Jennifer Jolley

Assistant Professor of Music


B.M., University of Southern California Thornton School of Music
M.M., D.M.A., University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music


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.

Areas of Interest / Expertise

Music composition, music theory, electronic music

OWU Faculty Speakers Bureau Topics

Creating & Composing Music
Electronic/Computer Music
Sound Art
Studying Music

Social Media

Personal webpage