These projects are entrepreneurial ventures or leadership roles where Dawson had an opportunity to serve his greater purpose: instigating positive change. While each project is music-related, the opportunity to exercise extra-musical skills to make change is rewarding in itself. 

If you are interested in getting involved with these organizations, or if you are looking to develop a unique career trajectory through career coaching, contact me. 

Aspire Viola Academy

Dawson created the Aspire Viola Academy in 2021 to instigate powerful change for violists at any level. His mission is to help viola players achieve college and career aspirations through a holistic approach and entrepreneurial mindset. The academy is a progressive revamp of the music school and includes: one-on-one lessons, “work at your own pace” online courses, health/wellness classes for violists, a resource/score library, and career coaching. AVA is an international music school upgraded for the digital age.


HGO EDI Committee

Responding to the deaths of George Floyd and others, Dawson volunteered to serve as the union representative for the Houston Grand Opera orchestra on the HGO Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee. Important tasks include seeking company and audience identity, representing orchestra needs, drafting core values, and the formation of a diversity statement for one of the most influential opera companies in the United States. Committee work is ongoing.

Diversity Statement: As an industry leading innovator, Houston Grand Opera’s vision is to produce great operatic works while fostering a company culture of integrity, empathy, and inclusion. HGO’s “safe haven” workplace is grounded in trust, respect, transparent communication, and social justice. We celebrate the diversity, perspectives, and experiences of our colleagues and audiences, and strive against systems of oppression through accountability. WE are HGO. YOU are HGO. 

The Entrepreneurial Musician

Dawson developed the first course dedicated to the development of entrepreneurial skills for graduate and advanced musicians at the University of St. Thomas.

Houston Viola Society

Dawson is a board member of the Houston Viola Society and served as it’s inaugural Co-president, past Vice-President, and led two of the organizations successful Viola Days.

Axiom Quartet

Dawson was a founding member of the Axiom Quartet and served as their violist from 2012 to 2014. Administrative initiatives included recruitment of a board and obtaining 501(c)3 non-profit status in addition to expanding the reach of the group regionally.

New Art/New Music

As a graduate student at Rice University, Dawson was Coordinator of the New Art/New Music concert series at the Rice Gallery. He received the Sviatoslov Richter Grant for Music Outreach which enabled commissioned compositions based on site-specific artwork in the Gallery. The funds enabled the development of a marketing plan that led to a four hundred percent increase in attendance and trademarking of the concert series.