Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Dawn Marie Hamilton began playing the clarinet in the fifth grade through her public school band program. She graduated high school from Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied with Richard Hawkins. Dawn received her BA in Music (with a performance emphasis), magna cum laude and with departmental honors, from Dominican University of California in 2010. In 2012, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a MM at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where she studied with Gary Gray, and continued on to collect her DMA in 2017.
During her graduate studies, Dawn worked as a Teaching Fellow for the UCLA Clarinet Studio and Woodwind Chamber Ensembles class. This job inspired her to create a resource website for woodwind chamber music (www.woodwindchambermusicrepertoire.com), which was recognized in the International Clarinet Association's Spring 2018 issue of The Clarinet, and which she continues to maintain in her spare time. Her doctoral dissertation, A Guide to Understanding, Interpreting, and Performing David Bruce's Gumboots (2008) for Clarinet (doubling bass clarinet) and String Quartet, is also free and available to the public.
While in Los Angeles, Dawn could also be found performing frequently with the LA Opera, New West Symphony, and other high caliber ensembles. In 2016, she traveled as the principal clarinetist with at the Los Angeles-based MESTO orchestra to Muscat, Oman, where they performed at the Royal Opera House with the 2013 Arab Idol winner, Mohammed Assaf. For more information and details about her performance history, please visit her "Past Performances" page.
In November 2018, Dawn relocated back to the Washington D.C. Metro area, where she is excited to begin building her own private teaching studio as well as performing with new colleagues and ensembles.