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Williamsport grad credits Grammy wins to ‘incredibly hard work’

PHOTO DASHON BURTON.COM

Just recently, Dashon Burton, Williamsport Area High School alumnus, has won a second Grammy for his musical talents in both a vocal ensemble and now as a soloist.

“I am so thrilled,” he said. “It calls attention to the incredibly hard work.”

The solo artist album he created alongside Sarah Brailey, Experiential Orchestra and James Blachly, titled “The Prison” won Burton his second Grammy. His first was with the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth.

“So many people put a ton of hard work into it (the solo album),” Burton said. “This award should really be shared among us. It is a huge honor.”

Though he was unable to attend the ceremony due to the pandemic, he patiently watched online and celebrated his win.

When talking to Burton about this accomplishment, he reflected on the first Grammy stating that it was one of the “prides of his life and career” as he and his mother, Lisa Short were able to attend in person.

“I couldn’t be more grateful … certainly just to know that this is a result of so much support from my family,” he said. “So much love and care from my father and mother…they really just told me ‘We want you to be happy’. It is all because of them … in addition to my teachers.”

His music history started in the home in the Bronx, listening to R&B and Soul music with his parents but once he hit school in Williamsport and sang in the choir, he found a love and a passion for it in more ways than one.

Burton said that his music history started with his friend Tim, who introduced him to the choir director at Curtin Intermediate School, who then asked him to audition for the choir.

“It was awful,” Burton said of his audition. “I didn’t know what I was doing.”

Through the director, Burton found love for classic and church hymns through singing at Trinity Episcopal Church and also participated in the band and marching band at school.

He wanted to also give thanks to one of his mentors from high school, Kent Weaver, who was a “wonderful example of what it is like to teach children how to sing” and someone who “helped him with his whole choir career in high school.”

“It wasn’t until college that it clicked … that this was something I maybe wanted to do professionally,” he said. “It is the entire foundation of knowing and being really grateful for family and community to just bring you where you are. I certainly wouldn’t be the musician I am today without my family and friends all throughout Williamsport.”

What lies next for Burton is hopefully more teaching and creating music alongside a new opera in partnership with Penn State University called “A Marvelous Order,” which is about a fight between long-standing communities and families with city progress that ultimately brings people together.

“It is a really amazing project and I am excited,” he said.

The project is set to hit the stage in the fall.

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