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Jennifer Jolley

Lubbock, TX            

Composer Jennifer Jolley’s diverse catalog includes choral, orchestral, wind ensemble, chamber, and electronic works. She has been commissioned by ensembles and institutions across the United States, including the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, University of Texas at Austin, Bowling Green State University, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, The Canales Project, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, among others. She is Assistant Professor of Composition at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and has written articles for the e-zine NewMusicBox.

In recent years, Jennifer has been increasingly drawn toward subjects that are political and even provocative. Her 2015 collaboration with librettist Kendall A, Prisoner of Conscience, sets to music statements made by the Russian punk-rock band Pussy Riot as they stood trial in Moscow for “hooliganism” and “religious hatred.” Quince Ensemble has performed the piece widely and has released a recording on their album Motherland with New Focus Recordings. Jennifer’s 2017 piece The Eyes of the World Are Upon You, commissioned by the University of Texas at Austin Wind Ensemble, reflects on the first-ever campus shooting in America, which took place at UT-Austin in 1966.  

Jennifer’s blog—on which she has catalogued more than 100 rejection letters from competitions, festivals, and prizes—is widely read and admired by professional musicians. She is particularly passionate about this project as a composition teacher, and enjoys removing the taboo around “failure” for her students. In addition to her professorship at Texas Tech, she is a member of the composition faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp. 

Jennifer deeply values the relationship that is created between composers and the communities with whom they collaborate. She has been composer-in-residence at Brevard College, University of Toledo, and the Vermont Symphony, and was in-residence at the Central Michigan University School of Music and the Alba Music Festival in Italy in 2018. She will be the Composer-in-Residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford in 2019.

Jennifer Jolley took 2nd Place for the 2017–18 American Prize in Composition (Band/Wind Ensemble Division) and was a finalist for the the Symphony Number One Call for Scores. She holds degrees from the University of Southern California and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where her principal teachers included Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, Michael Fiday, Joel Hoffman, and Douglas Knehans.

​She was born in 1981.

November 2018

The Lives & Opinions of Literary Cats

Commissioned by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, first performance was on March 18, 2017 by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble at the Berkeley Piano Club, Berkeley, CA. With Anna Presler (violin), Eric Zivian (piano), and Tanya Tomkins (cello).

For more information, visit https://www.jenniferjolley.com/lives-and-opinions

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“How to be a Deep Thinker in Los Angeles” by Jennifer Jolley – As performed by Andrew Dobos

Here is a performance of Jennifer Jolley’s “How to be a Deep Thinker in Los Angeles.” This piece was performed at Indiana University on May 6, 2015.

For more information, visit https://www.jenniferjolley.com/how-to-be-a-deep-thinker

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Shine a Light

Live performance of Jennifer Jolley’s “Shine A Light” at San José’s Hammer Theatre Center, written in honor of advocate Nadia Bushnaq.

Commissioned by The Canales Project for “Hear Her Song,” an initiative bringing together an extraordinary array of female musical artists to offer powerful insights into women’s leadership worldwide.

More information at: www.thecanalesproject.com/hear-her-song.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles November 7 2019 | By Jennifer Jolley
The Curious Case of Keiko Yamada

The evening of August 31 began like most Saturday nights at the start of the fall semester. I was reviewing course plans and readings for the upcoming week, while I...

Articles February 26 2018 | By Jennifer Jolley
(Okay Ladies Now Let’s Get) In Formation

If we creators are present and attuned to what is happening, we as global citizens will speak up via our music for what is right and just. If you are...

Articles February 20 2018 | By Jennifer Jolley
How It Happened (said John Cage): A Moment of Silence

Are all of our artistic offerings political in nature? When a composer writes a piece that is of its time and moment, is it a commentary on the current state...

See more of Jennifer Jolley's articles on NewMusicBox.