Monday, May 2, 2016

composer FAIL #91 (and a call for composer cats?)

Susie Ling's composer cat Archer. (I wonder if I should have a call for pictures of composers' pets…)

I'm up to 91 of these failures.

I should have a celebration at 100.


(Also I need to post these immediately after I receive them: I'm starting to forget how/why/what I submitted.)

Monday, April 25, 2016

composer FAIL #90

Thanks to my friend Hajnal Pivnick, these dudes (as part of the Face the Music) had two coachings with Kronos Quartet and two performances of works by me, a premiere by Wu Man, and Elena Kats-Chernin.

With friends (and kid quartets) like these, who needs acceptance letters?

Monday, April 18, 2016

university of toledo scrapbook

So the University of Toledo had me over as their guest composer as part of their CoCA Unboxed 2016 Festival. To prove it, they created a ridiculously huge poster.

All in all, they were the best hosts, the students are wonderful, and I had some really great performances of my work. Here are some photos.

A quick note about the University of Toledo's Women's Chorus: two-thirds of them are freshmen, and they sang the crap out of Prisoner of Conscience. If you look at the libretto, you would know it took courage to sing this piece. In other words, I don't think I would have sung this piece when I was a freshman.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

rip steven stucky

Honestly, I never thought I'd be writing this blog post anytime soon, and I'm sure I can honestly say all of us are in shock to hear that Steven Stucky is dead.

At 66.

From brain cancer.

(which can go f*ck itself if you want my honest opinion).

I can't claim that I've studied with Stucky nor can I claim that I had a direct relationship with him, but I can say this: he was the first "big" composer I met.

I met Steven Stucky in high school (yes—high school) thanks to a most-excellent conductor Christopher Russell who taught classes at the then-named Orange County High School of the Arts. Stucky was our guest composer who visited our symphonic lit class and presented his music.

And again, I never studied with the guy, but he had a profound (albeit indirect) upbringing as a composer. And everyone is right when they say he was the most generous and kind human being on this planet.

So, I will honor Steven Stucky in the best way I know how:

Monday, January 25, 2016

composer FAIL #87

Originally I had a goal of posting a blog post once a week per semester. (I want to bring the blog back!) And I still have lots to write about, including my Vermont Symphony Orchestra trip (I have lots of pictures), the most awesome New Music Gathering, and even something about David Bowie (because that was devastating), but alas…why are all my deadlines on January 31/February1???

So anyway. I am behind two blog posts. Therefore, I am resorting to my old tricks:

Monday, December 28, 2015

midwest clinic 2015

I don't have very many photos from this year's Midwest Clinic 2015 trip (although I suppose I do have this gem) nor do I have much to say, but I must tell you guys I went to the Shujitsu Junior & Senior High School Wind Ensemble Concert.


So what do I know about the Japanese:

They have this app (that yes, I pathetically play on my phone when I need cuteness in my life):

You can totally judge me.
They have a fabric spray that smells like a cat's head, just in case you're missing the real thing. (Um no, I don't have this fabric spray, thanks for asking.)

And…their middle and high schoolers can freaking play.

Excuse me while I go cry in a corner because their sound is so amazing. (I don't think this video does them justice.)

Monday, September 21, 2015

composer FAIL #86

This rejection has been sitting in my inbox for about a month (unlike the others that have been sitting in Blogger Draft Limbo), and I'm sure you've received this one too.


(Seriously. It's so hot right now.)

But, that's okay. If I had to take yet another week off from my academic engagement, my department head would probably stop making eye contact with me. Instead, I'm coming at you, Vermont.

Dennis Báthory Kitsz took this photo.
People have asked if I'm getting excited about my trip. Yes, I'm excited, but I'm also excitedly nervous since I'm having this big-ish premiere and I hope everything turns out okay.

(Oh yes. And especially since Jaime Laredo will be conducting my work.)

So, before my trip, I thought I'd share with you the story of how I met both Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson in person at the Cincinnati Symphony.

They are both lovely people, which is fortuitous since I am the most awkward person.
Me: Hi…I wanted to introduce myself quickly since there are many others here to see you both tonight. My name is Jennifer Jolley, and I thought I'd introduce myself because I'll be writing for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra…
Sharon: Oh! So, you'll be writing program notes for the symphony!
Me: No…um…I'm a composer, so I'll be writing a piece for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra…
Sharon and/or Jaime: OH! You're writing a piece for the Symphony!
Jaime: Is this part of the Made in Vermont Series?
Me: Yes!
 Thank GOD they are the nicest people.