"I CONSIDER MYSELF, ABOVE ALL, A STORYTELLER,” says Penn music composition student Melissa Dunphy, GR’13. And just one year into graduate school, this 29-year-old is creating music — for audiences on campus and across Philadelphia — that tells stories as unexpected as they are powerful.
But two years ago, when it came to composing her future, Melissa was at a loss. Her sights set on Penn, she knew she had the drive and talent to succeed in its demanding composition program. But she also knew that doing so would require her to focus wholly on her coursework — without worrying about the price tag it carried.
Thanks to the Benjamin Franklin Fellowship she received, Melissa has been able to do just that. “It’s freed me up to pursue my passion at the highest level possible,” says Melissa. And today, with that support, she is able to immerse herself in spinning out her next story — a suite of piano pieces based on Philadelphia's acclaimed murals.
Melissa Dunphy, GR'13, recipient of a Benjamin Franklin Fellowship, in one of three new classrooms within the just-opened Music Building addition.