Dayton Kinney

Dayton Kinney


Office Hours: 
by appointment only

Dayton Kinney creates music that has won and has been recognized in numerous national and international competitions. Inspired by Paul Hindemith’s A Composer’s World, Dayton’s music concentrates on the ambiguous idea of “transforming the circle… into a spiral.” Through this notion, Dayton explores and creates in order to discover the limits of ambiguity in thematic material, accessibility, harmony, and form with the goal of striking a balance between the certainty of a circle and the ambiguity of a spiral. Each work unfolds either through a narrative established at the outset, or through a suggested stream-of-consciousness arrangement of materials. Through this unfolding, the eclectic musical material is often organized in delineated sections or more dreamlike, kaleidoscopic arrangements.

Dayton’s music has been commissioned and performed in the U.S. and abroad with notable performances that have included ICE, the Grey Matter Ensemble, the Juventas New Music Ensemble, Deviant Septet, HYPERCUBE, F-Plus, SOSDuo, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Zodiac Trio, The Grey Matter Ensemble, Frisson Duo, Space City Performing Arts Ensemble, and at Pittsburgh Opera.

Dayton is currently a doctoral candidate for a Ph.D. in Music - Composition at Duke University. Dayton earned her Master of Music in Composition at Carnegie Mellon University and was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda. Dayton also holds a Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude with Honors in Music from Smith College. Her teachers have included John Supko, Leonardo Balada, Melinda Wagner, Salvatore Macchia, and Alla Elana Cohen.

Hand Carved Names and Railroad Tracks. Composer. (2019)


Inspired by stories and the Me Too Movement, Hand Carved Names and Railroad Tracks explores the loss
of innocence during childhood. This composition explores the complexities of adult situations from the
understanding and eyes of a child. Through its juxtaposition of light and dark themes, the piece engages
with coming of age in contemporary society.

Still Whispers and Tangents. Composer. (2018)

Mariposa. Composer. (2017)

The Orchestra Pit. Composer. (2017)

Of Some Consequence. Composer. (2017)

Returning Pieces. Composer. (2016)

The Canary Who Sang. Composer. (2016)

The Roost. Composer. (2016)

Long Distance. Composer. (2016)

Cold Hands. Composer. (2015)


Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

Bass Digital Education Fellowship awarded by Duke University Graduate School (2020 to 2021)

Bass Instructional Fellowship awarded by Duke University Graduate School (2019 to 2020)

Dissertation Research Travel Award: Domestic awarded by Duke University Graduate School (2019)