Melody DornfeldUnited States of America Fort Collins
Melody Dornfeld began classical music studies at a young age, studying with Dr. Ramon Kireilis, principal clarinetist of the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra, and later the esteemed and highly-recorded Andrew Marriner, principal clarinetist of the London Symphony Orchestra and of The Academy of St. Martin in the Field. In high school she took first place in the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Young Artists’ Competition, being noted by the Colorado Springs Gazette for “the depth of emotion” with which she played. Her love of music continued to flourish at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music where she took first place in the Lamont Honors Competition, performing as a soloist with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra. She was also awarded the Lamont School of Music’s “Junior Recital of the Year” award, was named the University of Denver’s Presser Scholar as the outstanding junior musician of the year, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance as the University of Denver’s Most Outstanding Senior in Performance. While her classical studies expanded and enhanced her technical skills, Melody yearned for another level of freedom of expression and creativity. She began studying jazz improvisation at Lamont with Lynn Baker. During her junior year she attended a klezmer performance given by a clarinetist and made a soul-connection. Feeling an instant and providential connection, she undertook a Partners In Scholarship Research Project titled “The Art of Klezmer Music” where she travelled internationally, attended camps, and studied with internationally renowned klezmer and jazz clarinetist, David Krakauer. She has continued to play and teach in many musical ensembles and settings, including recording as a featured soloist on a major soundtrack. Melody formed her current band, Big Brooklyn, along with husband who is a drummer and three other talented musicians. Bridging jazz, klezmer, rock, and groove, Big Brooklyn carries a progressive yet inviting presence, exploring beautiful melodies while defining new boundaries. Melody’s compositions captivate audiences with a unique depth of passion in expressive melodies and harmonies, touching on the inseparable exultation and pathos of the klezmer sound, all interwoven over a fabric of jazz and groove. Her compositions have earned Big Brooklyn’s ranking as a Jazz Finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and current ranking as a Semi-Finalist for two of her compositions, moving forward in the 2022 UK Songwriting Contest.