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

Music honoring and celebrating fallen heros; that was intent behind Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. (Other than creating magnificent music, that is). This Sunday afternoon at 4pm, the UT Symphony Orchestra (UTSO) tackles this epic work, under the leadership of Maestro James Fellenbaum. Performing just a few weeks after classes have begun, this talented group of young, hard-working musicians are showing us that exciting things are in store for the UTSO.

There is a new professional choral ensemble in town and they are presenting their first concert this weekend! Symphony of Voices will perform at First United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Sunday, September 23rd at 2:30pm. The group consists of twelve professional singers who work in the Knoxville area as choral directors, teachers, and performers.

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Clarence Brown Theatre are, once again, collaborating to present a grand-scale production and this time, it's Leonard Bernstein's operetta, Candide. Rarely performed as a fully staged production, the show, based on a satire by Voltaire, boasts a gorgeous score by Bernstein, but presents a few challenges. Maestro Aram Demirjian discusses how the artistic team tackled these challeges, while creating a version of Candide that will be unique to Knoxville. Performances run August 31st through September 16th.

The Knoxville Choral Society will have a new director for the 2018/2019 season. Dr. John Orr, who has served as conductor of the Knoxville Chamber Chorale and Assistant Director of the Choral Society for the past five years has recently been appointed Artistic Director, following Dr. Eric Thorson, who served as director for over twenty years.

Dr. Orr has extensive experience in leading community and church choirs, in addition to writing curriculum for children's choirs. He wrote his doctoral thesis about the effects of aging on the voice, particularly for amateur singers.

Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra is an organist who's passionate not only about making music, but also about advocating for marginalized populations while doing her part to ensure that music remains a vehicle for learning for children and adults. She does this through her own compositions, including her Muse project. Dr. Ruiter-Feenstra frequently creates programs that combine her compositions with scripture readings and hymn singing. These programs are holistic and non-denominational, and usually address a singular theme such as love, or gratitude.

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