​Dakota Pederson (b. 1999) is an Indiana composer who discovered his passion for music composition. His success flourished from an early age, winning the first annual MakeMusic Young Composers competition at age 16. From then on, he would additionally win the Claude T. Smith Composition Contest and the Association of Concert Bands Composition Contest, twice. Though he has had numerous successes in composition, he has never been formally trained in composition. As a self taught composer, Pederson has developed a composititon style that focuses on a highly charged rhythm. Pederson graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelors of Music Education, Summa Cum Laude. He currently teaches band in northern Indiana. In addition to music composition, he also enjoys playing Tennis.