of the Arts in Tübingen, Germany; a graduate artist’s diploma (Künstlerischereifediplom) in piano performance with an emphasis in lied and chamber music from the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Heidelberg, Germany; and a Bachelor of Music in voice performance from the University of Texas, El Paso. She also studied composition in Paris, France under the auspices of the European-American Musical Alliance and was the recipient of a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship to study advanced Norwegian at the University of Oslo.
For more information regarding her compositions and performances, please visit her website at www.dawnsonntag.com