Hiram College
Dawn Sonntag, D.M.A. Photo

Dawn Sonntag, D.M.A.

Associate Professor of Music, Chair

Dawn Sonntag has enjoyed a varied career as a composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Her music, which includes art song, opera, chamber music, choral music, wind and orchestral music, documentary film music, and ballet music has been performed across the U.S. and in Europe. She was selected as the 2010 Music Teachers National Association’s Distinguished Composer of the Year and is a member of the Cleveland Composers’ Guild. She has conducted college, community, and church choirs across the U.S. and in Germany and Norway, where she was awarded a FLAS fellowship to study advanced Norwegian to further her interest in Norwegian vocal music. She was the 1999 winner of the Inge Pitler Prize for lied performance in both voice and piano.


  • Bachelor of Music, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Graduate Artists Diploma (Künstlerischereife Diplom) – Hochschule für Kirchenmusik, Heidelberg
  • Master of Arts – Antioch McGregor School of the Arts, Tübingen, Germany
  • Master of Music – The Ohio State University
  • Doctor of Musical Arts – University of Minnesota

Research Interests

Dawn Sonntag’s diverse research interests intersect with both her performing and composing.
In addition to her catalogue of more than 100 compositions, she has been the recipient of a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship to study advanced Norwegian at the University of Oslo.

She has also presented papers on the psychological effects of dysphonia on trained singers; the history of popular music genres in American Protestant worship; and on 19th century art song by German women composers.

Selected Publications

Fun Facts

  • Avid Alpine hiker and three-time participant of Alaska Geographic’s Composing in the Wilderness Field Seminar
  • Loves to study foreign languages; lived in Germany for nine years and is fluent in German and taught ESL to East Germans who came to West Germany immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall; has studied Norwegian and met Crown Prince Hakon after performing music for a celebration of Norway’s independence from Sweden; has also studied Swedish, French, and Latin.

Additional Links

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