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Jennifer Jolley

Columbus, OH            

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, and the University of Cincinnati, among others. She is Assistant Professor of Music at Ohio Wesleyan University.

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 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble has performed the piece widely and will release a recording in Spring 2018. 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 Ohio Wesleyan, 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 will be in-residence at the Alba Music Festival in Italy in 2018.  

Jennifer Jolley has been a finalist for the American Prize (Choral Division) and 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.

Jennifer’s works are distributed through ADJ*ective New Music.

Photo credit: Tina Gutierrez

August 2017

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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NewMusicBox Articles

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...

Articles February 12 2018 | By Jennifer Jolley
A Thousand Thoughts

When things get rough, depressing, or downright heartbreaking, we’re still supposed to make music, right? Jennifer Jolley continues her exploration of where and how music and politics best intersect and...

See more of Jennifer Jolley's articles on NewMusicBox.