Dawn Hartley began playing the bassoon at the age of twelve while living in Columbus, Georgia. During her high school years, she enjoyed studying both bassoon and piano and performing in the Columbus Symphony alongside her teacher, Dr. Ronald Wirt. This experience, and the opportunity to play in the orchestra at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina during the summer, were what led to her decision to pursue a career in music.
She received the degree of Bachelor of Music from Florida State University and the degree of Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her teachers during these years were Bill Winstead, John Hunt, Bruce Hammel and Tina Carpenter.
She performed with the Albany (GA) Symphony, the Tallahassee Symphony, the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute Orchestra.
In 1991 she joined the Nashville Symphony, where she holds the position of Assistant Principal Bassoon. She is an adjunct faculty member at David Lipscomb University and a volunteer for the Music in the Clinic program at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. She enjoys playing music with her three children, who are learning trumpet, violin and cello. She is very pleased to be a member of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra.